Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes slipped at the New York Jets’ 2-yard line to secure a 23-20 victory over the Jets on Sunday night, a decision that was worth tens of millions of dollars at sportsbooks across the country moved.
The Chiefs finished as 8-point favorites over the Jets and received overwhelming support from the sportsbook betting public. An hour before kickoff, 91% of the bets and 84% of the money staked at Caesars Sportsbook were on the game’s point spread on Kansas City. BetMGM and DraftKings also reported heavy action against the Chiefs.
A Mahomes touchdown and extra point would have put the Chiefs ahead by 10 points, enough to cover the margin with under two minutes to play. Instead, he made the heady play to give himself up, allowing the Chiefs to hunker down, wait out the final seconds and secure the win.
Bookmakers knew early last week that they would need the Jets to make a big decision in Sunday night’s game. All week long, the betting public’s money flowed towards the Chiefs, who opened as 9.5-point away favorites over the Jets. But some big bets from smart bettors caused the line to shift in the Jets’ favor in the hours before kickoff.
Caesars said it took a $350,000 bet and a $240,556 bet on the Jets +8.5 on Sunday – and still had a one-sided game against the Chiefs.
“The Jets have made a lot of money, but we’re still rooting for them,” Adam Pullen, associate director of Caesars Sportsbook, said Sunday shortly after the game kicked off.
The Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 lead but held on to a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter of the hard-fought game.
The selected primetime games almost always generate the most bets and the biggest decisions for sportsbooks because of the high probability of betting throughout the day. At some sportsbooks, Kansas City was featured in more bets than any other team.
Pullen said the Chiefs’ coverage of the spread resulted in the best Sunday of the season so far for the betting public. A clever move by Mahomes prevented this.
At SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, SuperBook CEO Nico Sfanos said sports betting customers “went crazy” when Mahomes decided to slide.
“A lot of swearing comes from the guests who always bet on the favorite in prime-time games,” Sfanos told ESPN.
“[I] “I sent all the writers home early,” Sfanos joked, “because there weren’t any.” [Jets] Tickets to cash.”