Todd Gurley had a clear path to the end zone to seal the Rams’ win and likely cover against the Packers with less than a minute left Sunday when he suddenly slammed on the brakes at the 4-yard line.
It was a smart decision by Gurley, who enabled Los Angeles to run out the clock in its 29-27 victory. But it was torture if you bet on the Rams, who closed as 7½-point favorites after the line opened at 8½ as Pros and Joes alike backed the Packers in a big way.
It also was a bad beat if you bet on the over, which closed at 57, not to mention Gurley’s fantasy football owners.
“Man, forget fantasy,” Gurley said with a grin. “Forget Vegas. We got the win, so that’s all that matters.”
The unlikely ending resulted in a swing of more than $1 million in favor of bettors at Las Vegas sports books: mid-six figures at MGM Resorts and William Hill, six figures at the Westgate and just shy of six figures at Caesars Entertainment.
The Rams recovered a fumble on the kickoff following Greg Zuerlein’s go-ahead 34-yard FG with 2:05 to go. They had a third-and-1o at the 21 when Gurley raced around left end, before stopping short of the goal line after picking up a first down.
“The game closed all the way down to 7½ but I think everyone in the room had the Rams, because you could hear a holler when he went down,” The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback said.
A similar scene played out at Caesars Palace.
“I haven’t heard such a mixed reaction in the book probably since the Super Bowl,” Caesars Entertainment sports book director Bill Sattler said. “There were a lot of moans and groans and cheers. That’s a bad beat for a lot of people.”
Aaron Rodgers opened as the biggest underdog of his career and the Packers were the No. 1 consensus pick in the Westgate SuperContest and SuperContest Gold.
“That was the heaviest bet game of the day,” Westgate sports book vice president Jay Kornegay said.
The SuperContest consensus top five went 5-0 ATS with the Packers, Eagles, Redskins, Seahawks and Bears.
MGM Resorts bettor wins big
MGM Resorts also lost big on the Colts and Bears. A big bettor won five high five-figure wagers on the point spread and money line on Chicago and two high five-figure bets each on Indianapolis and the Saints.
The Bears closed as 8-point favorites in a 24-10 win over the Jets. The Colts closed as 3½-point favorites in a 42-28 victory over the Raiders.
“We need the Vikings to avert a disastrous day,” Stoneback said before the Sunday night game. “No matter what happens with this game, it will still be our worst Sunday (of the season).”
The Saints opened as 2½-point underdogs and closed as 2½-point favorites in a 30-20 victory over the Vikings.
Chiefs fall to 7-1 ATS
The Chiefs suffered their first loss against the spread this season, failing to cover as 8-point favorites in a 30-23 win over the Broncos. Brandon McManus kicked a 36-yard FG with 1:48 remaining to give Denver bettors one of several back door covers on the day.
Back door beats
The Buccaneers broke down the back door behind backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who tied the Bengals 34-34 on an 18-yard TD pass to O.J. Howard on fourth down (and two-point pass) with 1:05 left.
Cincinnati bettors lost on the hook when it won 37-34 on Randy Bullock’s 34-yard FG as time expired after closing as a 3½-point favorite.
Arizona rallied for an 18-15 win and back door cover over the 49ers when Josh Rosen threw a go-ahead 9-yard TD pass to Christian Kirk (and two-point pass) with 34 seconds left.
Bettor wins big on Boston
A DraftKings sports book bettor in New Jersey won $325,000 on a $500,000 wager he placed on his mobile app on Boston to win the World Series. The Red Sox eliminated the Dodgers in five games with Sunday’s 5-1 win.
Duffel Bag Bettor
The Duffel Bag Bettor lost $400,000 Saturday at MGM Resorts and William Hill on wagers involving Purdue, which lost 23-13 at Michigan State as a 2½-point favorite. The bettor lost a $120,000 straight bet on the Boilermakers and a $50,000 Purdue-Clemson parlay at the MGM. He lost a $100,000 straight bet on Purdue, a $100,000 Purdue-Clemson parlay and a $30,000 Purdue-Clemson-Houston parlay at William Hill.
Clemson and Houston each covered easily.
The Westgate and Station Casinos sports books have each posted the line and total on the upcoming Rams-Chiefs “Monday Night Football” game on Nov. 19 in Mexico City.
The Rams are favored by 3 at the Westgate and by 4 at Station. The total is 63½ at the Westgate and 61½ at Station.
Gurley doesn’t care.