San Francisco 49ers delivered the first epic backdoor cover of the NFL season

Thursday Night Football is back!

The Los Angeles Rams against the San Francisco 49ers didn’t look like a great matchup heading into the night, but the high scoring affair was sure to captivate any sceptics watching. More importantly, the game provided gamblers on both sides with the first heart-pounding/heart-breaking backdoor cover of the year.

In short, a backdoor cover is when a team that is trailing by a lot, and seemingly has little or no chance to actually win the game, scores enough points late in the game just to cover the point spread.

On Thursday night the Niners were three-point underdogs, meaning in order for San Francisco bettors to cash their ticket, they needed the Niners to win outright or at the very least lose by less than three points. Conversely, Rams bettors were looking for Los Angeles to win the game by three or more.

Thursday night started off about as bad as you could imagine for Niners bettors, with quarterback Brian Hoyer throwing an interception deep in Niners territory just seconds into the game to hand the Rams a quick seven-point lead.

Both teams put on a scoring clinic, but the Rams never let the game out of their grasp, leading at halftime by a healthy 11-point margin with the help of three touchdowns from running back Todd Gurley.

Fast forward to eight minutes left in the fourth quarter when the Rams scored yet another touchdown to go ahead 41-26 in the final stretch of play. At this point, it seemed like it would take a miracle for the Niners to cover the spread.

But Hoyer came through, leading the Niners down the field for a touchdown in just four plays thanks to a huge catch downfield by Pierre Garcon. With five minutes left San Francisco was in striking distance, but the Rams would be just a few first downs away from ending the game.

The Rams offence didn’t get a chance as they fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff. The Niners had a short field and eventually, Carlos Hyde scored a touchdown on fourth down.

At this point, the 49ers were down 41-39 and beating the point spread. However, now thing were complicated by the pending two-point conversion. With a successful attempt, the game could be heading to overtime, or a Rams last second field goal win, both of which could have led to the Rams beating the spread again. 

Hoyer’s pass on the attempt was intercepted, and the Rams would finish the game holding on to a 41-39 lead, much to the delight of Niners bettors everywhere.

Rams bettors on the other side of the coin, went home disappointed.

The lesson, as always, is that gambling is a cruel mistress.

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