Sorry, sports-bettors. The goal for NFL teams is winning games, not adding to your bank account. Nick Chubb recently gave (heart-breaking) proof of that.
Case in harsh point: the Nick Chubb breakaway 59-yard run that certainly looked like a touchdown with about a minute to go in an otherwise firework-free 10-7 Cleveland win over Houston.
Chubb took the deep pitch from Baker Mayfield. After he broke free, Chubb, rather than scoring the touchdown and padding the lead, hung an abrupt left to step out of bounds rather than stepping into the end zone.
Chubb said he heard his coaches and quarterback Baker Mayfield in his head.
“Luckily the run was a little longer because I didn’t think about it until the last 10 yards,” he admits. He says similarly to Pat McAfee in a recent show, “The thing about it… I actually forgot I wasn’t supposed to score until I got to the 10-yard line.”
The Browns lined up in the victory formation and Mayfield took a knee on consecutive plays to run out the clock.
But what did the Nick Chubb non-TD cost bettors?
So, why were so many fans watching around the country frustrated with Chubb’s decision to not score?
The betting line on the game opened with the Browns as a 2.5-point favorite over the Texans. In the eyes of bettors, the line appeared to be too low. There was so much money bet on the Browns to cover, that the line swelled to 3.5. By game time, it was 4.5.
ESPN reported that 90 percent of the money placed on the game at the William Hill sports-books was Cleveland covering.
And with a minute to go, there were a whole bunch of people cheering loudly for Chubb to score. See, it had nothing to do with a love for the Browns. But the winning margin needed to be more than three.
Jeff Stoneback, an official with BetMGM in Nevada, told ESPN the Browns-Texans game was the most active they had on the books Sunday afternoon.
“We were yelling and then, unbelievable, he runs out of bounds,” Stoneback said. “He was full speed, going down the sideline, and it was almost like an afterthought. ‘Oops, let me get out.’ That was our biggest game of the morning.”
Because Cleveland won by only three, the house got a “mid-six-figure” bump.
DraftKings sports-book director also reported that there was a “pretty sizable swing” money-wise, towards the house.
Chubb said the end of the run went against his instincts. He is, after all, a running back.
“That’s the natural instinct to get in the end zone,” Chubb said. “Something came into my head … just go out of bounds. I should’ve just took a knee or slid to keep the clock running, but it was a split decision.”
Better luck next time, bettors.