With the Rams trailing 30-20 and four seconds left in the game, coach Sean McVay knew his team had no chance of winning. But he decided to make the loss a little closer, and that had a big impact in the betting world.
McVay sent the field goal team onto the field for a meaningless final field goal that made the final score 49ers 30, Rams 23. It wasn’t meaningless, however, to gamblers and sports books, because the 49ers were favored by 7 points at some sports books and 7.5 points at others. That meant the meaningless field goal changed the result from 49ers bettors winning to either a push or Rams bettors winning.
Some casinos were thrilled and some were angry at McVay, depending on whether they took more bets on the Rams or 49ers.
“The game that kind of saved the day for us was the miracle cover by the Rams,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The fact that they kicked a field goal knowing time would run out when they did it was a huge swing for us.”
“The Rams’ field goal at the end killed us,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said. “I don’t know what they were thinking, but that hurt us.”
McVay wasn’t asked about the decision at his postgame press conference, so we’re not sure if he was aware of the point spread or not. But McVay’s call was, to a certain segment of the NFL audience, the most monumental coaching decision of Week Two.