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#pounditMonday, June 21, 2021

49ers-Cardinals ending turns wild for bettors due to last-second touchdown

Sunday’s game between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers ended on what appeared to be a meaningless touchdown, but that absurd score had significant meaning for many of those who bet on the game.

To fully grasp how the final play produced a swing of emotions, we must first tell the story of the game.

Arizona entered as 13.5-point underdogs at many sportsbooks, though the line was bet down to anywhere from 9.5 to 11.5 points at most places. The Cardinals got out to a 16-0 lead and looked like a lock for those who had taken them plus the points. But then the 49ers started to come back and even took the lead 30-26 on a touchdown pass with 31 seconds left.

Even after that touchdown, Cardinals bettors still were fine. Arizona had the ball but lost a fumble. The 49ers ran four plays and Arizona used all their timeouts and got the ball back on downs. They ran two plays, including this as time expired:

And just like that, tons of money changed hands. Those who had the 49ers -10 pushed because the final score was 36-26, and those who had them -9.5 or lower won on a miracle cover. Those who had the Cardinals +9.5 or lower lost what they thought would be a sure winner.

Another interesting factor is the NFL rule that doesn’t force teams to kick an extra point on a score at the end of the game that does not affect the outcome. Because of that, the game ended at 36-26 rather than with the 49ers kicking to go up 37-26.


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