No doubt all bettors will ever forget Redskins-Chiefs Monday Night Football
We all have forever habits we're stuck with. Like reading the Sunday newspaper or selecting one specific foot to put a shoe on first. And for most of us that list also includes betting the Monday Night Football game.
Unfortunately, over the past five or six years since the emperors of the NFL have cultivated Sunday Night Football, the team match-ups have been cast to second class status. It's almost as if the wagering week begins on Monday night instead of ends there with the birth of "Thursday Night Football" about five years ago. I suppose that's up to public opinion with no specific right answer. What the NFL and its commissioner does know is that Sunday Night Football is now "the get-out game" for gamblers. The end of an intense long wagering day to either seal a prosperous afternoon or pray to save a disastrous one.
Double Tribe Headliner
Monday night October 2nd promised a relatively interesting and competitive inter-conference matchup between the Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs. Two teams in the playoffs last season and two teams with reasonable shot to return there again this year. Also, ironically an opportunity for Native American activists to protest offensive war chants heard throughout the night for both sides. "Arrowhead Stadium" is traditionally a very loud site similar to Seattle but with the Chiefs coming in undefeated, this game promised to be extra wild on a Monday night in front of a national audience.
That was quieted quickly with the Redskins taking a 10-7 halftime lead. Most preferred offshore sportsbooks had the line cemented at -7 almost from inception. It stayed there to kickoff at a variety of the most popular wagering sites including BetOnline, Bovada and BookMaker. For totals players the game opened at 49.5 but as a consensus at most sportsbooks closed late at 48 to 48.5 at a few. The feeling overall, was this wasn't Kansas City's night and an overall upset was brewing. That meant all money invested on the Chiefs, including all outright win bets with teasers as well. For totals players it looked like a bet on Under was a very solid investment.
In the first half reliable Chiefs QB Alex Smith wasn't particularly sharp and had to rely on a rookie kicker in Harrison Butker, who missed a field goal. The only bright spot was the Redskins weren't lighting it up either. But from a wagering perspective, looked like they had it locked up.
Second Half Hope
Chiefs bettors received some optimism in the third quarter as KC rallied to tie the score 17-17. That was good news for coach Andy Reid but soon bad news for anybody wagering on the Chiefs. Young rookie kicker Butker made his first NFL kicks to bring the Chiefs a 23-20 lead with only four lonely seconds left in the game for the Redskins. The crowd was going crazy but anyone who bet on the Chiefs -7 or who wagered Over 48 in the Total was theoretically ripping up their tickets.
In sports we remember our most popular cliché' is "it's not over until it's over". But this game may re-invent the phrase to "it's not over EVEN WHEN IT IS OVER". At least for anyone who wagered on this game. Also, a lesson to never mentally cash your tickets and as pointed out here a thousand times to shop the list of preferred sportsbooks. Proof to join at least two always giving yourself a competitive edge.
Chiefs on the "Score-Path"!!
Needing a desperation "Hail Mary" score to win, the Skins threw a screen pass and started desperately lateraling the ball all over the field. It was fumbled twice before Justin Houston picked it up and sensed the opportunity to score his second career touchdown. As Coach Reid likely had a potential heart attack along with thousands of bettors, Houston didn't do the common-sense thing of flopping on the field to end the game. He risked potentially fumbling himself while carelessly avoiding confused Redskin tacklers into the end zone for a TD.
It was an unforgettable moment of madness that even had MNF announcer Sean McDonough perplexed and motivated to comment: "this touchdown is meaningless for the Chiefs but very meaningful for some in our audience". Hint-hint. If the audience needed any more explanation he went on thirty seconds later to exclaim "I've been told the Chiefs were a seven-point favorite in this game".
But wait, it got even more thrilling than the last James Bond movie. With the game seemingly over and no time on the clock left the Chiefs were a 29-20 winner. By NFL rules, KC had the regulation option of kicking an EXTRA POINT or 2-POINT CONVERSION after the touchdown. For anyone holding a 49 or 49.5 Over/Under ticket, more agonizing suspense.
Potential Hall of Fame coach Reid decided to simply bring the team out to down the ball instead of trying either an extra point nor a 2-point conversion. Elation for some and seething anger against the coach for others while Chiefs fans (and bettors) were going wild. Please remember that he likely would have kicked an extra point had this been strictly an AFC or divisional match-up, where "playoff tie-breakers" matter by points in the fourth or fifth deciding factor. But that didn't occur to anyone who lost a night sleep on what normally would have been another forgettable Monday Night Football game.
I do hope by now if you unfortunately did bet on the Redskins or Over 49.5 you have given up your pledge to never again bet on sports or NFL football. Please keep in mind that the highly unusual (and lifetime unforgettable) game from last Monday night will likely happen again and next time it could go your way. Then you will be making a fool out of yourself dancing in front of your television late at night, instead of breaking it.
Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.