Thursday Night Football is back!
The Los Angeles Rams against the San Francisco 49ers didn’t look like a great matchup heading into the night, but the high-scoring affair was sure to captivate any skeptics watching.
More importantly, the game provided gamblers on both sides the first heart-pounding/heart-breaking backdoor cover of the year.
In short, a backdoor cover is when a team that is trailing by a lot – and seemingly has little or no chance to win – scores enough points late in the game to cover the point spread.
The Niners were three-point underdogs, meaning that for Niners bettors to cash their ticket, San Francisco needed to win outright – or at the very least lose by fewer than three points. Conversely, Rams bettors were looking for Los Angeles to win the game by three or more.
Thursday night started off about as bad as you could imagine for Niners bettors, with quarterback Brian Hoyer throwing an interception deep in Niners territory seconds into the game to hand the Rams a quick seven-point lead.
Both teams put on a scoring clinic, but the Rams never let the game out of their grasp, leading at halftime by a healthy 11-point margin with the help of three touchdowns from running back Todd Gurley.
Fast-forward to eight minutes left in the fourth quarter: The Rams scored yet another touchdown to go ahead 41-26 in the final stretch of play. At this point, it seemed as if it would take a miracle for the Niners to cover the spread.
But Hoyer came through, leading the Niners down the field for a touchdown in four plays, thanks to a huge catch downfield by Pierre Garcon. With five minutes left, San Francisco was in striking distance, but the Rams were just a few first downs away from ending the game.
The Rams offense didn’t get a chance, as they fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff. The Niners had a short field, and eventually, Carlos Hyde scored a touchdown on a fourth down.
At this point, the Niners were down 41-39 and beating the point spread, though the pending two-point conversion complicated things. If successful, the Niners could send the game into overtime – or the Rams to a last-second field-goal win – either of which could have led to the Rams beating the spread again.
Hoyer’s pass on the attempt was intercepted, and the Rams finished the game holding onto their 41-39 lead, much to the delight of Niners bettors everywhere.
— Ben Maller (@benmaller) September 22, 2017
Backdoor cover. Picked my Niners+3. Rams win by 2. It’s the little things. I’ll collect my money in the morning. In the mean time…????
— Cody Brown (@Mountaineer_88) September 22, 2017
San Fran with the backdoor cover ????????????????????
— Kieran McC (@K_Mac_14) September 22, 2017
Rams bettors, on the other side of the coin, went home disappointed.
Yes that was the worst backdoor cover I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing.
— David Yacoby (@crazydeak) September 22, 2017