Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's 35-yard heave to Anquan Boldin for a touchdown with 13 seconds to play didn't impact the outcome of the Lions' 31-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, but it was anything but meaningless in Las Vegas. According to NBC broadcaster Al Michaels, it was "overwhelming."
Stafford's touchdown pass pushed the game over the total of 50.5.
With the Packers leading 31-17, Michaels, known for his veiled sports betting references during broadcasts, said the score was "just a little bit under where some folks would like to see this one wind up."
As Stafford's pass went into the air, Michaels said, "A few hearts are beating across the country right now," and then he quipped "that was overwhelming" after Boldin hauled in the touchdown among a host of Green Bay defenders.
The play produced a mixed reaction at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Out in the book, bettors who had the over erupted. Back in the sportsbook offices, bookmakers groaned.
"I can safely say that it doubled our losses," SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. "I didn't throw anything last night and I didn't curse, but I definitely bowed my head, shook my head."
It was a tough ending to an overall successful day for Las Vegas sportsbooks. Jason Simbal, vice president of risk for sportsbook operator CG Technology, said the late Detroit touchdown cost his shop around $150,000.
"We were going to lose either way [on Packers-Lions]," Simbal said in a text message, "but that score made it $120,000-$150,000 worse."
At William Hill's Nevada sportsbook, 65 percent of the money and 74 percent of the bets were on the over. The Lions' late touchdown also brought teasers on the Lions back into play, adding to the damage for the books.
Jay Rood, MGM's vice president of race and sports, said the late touchdown was "really bad" for his shop, calling it "typical" for this football season, which hasn't been as profitable as usual for Nevada's books.
Nevada sportsbooks won $19.1 million in November, according to gaming control numbers released last week. It was the 40th consecutive month the books have come out ahead, but it was a significant decrease (55.17 percent) from last November.
The books won $6.64 million on football, both professional and college, in November, a 77.13 percent decrease from last season.
In the first three months of football's regular season, the books were up $73.64 million, down 12 percent from the same three months in 2015.
Approximately $1.02 billion was bet on football at Nevada books from September through November this year, $80 million less than the same three-month stretch last season and the lowest amount since 2012.