Bettors benefit from last-second touchdowns by Eagles, Falcons

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Monday, December 16, 2019

A pair of last-play bad beats benefited the betting public for a change and had bookmakers going, "Oh, no" on another wild NFL Sunday.

The Philadelphia Eagles, who were 6.5-point favorites over the Washington Redskins, took a four-point lead with 26 seconds to play and then returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown that covered the spread as time expired in a 37-27 win.

Later in the afternoon, the underdog Atlanta Falcons scored two touchdowns in the final eight seconds of an upset win over the San Francisco 49ers. After taking a 23-22 lead with two seconds to play, Atlanta recovered a fumble on a multilateral kickoff return by San Francisco and scored a touchdown that pushed the game over the 49.5-point over/under total in the Falcons' 29-22 win.

The endings in Washington and San Francisco were especially dramatic for a bettor in Las Vegas, who placed a $200, nine-leg parlay that included the Eagles and was capped by the over in the Falcons-49ers game. The bettor, who placed the parlay at the CG Technology sportsbook at The Cosmopolitan, won $75,000.

"I had my head down at the end of the Eagles game, and I heard one of the guys say, 'Oh, no,'" CG Technology head of risk Tony DiTommaso said. "It was about a $150,000 swing [against the book], and the Niners [over] really cost us on the parlay cards."

"We did a double-take when we saw how much we lost on parlays to the Niners game," CG Technology oddsmaker Dave Sharapan said. "Then, we figured out why."

The Eagles' ending caused by far the bigger swing at sportsbooks, though. On Sunday morning, multiple bookmakers reported lopsided betting action on Philadelphia and needing underdog Washington to cover the spread in one of their biggest decisions of the day.

At The Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey, 92% of the money bet on the game was on the Eagles. Philadelphia was not covering the spread at any point of the game -- until linebacker Nigel Bradham scooped upDwayne Haskins' fumble, rumbled down the field and dove into the end zone with no time on the clock.

"That last-second Eagles play ended up costing us dearly," Tom Gable, sportsbook director at The Borgata, told ESPN. "The entire book erupted when that play took place."

Hold your condolences for the bookmakers for now, though. In a not-so-surprising twist, several sportsbooks said they were able to overcome the bad beats and were looking at a near-break-even day.