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NFL Wild Card Weekend Bad Beats and Big Payouts

Wild-Card weekend kept bettors on their toes in the opening Bengals-Raiders game, but ended with Kyler Murray producing a dud that burned those who backed him.

We were originally going to rush this column in hopes of getting it done in 14 seconds, but the Cowboys showed us that may not be wise.

Wild-Card weekend featured its high and lows, and perhaps we need to re-think this  "seven teams make the playoffs" situation considering the No. 7 seeds' performances.

Bengals and Bills bettors loved the outcome in the first two games, and we want to know who out there bet Kenneth Gainwell to score. Poor Miles Sanders.

Those who bet chalk are not happy with Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy, but their frustrations may not match the anger for the folks who backed Kyler Murray or had some money invested in Hunter Henry (at least he can blame the weather).

Let's get to it: The good, the bad and the ugly from Wild-Card Weekend betting.

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Cincinnati Bengals' Germaine Pratt (57) celebrate with quarterback Joe Burrow (9) after Pratt made an interception during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 26-19.


What a Cover!

Those who backed the Bengals (-6) to cover may have paced around their homes for a bit, but they cashed their bets thanks to two key stops by the Bengals' defense.

With the Bengals nursing a 10-point lead with less than four minutes to go, the Cincinnati forced a fourth down and the Raiders opted to kick a field goal to make it a seven-point game. Las Vegas again drove the ball into the red zone, but the Bengals' defense came up big again to secure the seven-point victory and the cover.

Those who parlayed the Bengals covering the under were especially happy considering those two stops secured both wins.

By One Yard

SI Sportsbook offered bettors the chance to bet on which players would finish with the most rushing, receiving and passing yards in Wild-Card games.

Patrick Mahomes (+500) and Elijah Mitchell (+500) cashed for passing and rushing yards, respectively. But the real fun was in the receiving yards.

Ja'Marr Chase set the bar high with 116 yards in the first game, but Mike Evans topped him by just one yard to cash at +1400 odds.

Every. Yard. Matters.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) catches a 31-yard touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo.

Touchdown Trio

SI Sportsbook offered this tasty parlay: Mike Evans, Deebo Samuel and Tyreek Hill each to score a touchdown at boosted +650 odds (up from +600).

Evans and Samuel did their parts in the first two games, and it seemed this parlay would be headed for the ugly section when a Hill touchdown was overruled to be short of the goal line. The Chiefs scored on a "big-man" touchdown on the next play.

Hill wouldn't be denied, though. Mahomes found him for an easy score on the next drive to get back the touchdown that he originally had.

You just love it when three-leggers hit!

The Josh And Mac Attack

Congratulations to those who invested in Josh Allen and Mac Jones player props. Both quarterbacks made you lots of money.

Let's start with this parlay that cashed at SI Sportsbook at +550 odds (boosted from +475) that the teams would combine for more than 45 points, and both Allen and Jones would each throw for at least 200 yards and toss two-plus touchdown passes.

The two quarterbacks also topped these props:

Allen: Passing yards, rushing yards, passing touchdowns, passing and rushing yards, longest rush, longest completion

Jones: Passing touchdowns, passing yards, completions, passing and rushing yards, longest completion, attempts, interceptions (you may have been tempted!)

Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde, center, celebrates after catching an interception during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the New England Patriots, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Getting defensive

We want to give a shoutout to the defenders who won us money.

Micah Hyde made perhaps the interception of the postseason when he picked off Jones in the end zone with the Patriots driving on their first possession.

Hyde's interception chased the over on his interceptions prop at +460 odds.

Javon Hargrave's sack of Tom Brady on Sunday netted bettors a nice reward with +380 odds that Hargrave would top 0.5 sacks.

A pair of fun bets to make and—more importantly—cash.

Good Call, Bruce

Those who took the under of 47 in the Buccaneers-Eagles game hung on for a win.

The teams combined for just 17 points in the first half, but the Eagles' late touchdowns pushed the total to 46 entering the Buccaneers' last drive.

The Buccaneers faced a fourth down deep in Eagles' territory but opted to run the ball instead of kicking the field goal that would have pushed the game over (as well as turned a two-score game into a three-score contest and all but end it).

Thank you, Bruce Arians.

Boosted Profits

Quite a few boosted props hit at SI Sportsbook during Wild-Card Weekend!

Here's a quick recap:

1. If you liked the 49ers, this SI Sportsbook parlay had to be attractive at +625 odds: 49ers win, under 49.5 points and 49ers win the first half.

The 49ers won the first half, 16-7, en route to a 23-17 win, which didn't come close to topping the total projection. A nice little payday for backing the NFC's No. 6 seed.

2. The GOAT and the mini-GOAT delivered.

Brady and Mahomes both covered the weekend's biggest spreads (Tampa Bay -8.5, Kansas City -12.5), while both also tossed 2-plus touchdowns to cash this parlay +475 odds (boosted from +430). Trust the GOATs.

3. The Chiefs' beatdown of the Steelers rewarded those who backed this three-leg parlay at +650 odds (boosted from +575): Chiefs cover, Travis Kelce scores a touchdown and Mahomes tops 304.5 passing yards.

Mahomes easily cleared that benchmark, while Kelce even added a passing touchdown for good measure.

Kick It

Matt Gay cashed both the over on his total points (7.5) and the over on his field goals (1.5) with his field goal with 4:25 left that gave the Rams a 34-11 edge over the Cardinals. Gay's total points prop cashed at -110 odds, while the over on his field goals cashed at +100. See, there was a reason to watch the end of that blowout!

Just Made It

We love to highlight player props that just cleared. Here's some that just made it:

Bengals QB Joe Burrow: Over 23.5 completions (24) (-106)
Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow: Over 55.5 receiving yards (58) (-110)
Bills RB Devin Singletary: Over 15.5 rushing attempts (16) (-105)
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: Longest completion over 37.5 yards (38) (-125)
Rams QB Matthew Stafford: Longest completion over 39.5 yards (41) (-118)
Rams WR Cooper Kupp: Longest reception over 28.5 yards (29) (-133)
Cardinals WR Christian Kirk: Longest reception over 21.5 yards (23) (-118)

First, Last, Anytime

Here are some notable anytime touchdown props that cashed:

Eagles RB Kenneth Gainwell: +3300 last touchdown (+800 anytime)
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: +2800 last touchdown (+500 anytime)
Buccaneers RB Gio Bernard: +1800 first touchdown (+300 anytime)
Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne: +1750 last touchdown (+300 anytime)
Raiders WR Zay Jones: +1700 last touchdown (+275 anytime)
Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah: +1550 first touchdown (+250 anytime)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, right, celebrates with wide receiver Mike Evans after Evans caught a touchdown pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.


Third Time's The Charm—For Buffalo

The Patriots' running back duo of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson fared quite well against the Bills in the regular season, combining for 292 yards and four touchdowns. Harris cleared 100 yards in both games.

If you invested in those two continuing that trend Saturday, your wallet took a hit.

Harris and Stevenson both failed to clear their rushing props, the under hit on both Harris' rushing attempts and Stevenson's longest run and neither scored a touchdown.


Two shots, No Touchdowns

Those who bet the over on 1.5 Derek Carr touchdown passes at +108 odds suffered a tough loss considering the Raiders opted for four field goals and drove the ball into the red zone twice in the fourth quarter but could not come away with a touchdown.

That Carr threw short of the goal line on the final play of the game while needing a score did not make it any easier to digest.

Tom Terrific But Not Tom Over

Brady played quite well, tossing two touchdowns and tallying 271 passing yards, but those who backed his over felt the sting.

The under hit for Brady's rushing yards, passing yards (a brutal beat with the line set at 273.5), passing touchdowns and passing attempts. Brady also passed on two potential goal line sneaks that would have cashed at +700.

The Opposite of Jones and Allen

Dak Prescott and Jimmy Garoppolo had an opposite showing of the Mac Jones and Josh Allen matchup since they both struggled to clear their player props.

Both quarterbacks did not clear their passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions and combined yards props, and each also threw an interception.

Their passing game struggles also affected their weapons. CeeDee Lamb, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel each failed to clear their receiving yards and receptions props. Amari Cooper was an exception, clearing his totals.

Steel Trap

The Steelers' skill players had a rough day in terms of player props.

Najee Harris did not come close to topping his rushing yards, combined yards and longest rush props, and receivers Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool didn't top their receiving yards, receptions or longest catch props.

Johnson, at least, found the end zone to salvage his night.

So Close

Sony Michel came oh so close to topping his rushing yards prop Monday night, but Cam Akers' strong night hurt the cause.

Michel finished with 58, just a half-yard short of his 58.5 projection. Akers actually out-carried Michel, 17 to 13, while also finishing with 55 yards.

It's fair to say most did not expect Akers to play this well Monday night.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is sacked by Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Von Miller during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Inglewood, Calif., Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.


A First to Forget

Kyler Murray and his backers will try to forget his first career playoff game.

Arizona's quarterback, to put it kindly, struggled. He tossed two interceptions, including a pick-six, and totaled just 143 yards (six rushing).

Anyone who bet Murray's props felt the burn too.

The under cashed on Murray's passing yards, rushing yards, passing touchdowns, longest completion, longest rush and combined yards props.

On the bright side, Murray did cash the over on his interceptions!

Murray's poor night also kept Christian Kirk, Zach Ertz and A.J. Green from clearing their receiving yards props.

They won't be showing moments from this one in Murray's career highlight packages.

Where Are the Points?

The under cashed for the Raiders-Bengals game after it seemed destined to be an easy over. The teams combined for 33 points in the first half, putting them on pace to easily top the 48.5 mark. But if only it were that easy.

The teams scored just 12 points in the second half, and the Raiders managed just three points on their final two drives into the red zone.

It's also easy to second guess, but the over potentially would have hit had the Raiders gone for it on fourth-and-3 at the Bengals' 10-yard line instead of opting for the field goal to cut the deficit to 26-19 with less than four minutes remaining.

The over was there for the taking and we let them off the hook.

Can't Drop That!

Those who had Hunter Henry anytime touchdown props had to be furious when the Patriots' tight end dropped a gimme in the fourth quarter.

Henry's anytime prop would have cashed at +230 odds, and those who bet him to score the last touchdown missed out on +1250 odds.

That one stings more than the weather.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) reacts next to San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead, middle, and cornerback Ambry Thomas (20) after the final play of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022.

America's Team?

The Cowboys are all that stood between a perfect 6-0 straight-up and against the spread (ATS) record for the home teams.

Dallas did not win—and thus did not cover a 3-point spread—while the other five favorites all covered. Their flop ruined a boosted parlay at +700 odds (up from +625) that all the home teams would win. And this home flop against the No. 6 seed came after Dallas led the NFL with a 13-4 ATS mark during the regular season!

Are they really America's Team after failing America?

So Now You Miss?!?!

Tyler Bass connected on all 51 of his extra point attempts during the regular season and has made 108 of 110 tries during the regular season in his career.

Naturally, he missed two extra points Saturday night.

That mattered since Bass' over/under points total was 6.5, and he would have cleared that bar at -152 odds had he just performed like he had in the regular season.

Here's an interesting tidbit: Bass has missed more extra points in the postseason (10/13) than he has in the regular season (108/110).

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