Three Las Vegas sports book directors — Jay Rood of MGM Resorts, Johnny Avello of Wynn Las Vegas and Jason Simbal of CG Technology — don’t have to think back too far for a vivid Super Bowl betting memory. All three of them, along with handicapper Bryan Leonard (WagerTalk.com, @BLeonardSports), are still incredulous at Seattle coach Pete Carroll’s decision to throw the ball on the 1-yard line at the end of the 2015 game against the Patriots instead of giving it to running back Marshawn Lynch. Malcolm Butler picked off Russell Wilson to preserve New England’s 28-24 win and cover.
SUPER BOWL XLIX, Patriots-Seahawks, Feb. 1, 2015: “The one play that stands out is why Pete Carroll didn’t run the damn ball. I’ll never understand that,” Rood said. “When you have Marshawn Lynch and the yardage he’s able to get at any given time, that’s one of the frustrating ones. It was a pretty good swing as well.”
Said Avello: “That game, for me, was a seven-figure swing. A big seven-figure swing.”
Said Simbal, who watched the game at the M Resort: “We really needed Seattle and were counting our blessings in that one, and all of a sudden, the whole place shook. You could feel the ground shake. People were screaming so loud because they all bet New England. It wasn’t like we lost money, but the amount of money we would’ve won on Seattle was four or five times more.”
Said Leonard: “I loved Seattle in that game and bet Seattle. That interception in the end zone — I’m 55 years old and have seen everything that has happened in a sporting event — I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t even make a comment. I have no idea why he wouldn’t run the ball in that situation. It was the easiest call to make. That was a heartbreaking loss for everybody. That was one that should never have happened.”
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at email@example.com or 702-383-0354. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.