The NFL wasted no time getting weird on us. During the first NFL Sunday of the 2021 season, there is already a candidate for "Bad Beat of the Year" and it comes courtesy of the Detroit Lions. They opened up their regular season at home against the San Francisco 49ers and found themselves in a 31-10 hole by halftime. That score had anyone holding a 49ers -9.5 (the number it closed at) ticket feeling pretty good about their Week 1 wager. Even as San Francisco punted the football back to Detroit while holding a 41-17 lead with a 5:56 remaining in the game, the Lions covering was nowhere on the radar. Until it was.
Down 24 points, Jared Goff and the Lions marched 86 yards down the field on 12 plays when Jamaal Williams scored a 1-yard touchdown. San Francisco's lead at that point was down to 18. After the Williams touchdown, Goff and the offense stayed on the field for a 2-point conversion try, which was a successful pass into the arms of tight end TJ Hockenson. San Francisco leads by 16.
Now here's where things get fun. After the touchdown and successful two-point attempt, the Lions lined up for an onside kick. And recovered! Detroit's offense is back on the field with 1:53 to play and trailing by 15 points (Remember: the spread closed at 49ers -9.5).
Similar to their prior offensive possession, the Lions were able to move the ball down the field and Goff was able to connect with Quintez Cephus for a 2-yard touchdown, making it a 41-31 lead for the 49ers. Instead of kicking the extra point, Detroit again elected to go for a 2-point conversation attempt and, once again, converted to reduce San Francisco's lead to just eight with just over a minute remaining in the game.
It was a total of 16 points scored by the Lions inside the final two minutes of the game to cover, leaving most 49ers bettors shattered. Sheesh! That said, with the Lions losing by eight, there was some glimmer of hope for some of those who laid the points with San Francisco, depending on when they placed their wager.
As Caesars Sportsbook, the spread was 49ers -7.5 as recently as last Thursday. If you got your bet in prior to then, you were still able to cash. If the wager was anytime beyond that point, you either pushed or were given a humbling loss to begin the 2021 NFL season. Welcome back.
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