Mad Dog Minute: Questionable gamble
Nov. 17: A lateral play at the end of the Steelers - Chargers game makes Mad Dog think something funny is up with NFL refs and gambling.
The Pittsburgh Steelers walked off the field Sunday just happy they had won.
A lot of bettors in this gambling city were more concerned by how many points they ended up winning by.
Winners turned into losers and losers ended up winning when a game that should have ended up 17-10 or 18-10 instead went into the record books as the first 11-10 final in NFL history. Though the score made no difference in the win and loss column, it did in the wallets of a lot of bettors on the Las Vegas Strip.
“Anyone who had a bet on the Pittsburgh side and thought they had won weren’t too happy,” said John Avello, director of the race and sports book at the Wynn resort.
A mistake by the officials on the final play of the game between the Steelers and San Diego Chargers didn’t alter the outcome. But it did mean bettors who thought they had won money on the game actually lost, while those who thought they had lost ended up winning.
The Steelers were favored by 4 points, meaning the apparent touchdown scored by the Steelers’ Troy Polamalu on the last play of the game made the difference between Pittsburgh covering the point spread or not. When the touchdown was disallowed, Pittsburgh bettors who thought they had won on a fluke on the last play were left holding worthless tickets.
The NFL said it is discussing with the rule-making competition committee “potential administrative improvements for replay that would help to prevent this type of mistake in the future.” That might take place before the playoffs, ESPN reported.
That presumably could include allowing officials to take a second look at controversial plays, something not now permitted under the current rules.
“On the final play of Sunday’s game between the Chargers and Steelers, Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu returned a loose ball 12 yards for a defensive touchdown,” the league said in a statement Monday. “After an instant replay review and crew conference, the on-field ruling of touchdown was incorrectly reversed to no touchdown due to an illegal forward pass by San Diego.
“The incorrect reversal of the on-field ruling of touchdown was acknowledged immediately following the game by referee Scott Green in the pool report interview with a representative of the media.”
Avello said there might have been $10 million bet on the game statewide, and many times more than that in illegal bets around the country and in offshore Internet betting sites. There was more money bet on Pittsburgh, he said, especially in parlay bets.
Though the officials later said they made a mistake in calling back the touchdown, the official score remains 11-10, and Nevada sports books paid off on the final score from Sunday.
CSN: Even if Aaron Hernandez has nothing to do with his associate's murder, it's a story the "brand-conscious" Patriots want him far away from.
NFL's top shots
A look at the best photos from Week 11, including a primal scream from Joey Porter.
2013 SNF Schedule
Check out the 2013 Sunday Night Football schedule.
Latest from ProFootballTalk
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Texans' Mt. Rushmore
ProFootballTalk: Erik Kuselias, Mike Florio and the fans agree that Andre Johnson, J.J. Watt, Arian Foster and Bob McNair belong on the Texans' Mt. Rushmore, but Frank Wycheck argues that Mario Williams deserves a spot.
Check out some of the NFL cheerleaders from across the league.