When the Chicago Bears scored on the final play of Monday night’s game, it seemed like a bad beat. The ESPN broadcast booth reacted like it affected the betting public.
It didn’t really, except for a few who didn’t remember the new NFL rules about meaningless extra points.
The Bears’ line against the Minnesota Vikings never moved higher than +7 at BetMGM, but it was at +7 after news that Chicago’s starting secondary would miss the game due to COVID-19. There were plenty of bettors who took in-game wagers on the Vikings between -8 and -14 who will tell you the final play was a bad beat. Those who had the Bears were frustrated by missed red zone opportunities all night, including one in which Darnell Mooney seemed to maybe come down with a fourth-down catch in the end zone, but he was ruled out and it wasn’t overturned on a replay review.
It was 17-3 late when the Bears had a meaningless drive. On the final play of the game, Jesper Horsted jumped and pulled down a Justin Fields pass at the goal line. It was initially not called a touchdown — that would have caused some controversy in the fantasy football playoffs for those who have Fields or are going against the Vikings defense — but then a few seconds later the officials announced it was a touchdown. That was the right call.
Suddenly, Bears +7 bettors perked up. Did they have a miracle push? No.
In 2018, the NFL changed a rule about extra points after the final play of the game. If the extra point doesn’t matter to the outcome, there’s no kick. So on Monday night, after Horsted’s catch was ruled a touchdown, the two teams just continued to shake hands and went to the locker room. Final score: Vikings 17, Bears 9. The Vikings covered.
Not a bad beat for Bears bettors, though they had plenty to complain about after watching Chicago blow several scoring opportunities before the final play.
Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears threw a touchdown pass on the final play of Monday night’s game. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)