Sportsbooks Say a ‘Hail Mary’ After Crazy NFL Finish

Posted on: November 16, 2020, 01:19h. 

Last updated on: November 17, 2020, 08:11h.

The Arizona Cardinals shocked the Buffalo Bills on a Hail Mary on Sunday, providing a stunning and welcome result at sportsbooks on a day when the favorites dominated the NFL schedule. It saved at least one book from a bad day.

Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins
Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins makes a leaping catch for the game-winning touchdown against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. (Image: Patrick Breen/Arizona Republic)

“That was insane,” said Andrew Mannino, the senior sports content analyst at PointsBet, to

Buffalo led 30-26 when Arizona snapped the ball with 11 seconds remaining. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray rolled out to the left, escaped a sack, and flung the ball into the end zone. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins made a leaping catch in the end zone between three defenders for a 43-yard touchdown that put Arizona in front 32-30.

Winning But Losing

While it was an exhilarating ending for Cardinals fans, it wound up being a bad beat for Cardinals bettors. Arizona was a 2.5-point favorite.

With a successful extra-point kick, the Cardinals would have won 33-30 and covered the spread, and the 73 percent of spread bettors who sided with the Cardinals would have won. Instead, they lined up for a two-point conversion, Murray took a knee and the game was over.

That was right on the line of the spread. It was unbelievable,” Mannino said. “They kneeled on the extra point with the line closing at 2.5, so that was a pretty remarkable play. That half a point really helped us out a lot.”

Indeed, that was a key result in an otherwise poor week at PointsBet. In the first wave of games, the only upset was the New York Giants’ 27-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. That was bad news, with the public siding with the favorites. It was the same story in the afternoon, with the favorites winning every game, and only the Cardinals failing to cover.

Coming to the rescue on Sunday night were the New England Patriots. The Baltimore Ravens were 7-point favorites and had 90 percent of the tickets, but were shocked at New England 23-17.

It was a pretty tough week for us overall. Ravens-Patriots stopped it from being a much worse day,” Mannino said. “I just can’t figure this Ravens team out, or the Patriots. They went toe-to-toe with the Jets down to the wire, and then the next week they take out Baltimore. It’s a crazy season, for sure.”

Baltimore-New England, as is typically the case for Sunday night games, was the most-bet sporting event of the weekend.

“We get a lot of action on any Sunday night, but especially when people see it as a one-sided game,” Mannino said.

Monday Night Monsters

In the Monday night game, the Minnesota Vikings (3-5) will play at the Chicago Bears (5-4). While the so-called Monsters of the Midway are at home and have the better record, Minnesota is a 3-point favorite after two consecutive impressive wins.

“The Vikings are headed back on the right track and bettors are seeing that,” Mannino said. “Chicago’s another kind of mystery. I think people are struggling with their quarterback situation. It’s a fairly split game, and no one’s certain of what’s going to happen, which means we’re not too stressed on the result one way or the other.”

On the spread, the Vikings have 55 percent of the money. On the moneyline, the Bears have attracted 57 percent of the money. The total is 44 points, with 61 percent taking the over.