San Francisco 49ers safety Donte Whitner's shoe-string tackle of Dallas Cowboys receiver Jesse Holley cost Dallas more than a touchdown, it cost Cowboys bettors an estimated $72 million.
An estimated $100 million was bet worldwide on the Cowboys-49ers game, with an estimated 86% of that action on Dallas.
In overtime, Holley was caught from behind and tackled on the two-yard line by Whitner, leading to the Cowboys winning field goal. As he approached the goal line, Holley slowed down and raised the ball over his head then Whitner grabbed his ankles and brought the receiver down.
If a TD had been scored the Cowboys, as 3-point favorites, would have cashed for bettors. The Cowboys opted for the immediate three-pointer and won, 27-24.
A touchdown would have covered the spread. Instead, all bets were returned on a tie [called a 'push'].
So that means a so-called meaningless shoe-string tackle resulted in bettors winning $0 instead of an estimated return of $72 million.
Playing with a fractured rib, Dallas QB Tony Romo hit Holley on the 77-yard completion on the first play of overtime that set up Dan Bailey's winning 19-yard field goal, and Dallas rallied for the victory yesterday in San Francisco.
Bailey kicked a tying 48-yard field goal as time expired in regulation.
Whitner bit on the decoy play, that left the rarely used Holley wide open, before the 49ers safety raced down field after the hot-dogging receiver to bring him down at the two yard line.
Holley told ESPN he wasn't showboating, but that he had just finished playing special teams and "the Ferrari ran out of gas."
Cowboys fans are happy for the win but it could have 72 million times sweeter if Holley dove over the goal line.