- The Denver Nuggets lost to the Utah Jazz on Sunday 129-127.
- While the Nuggets were losers, those that bet them against the spread were winners, thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Jamal Murray.
- Murray’s three was “meaningless” to the final outcome of the game, but for some bettors, it was a shot worth a five- or even six-figure swing when it came to their bets, as the Nuggets had been 3.5-point underdogs.
- Betting on the spread in basketball can lead to crazy outcomes, as sometimes the shots that don’t mean anything to the players on the court mean the most to those betting at home.
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Jamal Murray hit a three-pointer at the buzzer that meant little to the Nuggets on Sunday but meant the world to a few lucky bettors who had backed Denver as underdogs against the Utah Jazz.
With just 6.8 seconds left, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell made his final free throw to push Utah’s lead to 129-124, all but assuring victory for his team, but bettors on both sides of the game were still sweating the outcome.
The Jazz entered the game as 3.5-point favourites, meaning that bettors backing Utah had to see their team win by four points or more to cash their bets. Conversely, the Nuggets needed only to keep the game within three points in order to give bettors backing them a win.
While the game’s outcome was already sealed, Nuggets bettors still had a chance for a miracle in the final possession of the game. Murray provided it, running the length of the floor and drilling his ninth three-pointer of the game. The bucket meant the game ended as a 129-127 victory for the Jazz, with the Nuggets covering the spread as 3.5-point underdogs.
Jazz (-3.5) bettors look away. ????
Nuggets (+3.5) bettors rejoice. ✅
Jamal Murray drills the fade-away three at the buzzer to reach 50 points and secure the backdoor cover for Denver backers.pic.twitter.com/eQJVag8X1Z
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) August 24, 2020
For some bettors, Murray’s “meaningless” bucket was worth well over five figures.
Patrick Eichner, director of communications for PointsBet, told Insider that one bettor on the site had a $US30,000 wager on the Nuggets to cover, meaning Murray’s final three was nearly a $US60,000 swing in their favour.
Adrienne Prather-Marcos, head of public relations at William Hill, told Insider that the biggest bet the company took on the game was a $US12,000 wager on the Nuggets as 4-point dogs. Murray’s shot turned that bettor’s night from a $US12,000 loss into a $US10,000 win.
BetMGM also had some big money swing on the Nuggets final basket,with Yahoo reporting that one bettor had placed two bets worth a combined $US115,000 on Denver, and had their wallet saved thanks to Murray.
While those big bettors were thanking Murray for hitting that bail-out three in the final seconds, not everyone was a winner on the shot.
As Prather-Marcos told Insider, 63% of the game’s spread money had been bet on the Jazz, meaning the house came out on top despite the one bettor hitting big. Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports at the WestGate Las Vegas SuperBook, told Insider that Murray’s shot was “good for us.”
Murray’s three is just the latest wild shot to prove one of the strangest aspects of betting the spread in basketball – sometimes, the “meaningless” shots are the most meaningful of all.
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