Welcome to the first edition of my weekly feature: Most Brutal (or Exhilirating) NFL Covers of the Week. Vegas injects countless hours of manpower into setting the lines where they do and each week a few teams are bound to cover (or fail) in wildly dramatic ways. Let’s kick off Week 1 in absurd covers!
(Lines from Yahoo Sports’ Pro Football Pick’em)
The public could not have been anymore down on a New York team than when it came to Gang Green at home to open the 2013 regular season. It’s not like the Bucs were world-beaters last year. This would have been nice if the Bucs didn’t snap the ball through the back of their own end zone early and put Nick Folk in range for the game-winning field goal with a needless personal foul. That five-point swing would cost the Tampa cover in their 18-17 loss.
The referees not understanding (or enforcing) one of the more prominent parts of the rule book cost Green Bay four points just before halftime, as the offsetting personal fouls should have set San Fran up for a fourth-down field goal instead of replaying third. This made these four points brutal for gamblers when the Niners notched a field goal in the waning moments to go up 34-28.
This one falls under the “wide-spread dumb luck” category more than the singular moment variety, but painful all the same. The Pats fell far short of the cover, needing a game-winning field goal to escape 23-21, but this game would have been put far in the rearview mirror for New England if Stevan Ridley hadn’t totally derped a 14-point swing in the first half. Without that, it’s hard to imagine the Pats not going into halftime up multiple scores and Bill Belichick making life miserable for EJ Manuel in throwing from behind.
But as they say, them’s the breaks.
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