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Rams’ meaningless FG for cover vs. 49ers surprises sportsbooks

The game was over.

The Rams trailed the 49ers 30-20 with four seconds left and no time for a comeback when Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford spiked the ball at the San Francisco 20-yard line.

But the point-spread result was still in doubt, as the 49ers closed at -7 at some sportsbooks and -7½ at others.

In a baffling decision that dealt a bad beat to San Francisco bettors and gave many Rams bettors a backdoor cover, Los Angeles coach Sean McVay opted for a 38-yard field goal as time expired in the 49ers’ 30-23 win.

“The game that kind of saved the day for us was the miracle cover by the Rams,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “The fact that they kicked a field goal knowing time would run out when they did it was a huge swing for us.”

The otherwise meaningless field goal also was a good result for Caesars Sportsbook, where most of the money was on the 49ers and the line closed at 7.

“That definitely helped us,” Caesars assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “We had some puzzled looks in the trading room on why that happened. Obviously, if they were going to kick a field goal, they should’ve did it the play before.”

Needing two scores to tie, the Rams could’ve spiked the ball on third-and-2 at the 37 and tried a 54-yard field goal with 19 seconds left.

The Westgate SuperBook and South Point sportsbook each took a hit on the play.

“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.”

SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said his book took some action on the Rams +7½ before the line closed at 7.

“I don’t know how they could possibly think they’re going to get two scores there,” he said. “It’s tough to explain. But I can’t imagine them thinking that they were going to kick it to cover. Maybe it was for stats. I don’t know.”

It’s all over

Overs are 12-2 in Week 2 after unders went 12-4 in Week 1. Besides Miami’s 24-17 win over New England (total 46½) on “Sunday Night Football,” the only other game that went under Sunday was the Chiefs’ 17-9 victory over the Jaguars — a matchup that had the day’s highest total at 50½.

“People love to just parlay over, over, over,” Pullen said. “But it looks like we’ll have a decent day even with the totals one-sided in favor of the over.”

The SuperBook, Station and South Point also reported winning days before losing on the Patriots (+2).

“We need the Patriots here pretty good,” Andrews said before the game. “If they win, we’ll be OK. If they don’t, we’ll probably lose for the day.”

Paying the Bills

A week after the Raiders rewarded bettors in their season-opening win at Denver, they squandered an early 7-0 lead in a 38-10 blowout loss at Buffalo.

Sharp bettors and the betting public both backed the Raiders, who closed as 7½-point underdogs after the line opened as high as 10.

The Bills delivered the biggest win of the day for the South Point, and Station and Caesars — which took a $100,000 bet on the Raiders +7½ — also won on the game.

“This is one of the weeks where it’s really kind of magnified having the Raiders lose and not cover,” Esposito said. “It’s tough when you start the season with back-to-back road games. It was a very difficult spot to go to Buffalo after the way they started against the Jets.

“The Raiders will be happy to be home 1-1.”

The Steelers opened as 1½-point favorites over the Raiders at the SuperBook on “Sunday Night Football” at Allegiant Stadium.

Giant comeback

Underdogs went 8-5 against the spread with five outright wins. The Titans (+2½, beat Chargers 27-24 in overtime) were the biggest winner for the Westgate, and the Seahawks (+4½, beat Lions 37-31 in OT) were the biggest for Station.

The Cardinals, who covered as 4½-point underdogs in a 31-28 loss to the Giants, were one of the biggest winners for Caesars, which took a $220,000 wager on New York -4.

But 1,292 Circa Survivor entries are certainly elated that the Giants simply won after trailing 20-0 at halftime and 28-7 with less than 10 minutes left in the third quarter, when they were 9-1 on the live money line at Caesars.

New York, which lost 40-0 to Dallas in its opener, exploded for touchdowns on their first four possessions in the second half before winning on Graham Gano’s 34-yard field goal with 19 seconds left.

Caesars took live bets on the Giants of $3,000 to win $22,500 (+750) and $4,000 to win $18,000 (+450).

“When a favorite is down big and comes back,” Pullen said, “that’s usually not good for the house.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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