Final play on Monday night swings two key bets

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When the Chiefs took a late 23-20 lead over Washington via kicker Harrison Butker‘s 43-yard field goal, four seconds remained on the clock. Prompting some (me) to wonder whether Kansas City could end up regretting giving the road team one last chance to win the game.

Others ended up regretting it. And others ended up loving it.

The clumsy final-play, Stanford-band effort by Washington quickly disintegrated into a fumble that was recovered by Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston and returned for a touchdown. The extra six points (the Chiefs took a knee on the mandatory try) allowed the Chiefs to win by nine — and to cover the spread.

The play also allowed the game to flip from under the total-points prop bet of roughly 48 to over.

Sean McDonough of ESPN initially made a sly, Al Michaels-style reference to the development, saying, “This might be meaningful to some.” McDonough then became surprisingly more direct, mentioning the impact of the score on those who wagered on the game “legally,” and he also explained that the officials were insisting on the Chiefs conducting the post-touchdown try before ending the game, due to part to the integrity of the final score as it relates to gambling.

It’s one of the most direct references you’ll ever hear during an NFL game as it relates to a topic that typically is regarded as verboten about the NFL’s broadcast partners. But to the extent that the high-level employees at 345 Park Avenue blow a gasket over McDonough’s perceived gaffe, the league needs to remember that it has chosen to move one of its teams to the gambling capital of the world.

Even though the Raiders are a few years away from moving to Nevada, Las Vegas and the NFL now have an official relationship, and the league can no longer fairly complain about any indirect or direct references to the primary industry of one of the states in which the league will soon be doing business on a regular basis.

Ultimately, the league should be happy that there was no officiating controversy on the last play. If there were, this story would be about how much money changed hands due to a mistake that wasn’t rectified, which happened nearly nine years ago after a Chargers-Steelers game.

6 responses to “Final play on Monday night swings two key bets

  1. Life would be so much easier for the NFL if they would just call things what they are. The relationship they have with gambling (so far anyhow) doesnt look all that bad. Its their attempts to deny it that look bad.

  2. I took it as a fantasy football comment (still interpreted as gambling, per say) , but can easily see the link to legit sports books and Vegas.

  3. I said that just made a lot of people who bet on KC (7 point favorite) and KC Def Owners happy…right before he said that, which was funny because the Announcers rarely mention gambling.

  4. Sean McDonough wasn’t exactly right there at the end.

    The NFL doesn’t make the teams kick that no-time-left meaningless extra point because of gambling. They do it because Total Points Scored is one of the tiebreakers for playoff seeding.

    The fact that during the playoffs they DO NOT make the teams kick that extra point in the same scenario shows that it isn’t really about gambling. It’s because in the playoffs, that extra point really is meaningless.

  5. For folks wondering how much that last point would matter, does anybody remember that one season about 10 years ago or so when there were about three or four teams fighting for a spot, and one of them…Green Bay maybe?…needed to score like 60 points to pass everybody else in the tiebreakers.

    It was awesome because you had teams winning games in the four quarter, but still running the hurry-up two minute drill. Crazy fun!

  6. The Skins first TD should have been a pick. Peters would have had that ball if it wasnt for the push. All is as it should be.

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