An overturned touchdown in the final minute of Iowa’s loss to Wisconsin turned out to be meaningless to the game, but it also may have won a lot of money for gamblers who placed bets in Las Vegas.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, 20% of all the money that was bet on Saturday’s college football games was being bet on the Big Ten matchup between Iowa and No. 10 Wisconsin in Iowa City. And of those bets, 93% were on Wisconsin to win by more than 3.5-4.5 points, depending on when and where the bets were placed.
Wisconsin had lost two games in a row, but those two loses were by a total of 14 points to the No. 2 (Ohio State) and No. 3 (Michigan) teams in the country. Based on that, a lot of gamblers liked Wisconsin to win easily against 5-2 Iowa.
With less than a minute to go in the game, Iowa trailed by 11, needing a touchdown with a two-point conversion and a field goal to tie. On second down, from the Wisconsin seven-yard line, Iowa threw what seemed like a touchdown.
If Iowa could add the two-point conversion, they would close the gap to three points. The only way they wouldn’t cover the point spread at that point would be if they recovered an onside kick, kicked a game-tying field goal, and then lost by a touchdown in overtime.
But hold on. Officials reviewed the play.
Did the ball move when it touched the ground as the receiver was rolling over?
The officials determined that there was enough evidence that the ball did move and that the receiver did not maintain control of the ball.
The ruling on the field was reversed: no touchdown.
Two plays later, Iowa would settle for the field goal, still needing two scores to force overtime.
In the end, the replay turned out to be meaningless because Iowa failed to recover the onside kick and they never got a chance for the second score. But it did mean that Wisconsin won by eight points instead of three and nearly 20% of all the gamblers who bet on Saturday’s games were happy Iowa never got a chance at the two-point conversion.
That is a bad beat for the Vegas sports books.
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