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49ers’ upset of Cowboys helps sportsbooks salvage winning weekend

The Cowboys were a cover machine in the regular season, leading the NFL with a 13-4 ATS record.

But Dallas failed to deliver when it mattered most, losing 23-17 to the 49ers on Sunday as a 3½-point home favorite in their wild-card playoff game.

Trailing throughout, the Cowboys had a shot to win in the final seconds, when quarterback Dak Prescott ran up the middle and slid at the 49ers’ 24. But Dallas didn’t allow the field judge to set the ball before snapping it, and time expired as Prescott fell to 1-3 in the postseason.

After favorites won and covered the first three playoff games, San Francisco’s upset was a welcome treat for Las Vegas sportsbooks.

A Caesars Sportsbook bettor lost a $275,000 straight bet on the Cowboys -3.

“The 49ers’ outright win bailed us out a little bit. They put some groceries in the cart for us,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said before the Chiefs-Steelers game Sunday night. “But the Chiefs can empty our cart very quickly with a cover and the over.”

Kansas City, which closed as a 12½-point home favorite over Pittsburgh, trailed 7-0 in the second quarter before exploding for 35 consecutive points in a 42-21 victory that soared over the total of 46½.

Bengals boost books

Despite favorites going 4-1 ATS, the books still had a winning weekend. They were helped by the Raiders failing to cover as 6-point underdogs in Saturday’s 26-19 loss to the Bengals and the game staying under the total of 48½ when Derek Carr threw an interception on fourth and goal at the Cincinnati 9 with 17 seconds left.

“We had a lot of Raiders action come in on that game, so having the Bengals win and keeping that game under was the best case for us,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “I think everybody expected them to tie it or pull it out at the end. That’s been their M.O. They kind of became the cardiac kids.”

BetMGM also won on the Bengals, but the SuperBook needed the Raiders, mostly because of a bettor placing a six-figure straight bet on Cincinnati and a six-figure parlay of the Bengals and over.

“One of our big players had some parlays with Cincinnati and the over,” Kornegay said. “So, despite him hitting the Cincinnati side, it was a pretty solid day for us.”

There was two-way action at BetMGM and Station on the Bills’ 47-17 blowout of the Patriots as 4½-point favorites. But it was a good result for the SuperBook.

“Believe it or not, we did OK with the Bills,” Kornegay said. “A lot of people had the Patriots on the money line.”

Bettors win big on Bucs

Tom Brady and Tampa Bay delivered the biggest win of the weekend for bettors as they cruised to a 31-15 victory and cover over the Eagles after closing as a 7-point favorites. The Buccaneers led 31-0 before allowing two late scores.

“That was the worst game of the postseason for us so far,” Esposito said.

Another good result for the books was the 49ers-Cowboys game staying under the total of 51½.

“We were definitely under fans,” Esposito said.

Packers-49ers

Green Bay is a 5½-point favorite over San Francisco at the SuperBook in Saturday’s divisional round playoff game at Lambeau Field, and the total is 47.

“The Niners will be on a short week, and it will be their third straight road game,” Esposito said. “It’s hard to go against the Packers. For me, Lambeau Field is the toughest place to play in the NFL and the largest home-field advantage. My guess is we’ll see that number go up.”

It’s uncertain if defensive starters Fred Warner and Nick Bosa will return from injuries suffered Sunday.

“The 49ers are a very solid team. But they’re kind of banged up going into Green Bay,” Kornegay said. “Playing Green Bay is going to be a different story. The Packers are clearly the best team in the league.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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