49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is the scourge (for some) of the gambling world today after a curious decision at the end of his team’s 13-6 win over the Seahawks.The point spread going into the game was either 49ers -7 or -7.5.
With 43 seconds left, the Seahawks were losing 13-6 and got penalised in their own endzone on 4th down, which is a safety if the opposing coach accepts the penalty.
So the 49ers would take the two points, win 15-6, and those who gambled on San Fran would be winners, right?
Jim Harbaugh decided to decline the penalty, took the ball at the original line or scrimmage, and kneeled out the game for the 13-6 win. Worldwide, the decision swung $75 million in bets, according to RJ Bell of Pregame.com.
Here was his reasoning (via CBS Sports):
“[I thought] that we could just knee on the ball and have the game be over. Otherwise they’ll onsides kick it and you give them a chance to win the game.”
It makes sense, but don’t tell that to angry gamblers today.
You may watch football the rest of your entire adult life and never see something like that again. Who declines a safety? Harbaugh took +7.5
— Todd Fuhrman (@ToddFuhrman) October 19, 2012
Overall, the decision didn’t cause a macro-level shift in money going in and out of sportsbooks. But it’s still a great gambling story:
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) October 19, 2012
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