NFL Nervous About Controversial Chargers Steelers Game?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Chargers vs. Steelers

Talk continued Wednesday about the controversial call during Sunday's San Diego Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game.  Consider among those that had the Steelers playing in a cold blustery game against San Diego. Sports bettors believe that the Steelers should have covered the 4 to 5 points allowed.

Winners turned into losers and losers ended up winning from the sports betting community when a game that should have ended up 17-10 or 18-10 instead went into the record books as the first 11-10 final in NFL history. Though the score made no difference in the win and loss column, it did in the wallets of a lot of bettors on the Las Vegas Strip.

"Anyone who had a bet on the Pittsburgh side and thought they had won weren't too happy," said John Avello, director of the race and sports book at the Wynn resort.

A mistake by the officials on the final play of the game between the Steelers and San Diego Chargers didn't alter the outcome. But it did mean bettors who thought they had won money on the game actually lost, while those who thought they had lost ended up winning.

The Steelers were favored by 4 points, meaning the apparent touchdown scored by the Steelers' Troy Polamalu on the last play of the game made the difference between Pittsburgh covering the point spread or not. When the touchdown was disallowed, Pittsburgh bettors who thought they had won on a fluke on the last play were left holding worthless tickets.

"On the final play of Sunday's game between the Chargers and Steelers, Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu returned a loose ball 12 yards for a defensive touchdown," the league said in a statement Monday. "After an instant replay review and crew conference, the on-field ruling of touchdown was incorrectly reversed to no touchdown due to an illegal forward pass by San Diego.

"The incorrect reversal of the on-field ruling of touchdown was acknowledged immediately following the game by referee Scott Green in the pool report interview with a representative of the media."

Gary Peterson of writes that "Estimates vary on the amount of money wagered on the game, from a few million to the gross national product of Peru. But there seems to be consensus that roughly two-thirds of that dough was bet on Pittsburgh to cover."

We'll lean more towards the gross national product of Peru.  While this was not among the more heavily bet on games heading into Sunday, gamblers won big on the Arizona, New York Giants and Tennessee early games.  Traditionally, when the public enjoys big wins during the first half of the day, they pour those winnings into late games, hence, the reason why San Diego vs. Pittsburgh got so much action in the end.

The NFL incidentally has been one of the primary forces in trying to have sports gambling on the Net outlawed.  They have hired powerful lobbying firms on their behalf. 


Christopher Costigan, Publisher 

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