There was more than one outcome Monday night in what many are calling the NFL’s game of the year.
The first is obvious: The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns 47-42 to remain firmly in the playoff hunt with three regular-season games remaining.
But that’s not what many football fans and gambling enthusiasts were discussing afterward.
The Ravens were favored by 3 or 3.5, depending on the bookmaker, and a safety on the game’s final play moved the winning margin from 3 to 5, causing millions of dollars to change hands in an instant.
“In the last two hours, we took significant money on the Browns, when we went to 3.5,” Jason Scott, vice president of trading for BetMGM, told ESPN.
From the perspective of a Browns backer who jumped on the line when it hit 3.5, especially if that gambler was a fan of the team, this one was a killer. Cleveland tied the game late, then allowed Baltimore a desperation drive that ended with a 55-yard field goal.
That’s hurtful enough, right?
At least it’s a betting win at +3.5 or a push at +3.
But there was still one play left to make this one a historically bad beating.
It was 45-42 and two seconds remained on the clock. With the end zone 75 yards away, the Browns opted for a series of laterals in hopes of a miraculous touchdown.
What followed was a betting catastrophe – or a Christmas miracle – as the last play saw the Browns retreat in desperation toward their own end zone.
Ravens defenders closed in on Jarvis Landry, who was forced through the back of the end zone for a safety. Game over, wager finalized, tantrums and celebrations begin.