bettor’s edge

Giants’ end-of-game strategy leaves some mumbling to themselves

The Giants and quarterback Eli Manning didn’t look to score at the end of the game, a move that surely left some bettors upset.

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The Giants and quarterback Eli Manning didn’t look to score at the end of the game, a move that surely left some bettors upset.

If you see a team lining up in “victory formation” at the end of a close game, with the quarterback taking a knee and the clock running toward zero, you can be sure there is a gambler out there, muttering and staring blankly at nothing in particular.

I didn’t have the Giants Sunday, but if I had, I would have been the person described above. With 3:21 remaining and New York leading, 24-20, the Giants — 7-point favorites — took over at Oakland’s 45. A late New York field goal would have allowed Giants backers to exhale with a push, but instead New York ran the ball inside the Raiders’ 20, picked up a couple of first downs, and let the clock run out because Oakland was out of timeouts.


The conclusion of the Detroit-Chicago game was even more maddening for gamblers. The Bears, 1-point home underdogs, trailed Detroit, 21-19, with 40 seconds to play and a 2-point conversion pending. Executing the conversion would have pushed the game into overtime and provided Chicago a chance to cover. Instead, the Bears received two opportunities to score on the conversion (Detroit roughed the passer on the first attempt), failed at both, and the Lions escaped with a 2-point victory. For Chicago backers, that was the Bad Beat of the Week.

Elsewhere on the board:

Jacksonville defeated Tennessee, 29-27, despite being a 13½-point underdog, despite having covered only once this season, and despite having lost outright in 20 of its previous 21 games.

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The Bears have failed to cover in five of their last six.

Philadelphia, a 27-13 winner in Green Bay, is 5-1 on the road against the spread.

Keep your eye on the Packers. They were 3-0-1 against the spread in the four games before quarterback Aaron Rodgers was injured, and are 0-2 against the spread since.

Inside the numbers:


Favorites: 6-7

Home underdogs: 0-3

6 overs, 7 unders

Ed Ryan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan.
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