While you could make the argument that everyone—fans, players, coaches, the NFL as a whole—lost last night as a result of the controversial ending of the Packers/Seahawks Monday Night Football game, there's one group of people who lost more than anyone else: People who bet on Green Bay to win the game. The Packers, who were 3.5-point favorites at most sportsbooks in Las Vegas and online, were covering the line when the referees awarded Seattle a controversial touchdown at the end of the game. So, in a matter of seconds, everyone who had taken the Packers went from a winner to a loser and, according to several sportsbooks, Golden Tate's TD had a huge impact on bettors.
"Most of the customers in the sportsbook were not happy with the final call," John Avello, the director of the race and sportsbook at the Wynn in Las Vegas, told ESPN. "The shift was 100 percent. After the [Seahawks] score, all bets were reversed."
And, just how bad was that reversal of fortune? Avello estimates it shifted worldwide betting by about $150 million. Mike Perry, the spokesman for Sportsbook.ag, says that that figure could really be more like $200 million or $250 million because more than 70 percent of bettors had Green Bay in the game. And, oddsmaker Danny Sheridan, who sets odds for USA Today every week, says it might be even worse than that. He thinks that, all told, more than $1 billion may have changed hands last night as a result of the replacement referees awarding the Seahawks a W.
Yo, $1 billion, though? That was one expensive blown call for a whole lot of people out there. But, the sportsbooks and bookies probably couldn't be happier right now.