NFL replacement officials draw ire of sports bettors

Share with:
Two NFL referees disagree on what they saw

Update: US released a statement clarifying that it would not be refunding Green Bay Packers wagers. The refund promo that was announced on sports sites such as Yahoo Sports, NY Times, and NESN now say the offer applies to NFL bettors outside of the US.

Monday Night Football controversy has bankrupted some gamblers, and left an entire nation of Green Bay Packers fans to sulk around the office Tuesday morning. With time expiring, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson heaved a 24-yard pass into the end zone, and that's where it got complicated. To most observers, including the ESPN broadcast team, Green Bay defender MD Jennings intercepted the ball at its highest point and cradled the ball to the ground.

Tell that to the NFL replacement officials. One referee signaled touchdown. One signaled time expired. All 67,000 fans in attendance at Qwest Field erupted. A replay would ensue, but it was not meant to be for Green Bay Packers fans, nor sports bettors banking on both a pointspread and moneyline win. Seattle would ultimately prevail 14-12. It seemed that the score line might end 13-12, until somebody reminded the officials that the game cannot end until an extra point was attempted. Eleven and a half minutes later, the Packers returned to the field to complete the game. An argument made by some online bloggers has been that in instances of simultaneous possession, the offensive player is always awarded the ball, which would have been the logic the replacement refs ruled by; we can only hope. However, according to the NFL rule book, simultaneous possession only applies when both defender and receiver each make contact with the ball in the air and bring it the ground. The TV replay appeared to clearly show GB defender Jennings catching the ball, only to have it pawed desperately by Seattle receiver Golden Tate. The blown call not only undermined the integrity of the NFL, following three weeks of replacement ref controversy, it also caused an alleged $250 million swing for Las Vegas Casinos. According to a report by ESPN, John Avello, sportsbook director at the Wynn had the following to say: "The shift was 100 percent. After the (Seahawks) score, all bets were reversed." In addition to disgruntled NFL sports bettors in Las Vegas, millions of sports bettors that wager online are reeling. SBRForum users clamored for online sportsbooks to issue refunds. Heritage Sportsbook (SBR rating A) did the next best thing, deciding to issue anyone who bet the Packers with a freeplay relative to their risk amount. Heritage management confirmed to SBR that the controversial ending swung the night's profits substantially. For sports bettors, this feels a lot like the disputed ending of the Steelers vs Dolphins game in 2010, where a blown call resulted in Miami being robbed of a touchdown as time expired. There was less public backlash, as the Steelers were prohibitive favorites in the game; however, Miami Dolphins backers were left feeling that the gambling gods were unhappy with them. Green Bay Packers fans and bettors are feeling the same way. Related: D- rated looks to gain good press Follow on twitter. SBR has been the leading online sportsbook industry watchdog since 1999. Players in need of assistance may write to This report was authored by SBR Lou Moretti,

Poster's Poll
675 Pts
665 Pts
380 Pts
310 Pts
165 Pts

Contact Us