Texas A&M's Late TD vs. Alabama Reportedly Swings Nearly $5 Million in Bets

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2013

Johnny Manziel's heroics weren't enough to push Texas A&M to a second straight win over top-ranked Alabama, as the Crimson Tide walked away with a 49-42 win at Kyle Field on Saturday. 

However, a late-game touchdown spearheaded by the Heisman-winning quarterback was enough to create a seismic $5 million shift in the Aggies' favor on Las Vegas sportsbooks, according to Jeff Sherman, who serves as the assistant manager of the Las Vegas Hotel SuperBook.

ESPN's Darren Rovell spoke with Sherman and multiple other Vegas sportsbook representatives, each of whom indicated that Manziel's touchdown pass to Malcome Kennedy with 15 seconds remaining created a wave at their establishments. Alabama would subsequently recover an onside kick and kneel down to run out the clock. 

Vegas Insider, which compiles the results from the city's most prominent sportsbooks, had the line set at eight points in Alabama's favor. By scoring the late touchdown, Texas A&M ripped the "cover" away from those who wagered on the Tide.

According to Sherman, an estimated 55 percent of the bets in Las Vegas were placed in favor of Alabama. The Tide also raked in a majority of the bet money, meaning that most bookmakers raked in a profit. Noted gambling giant William Hill told Rovell that its sportsbooks across Nevada made an estimated $200,000 on that touchdown alone.

And keep in mind that these are only the estimates for Las Vegas. They don't account for sportsbooks in other states that have opened up their gambling laws in recent years, nor all sportsbooks across the state of Nevada. 

Offshore books, which tend to see a majority of the action, are often not counted. 

Nick Bogdanovich of William Hill also told Rovell that the $5 million figure is low considering how many parlays and teasers—wagers where a bettor ties multiple bets together to create higher odds and better spreads—didn't come in. 

"You have to factor in that there were a lot of people who had three-, four-, five-team parlays with Alabama on it, that lost their whole ticket because they didn't cover," Bogdanovich said. "A lot of the early favorites were covering."

Johnny Manziel: throwing touchdowns, signing autographs and infuriating bettors everywhere.


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