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Phantom Touchdown In NFL Game Causes Estimated $300 Million Shift In Las Vegas Sportsbooks

Blown Call By Replacement Refs On MNF Changes Sportsbook Payouts


NFL Refs Disagree On Final Play Of The GameNot only did Monday’s phantom touchdown call on the last play of the game cost an NFL team a victory, but it also managed to swing an estimated $300 million in sports bets in another direction, according to the Associated Press.

Monday Night Football’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks was a grind-it-out, low-scoring affair and heading into the final play, it looked like odds makers got it right by making the Packers a 3.5 point favorite.

Trailing 12-7 and looking for a touchdown, rookie Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled and then threw a hail Mary pass into the end zone intended for wide receiver Golden Tate. After illegally pushing a defender out of the way, Tate got a hand on the ball, but not before Packers safety M.D. Jennings had intercepted the pass.

Both players came down with the ball in bounds, confusing the referees, who had replaced the original NFL officials before the start of the season due to a union strike. With one ref signaling touchdown and the other signaling an interception, the play was then reviewed with instant replay. Inexplicably, despite numerous angles and the NFL rulebook at their disposal, the refs still got it wrong, awarding the Seahawks the points and the 14-12 victory.

A five-point loss that favored Packers bettors was now a two-point victory that favored Seahawks bettors. On one play, the officials determined the fate of a reported $300 million in sports bets and got it wrong, angering thousands of gamblers.

The Packers were not only the favorite entering the game, they were also the favorite with the bettors as well, reportedly taking in an additional $150 million in wagers. When the officials upheld the ruling on the field of a touchdown, that $150 million was then shifted towards the various sports books, creating the $300 million swing.

One website, has decided to email Packers bettors to issue a refund. Site odds maker Russ Candler was quoted as saying, “I can’t stand winning unfairly.” Though some Las Vegas sports books have issued statements offering sympathy over the outcome of the NFL game, they are unlikely to issue any refunds.

Take a look at the controversial play below.

Credit: Photo by Otto Greule/Getty Images



over 9 years ago

sports books make there money on the vig. thats why they move the point spread to get the bets on both teams at the same level. If they actually were holding 150 in bets on Seattle to cover and the Packers had won how many sports book would have opened on Tuesday morning.