Memo to NFL teams:
Please stop trying those crazy, multi-lateral plays in the final seconds. They result in unnecessary heartbreak.
From: Your loyal fans in the gambling community.
The latest example of an NFL team desperately trying laterals for a miraculous touchdown, only to see the team with the lead score again and crushing the hopes of some bettors, came in the Miami Dolphins 11-6 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Welcome to the world of wacky wins and bad beats in sports betting.
Each week, we’ll recap the betting plays that had some people cashing in and others tearing up their tickets in frustration. To paraphrase famed broadcaster Al Michaels, “those plays are significant to some.”
Let’s dive into this week’s craziness!
‘It’s a great day to be a Dolphin’ — Skylar Thompson on securing playoff spot after beating the Jets
Miami Dolphins’ Skylar Thompson briefed FOX NFL reporter Pam Oliver on how much it means to get to this point after clinching a win.
Pitchy-pitchy woo .. oh no!
The favored Dolphins (-3.5 at FOX Bet) had trouble with New York as Jets backers were cashing in most of the game, even after Miami’s Jason Sanders kicked a 50-yard field goal to give the Fins a 9-6 lead with 18 seconds to go.
“What can go wrong?” is a phrase bettors do not like to hear.
After a touchback, the Jets threw two incompletions and faced third down with five seconds to go. Jets backers (+3.5) were five seconds from cashing.
Here’s the description on the official NFL site of what happened next:
(Shotgun) J.Flacco pass short left to G.Wilson to NYJ 12 for -13 yards. Lateral to J.Flacco to NYJ 9 for -3 yards. Lateral to E.Moore to NYJ 5 for -4 yards. FUMBLES, touched at NYJ 5, recovered by NYJ-G.Wilson at NYJ -1. G.Wilson tackled in End Zone, SAFETY.
Confused? Can’t believe it? See the pain suffered by Jets bettors for yourself:
The safety resulted in one of the most brutal bad beats of the season for NFL bettors.
One particular gambler lost a huge parlay payday by the Jets’ result (a $50 bet would’ve paid out a $2,105 profit).
More bad beats for Jets bettors: Note in the description of the final play above that New York receiver Garrett Wilson was credited with a 13-yard loss.
Wilson finished with 89 receiving yards, which was more agony to prop bettors who backed Wilson to finish with at least 100 receiving yards.
Texans-sized bad beat
You gotta give Houston credit as the Texans (3-13-1) battled to the very end in their third consecutive losing season.
After Indianapolis kicked a field goal to expand its lead to 31-24 with 3:33 to go, Colts moneyline bettors (-149 at FOX Bet, bet $10 to win $16.71 total) and those who laid the +3 were in decent shape.
They were in even better shape as Houston faced fourth and 12 near midfield with 1:48 to go.
But Houston QB Davis Mills completed a 30-yard pass down the sideline to Brandin Cooks, which was confirmed by replay.
Those bettors were still feeling positive as Davis was sacked, and the Texans faced fourth and 20 from the Indianapolis 28 with 58 seconds to go.
Then this happened:
Jordan Akins caught Davis’ pass for a 28-yard TD, cutting the Colts’ lead to 31-30.
The final indignity to Colts moneyline bettors was, instead of kicking the extra point and playing for overtime, Houston went for two and the win. Davis then connected with Akins again as Houston pulled out the 32-31 win.
The kick returner scores twice
Is Nyheim Hines your favorite NFL player?
Hines is now for at least one bettor after he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the Buffalo Bills’ 35-23 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday.
How rare is it for a player to return two kicks for touchdowns in the NFL? The previous player to do so was the Jets’ Leon Washington …
… in 2010.
The Bills executed a little-noticed trade on Nov. 1, sending running back Zack Moss and a conditional sixth-round pick to the Colts for running back/kick returner Hines.
Hines was the NFL’s breakout performer on the final weekend, returning kickoffs 101 and 96 yards for touchdowns against the Patriots.
How much of a long shot was Hines’ performance? New England allowed two kickoff returns for touchdowns in its previous 227 games – that’s more than 14 seasons.
Hines’ performance paid off for at least one bettor, who plunked down $25 on the Bills’ defense/special teams scoring two TDs against the Patriots.
The bet was made at +5000, which paid the gambler a tidy $1,250 profit.
Team in teal pays off with green
The list of people celebrating Jacksonville capturing the AFC South Division title were the players and members of the organization, their fans, the city of Jacksonville … and one bettor who plunked down a huge chunk of money for the team in teal.
This bettor put $50,000 on the Jaguars to win the AFC South.
Some background: The Jaguars were 1-15 in 2020, which netted them the top pick in the draft – quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Jacksonville then went 3-14 in 2021 after starting 0-5 and later losing eight in a row.
None of this dissuaded the bettor, who plunked down their money on Jacksonville. The Jaguars responded by starting the season 2-6 after a five-game losing streak and were 4-8 in early December.
The Jags finished the regular season by winning five in a row, including Saturday’s 20-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans, to claim the division with a 9-8 record.
That record was good enough for this bettor, who collected a $375,000 profit.
First-half fumble costly
Bettors on the Under 26.5 combined first-half points in the Kansas City Chiefs-Las Vegas Raiders game Saturday were nervously counting down the seconds after Kansas City completed an 11-play, 98-yard drive to take a 21-3 lead with less than a minute to go in the second quarter.
Before we go any further, here’s the clever, original play the Chiefs ran that resulted in a touchdown that was wiped out by a holding penalty. The play is called “snow globe,” and it didn’t count in the scoring summary but will live on in our memories.
Despite the penalty, Kadarius Toney scored on the next play on an 11-yard run to make a combined 24 points with 49 seconds to go.
As they say, every second counts.
Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham got sacked and fumbled, and Kansas City defensive end George Karlaftis recovered at the Vegas 30 with nine seconds remaining until halftime.
Harrison Butker kicked a 44-yard field goal on the final play of the quarter to make it 24-3.
Unlikely TD scorer pays off
Running back Ronald Jones hasn’t gotten much action in his first season in Kansas City, with seven carries for 25 yards and no scores in four games heading into the weekend.
But bettors who had the foresight to back Jones to score a touchdown against the Raiders were celebrating to the tune of +1200 (bet $10 to win $130 total) when Jones scored on a 2-yard run on the first play of the second quarter.
Lo and behold, at least one bettor put down a decent amount of change on Jones scoring a TD. Cha-ching!
Okonkwo pays off
Most bettors think of running back Derrick Henry when it comes to scoring touchdowns for the Titans.
Did you have Tennessee rookie tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo to score the first TD in the Titans-Jaguars game?
Okonkwo caught a TD pass with 5:32 remaining in the second quarter for the game’s first TD.
One bettor cashed in at +3000 to the tune of a $1,500 profit! Not bad for a $50 investment.
Tennessee fans were disappointed to see the season end, but at least one bettor earned a nice profit from the 20-16 loss as the Titans (+7.5 points) covered.
The bettor earned the payout as Tennessee led for the first 57:09 of the game. As bettors like to say, “‘Tis better to cover as a bettor than lose on the moneyline.”
Kelce’s TD drought
Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce is a touchdown machine with 69 career TDs, including a career-high 12 this season.
Yet Kelce is in an end-zone drought, failing to score a TD in his previous five games heading into Saturday.
Kelce (-160 to score an anytime TD, bet $10 to win $16.25 total) caught a pass near the goal line and came this close to ending his TD drought. Make that six games in a row without a touchdown.
Kelce and the Chiefs got a nice prize anyway – the top seed in the AFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs with the 31-13 win over the Raiders.
Know who is cashing in on Kelce’s TD drought? The books.
Stay tuned for more of the wackiness!
And if you want to join in on the fun (or madness), head over to FOX Bet for all your wagers.
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