Kicking is for losers.
The oddsmakers at the Westgate sportsbook are fond of that phrase. It certainly rang true Sunday when the Cowboys, trailing by a touchdown late in their game at New England, opted for a field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-7 from the Patriots 11.
That gutless call by coach Jason Garrett with 6:04 left essentially cost Dallas the game in a 13-9 loss and cost countless New England bettors a cover as the Patriots closed as consensus 5½-point favorites.
Ironically, the ill-fated decision to kick gave the Westgate its biggest win of NFL Sunday.
“We’re thankful that when the Cowboys need to go for it, they don’t,” Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “(Fox analyst Troy) Aikman was saying that they still need to score a touchdown. That was a bad decision, as the football game goes. But it ended up being a major decision for us.
“If they would’ve went for it like they were supposed to, we probably would’ve been paying out Patriots tickets rather than Cowboys tickets.”
Following Brett Maher’s 29-yard field goal, Dallas forced a New England punt, then turned it over on downs at the Patriots’ 25.
New England bettors were yelling for a 32-yard field goal try on fourth down with five seconds left. But coach Bill Belichick opted to try to run out the clock by having Tom Brady loft a pass out of the end zone.
Surprisingly, there was one second left on the clock, giving Dallas the ball at its own 15 and Patriots bettors hope that they’d return a botched lateral for a score and miracle cover.
Dak Prescott threw a short pass to Michael Gallup, but he was tackled before he could attempt a lateral.
“Usually the team that has the most field goals loses on the field,” Kornegay said. “But at the betting counter, kicking can turn you into winners. And it did in this case.”
It also made a big winner out of an MGM Resorts bettor who won $100,000 on a halftime straight bet on the Cowboys plus 1½ (the teams tied 3-3 in the second half). The bettor pushed on a $100,000 halftime money-line wager on Dallas.
Jets boost books
Las Vegas books won big on the Jets, who rolled to a 34-3 win over the Raiders as 3½-point home underdogs.
Oakland (6-5), which saw its three-game win streak end, was in a tough spot having to travel across the country for a body-clock game against a New York team that has won three straight after a 1-7 start.
“People tend to migrate to the perceived better team,” Kornegay said. “But there are so many other factors outside of the actual records of these teams.”
The Redskins, who defeated the Lions 19-16, delivered another big win for the books.
Bettors won big on the Seahawks, who moved from 3-point underdogs to 1-point favorites over the Eagles and were in control most of the way in a 17-9 road win.
Sharp bettors were all over the Buccaneers, who beat the Falcons 35-22 as 3½-point road underdogs.
An MGM Resorts bettor won $240,000 on a $200,000 three-team teaser on Tampa Bay +11 and Over 44½ and the Browns -3½. The bettor could’ve hit a three-team parlay as Cleveland cruised to a 41-24 win and cover over the Dolphins as 10½-point favorites.
Another MGM gambler won $100,000 on the Seahawks and has a $100,000 Seahawks-Ravens parlay riding that pays $250,000. The bettor also has a $150,000 straight bet riding to win $125,000 on the Ravens (-3, -120) over the Rams on Monday night. The same bettor lost a $100,000 Seahawks-Ravens-Packers parlay when Green Bay lost 37-8 to the 49ers on Sunday night as a 3-point underdog.
A high roller at William Hill sportsbook lost $480,000 after going 1-2 ATS on three $440,000 straight bets. The bettor won $400,000 on Tampa Bay but lost $440,000 each on the Eagles and Broncos, a 20-3 loser at Buffalo as 4-point underdogs.
The Bears were 6-point favorites over the Giants and leading 19-7 in the fourth quarter when New York put together a 97-yard TD drive for a backdoor cover. Facing fourth-and-18 at the Chicago 23, Daniel Jones fired a 23-yard TD pass to Golden Tate to make it 19-14 with 4:10 left and turn Bears tickets into trash.
Underdogs went 6-5-1 ATS on Sunday with three outright wins (Jets, Buccaneers, Redskins). Unders went 7-5.
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