- The Seahawks came up with a miraculous backdoor cover as 2.5-point underdogs against the Cowboys.
- The cover came on a last second two-point conversion, which left the Seahawks down 24-22 – not enough to win the game, but enough for bettors to cash their tickets on Seattle.
- Seattle’s cover came due to an injury to kicker Sebastian Janikowski, whose absence forced the Seahawks to go for two rather than an extra-point attempt.
The Seattle Seahawks came up just short on Saturday, ending their postseason campaign with a 24-22 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
But while the Seahawks lost on the field, those who bet on them in Las Vegas wound up winners in miraculous fashion, all thanks to an injury to kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
The Seahawks entered the game as 2.5-point underdogs, meaning that bettors backing Seattle needed Russell Wilson and company to win the game, or lose by two points or less in order to cash their tickets.
At the end of the first half, Seattle lined up for a long kick in the final seconds before halftime. After his 57-yard attempt went wide right, Janikowski immediately grabbed at his leg, nursing what looked like a hamstring injury.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) January 6, 2019
While an injured kicker would, in most cases, be a bad turn of events for bettors, on Saturday, it wound up being a blessing for Seattle backers.
With the Seahawks down 24-14 late in the fourth quarter, Seattle had two minutes left to drive the field and steal a quick score to stay alive.
After Wilson found receiver Tyler Lockett for a huge reception to get into the red zone, they did just that, with Wilson connecting with J.D. McKissic for the touchdown.
That was quick.
— NFL (@NFL) January 6, 2019
In most cases, the Seahawks would line up to kick the extra point in this situation, then hope that they could recover an onside kick and set up a game-tying field goal.
But with Janikowski sidelined, Seattle figured their best chance to put points on the board was by going for two.
Thanks to Janikowski’s injury and the Seahawks’ two-point attempt and conversion that it led to, Seattle wound up down 24-22 as they readied for the onside attempt.
For bettors that backed the Seahawks +2.5, it was a miraculous win.
Twitter was quick to take notice.
Seattle +2.5 immediately goes in my is a backdoor cover Hall of Fame. First ballot.
— Chase Kiddy (@chaseakiddy) January 6, 2019
ABSOLUTE BACKDOOR CITY
— Cover The Spread (@CoverThe_Spread) January 6, 2019
That’s an amazing backdoor cover + over
— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) January 6, 2019
What an epic backdoor cover, at least.
— Sagar Trika (@BlazersBySagar) January 6, 2019
As Darren Rovell noted on Twitter, the ending was particularly interesting for one bold bettor.
A bettor at William Hill sports book at Monmouth Park bet $275,000 on the Cowboys.
He bet $110,000 on Dallas (-1.5) and won $100,000 on that.
He bet $110,000 on Dallas (-2) and pushed.
He bet $55,000 on Dallas (-2.5) and lost his $55,000.
So the $275K bet won him $45K.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 6, 2019
Jay Kornegay, VP of Race and Sports Operations at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, told Business Insider said in the end, it was an “average day” for the book, adding that the late swing was mitigated by a large amount of moneyline bettors.
“Great day in the sports gaming world,” he concluded.
According to the Action Network, 58% of the money bet on the game was backing the Cowboys, meaning that the last-minute cover provided Las Vegas bookmakers with a solid win on the game.
But even if Vegas wound up winners on the day, for those bettors that backed the Seahawks, the ending was nothing short of a miracle.