The Monday Night Football game this week between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers was not without the mandatory controversy. Four huge calls by the refs practically handed the win to one of the teams on the field, in what has become a customary negligence by the refs on the football field. And while the calls are nothing new, and will likely be yet forgotten by Thursday, how the Packers ended up closing the game is what affected the bettors most.
With a minute or so left in the game, the Lions were more than happy to allow the Packers to walk in for a touchdown, hoping to get the ball and try their luck themselves at 7 points, but the clever Green Bay opted to avoid crossing the line, instead taking the opportunity to run down the clock and kick for a short FG. Risks aside (we have all witnessed “sure things” not materializing in this League plenty of times before), it left most of the gamblers seething at the packers going for two in the bush, instead of one in the hand. As reported, the majority of the bettors at the sportsbooks either took the Packers against the spread at -3.5 points or the Lions to win the game outright on the money line. As the final score settled at just one point in favor of Green Bay, over 80% of the total bets were completely lost.
It only comes to show you that using basic strategy pays most often than not. As a rule of thumb, you should always take to points on the underdog or the line on the favorite. Should the majority of gamblers opted for this basic rule, all of them would’ve been paid, especially when you have not only two bitter rivals fighting it off on the field, but also when you consider that the refs are now deeply entrenched into the outcome of the NFL games. Hindsight is 20/20 but when close games like the MNF we just watched come along – always opt in for the basics.