Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The 66 million dollar swing.

Always fun to kick a post off with a little 'I know a guy who knows a fella'. In this case, I know a guy who knows someone in Vegas and this guy tells me that after the crazy Steelers v Chargers game on the weekend, with the Steelers having a late, late touchdown called back incorrectly, there was a borderline riot in the sports books, with people throwing chairs and tables and acting a little crazy in general.

Why so angry?

Bear in mind the line for this game as Steelers -4.5

Now put yourself in the shoes of Joe Punter, the honest, hard working guy who has put a couple of dollars on the Steelers -4.5. Maybe more than a couple. Maybe our hero, Joe Punter, felt good about the Steelers chances and, as they say in the gambling world, 'Lumped in'.

Imagine you are Joe Punter watching a game where the team you have put your hard earned money on, the Steelers, are called for thirteen, count 'em, thirteen penalties. The opposition, the Chargers? Uno. One. A single penalty. 115 yards of penalty markers as opposed to 5. That's a little lopsided. However, these things happen, right?

Continue to put yourselves in the shoes of our focal protagonist, our Joe Punter, as you watch the same game, your eager, sweaty palms clutching a ticket for a big Steelers -4.5 win over a team you know they have the better of. There's one minute left and 'Fast' Willie Parker steams in for a seemingly clinching touchdown.

Not so fast fellas;

3-4-SD 4 (:21) 39-W.Parker left tackle for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty. PENALTY on PIT-49-S.McHugh, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at SD 4 - No Play.

The play gets called back and San Diego force a turnover on downs regaining the rock at their own one yard line.

Then this happens. Put yourself in our guys shoes, and imagine his elation as this play unfolds. Watch this play and see if you can find anything wrong with it. Touchdown, right?



Wrong. Play called back. Touchdown nullified. Steelers win by one. Imagine our guy for a second, twice in the final minute you have been denied a clinching touchdown, after having been put through a game where your team lost the penalty battle 13-1.

Now pick up a chair and throw it, turn a table over. Go a little crazy. Judging by all the above, it looks like you have every right to do so.

100 million in legal bets were placed on this game in Vegas. Two thirds of those were on the Steelers. That's 66 millions dollars as opposed to 33 million on the chargers. Legal bookmakers went from minus 33 million dollars to plus 33 million dollars in the blink of a bad call. That is a 66 million dollar swing. That's what they should call this game, 'the 66 million dollar swing'.

Hey, nobody wants to imagine the NFL is fixed, but take all the above into account, and the situation certainly needs some explaining, no?

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A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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