Harbaugh’s Decision To Decline Safety Likely Cost Bettors Millions

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Jim Harbaugh’s decision late in the 4th quarter of a 13-6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Thursday caused his team to fall short of covering the betting spread, potentially shifting the payout of hundreds of millions of gambling dollars, according to a report from ESPN.

To prevent the Seahawks from potentially regaining possession, Harbaugh declined a penalty that would have resulted in a safety with less than a minute remaining in the game. The two extra points would have allowed the 49ers to cover the spread on the game, which moved between 7-8 points during the week.

Las Vegas oddsmakers told ESPN that betting on the game was similar to Seattle’s controversial game against the Green Bay Packers last month. Money wagered on that game was estimated anywhere between $150 million and $1 billion, with the majority of bettors picking the 49ers to cover the spread.

Odds makers told ESPN that coaches taking points off the board at the end of the game – thereby impacting the betting outcome – is extremely rare.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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