Here are the bad hits from last night’s Steelers-Browns match

Cleveland Browns CB Denzel Ward jumps on confusion to score a defensive TD for his team

This play wasn’t what you wanted if you bet under
picture: Getty Images

Sports betting cruel fickle mistress. One day you’re happy after you’ve hit a two-game, and the next you lose all your money plus your dog and your virgin. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that either goes off the rails or ends in a thrilling thriller, begging the winners to come back.

Well, last night was probably one of the worst nights bookies have ever experienced.

The first and most obvious reason is the increase/decrease of this game. Bettors flocked to reach the lower level, which was set at 40 points on most sites on the Internet at the beginning of the week – 40.5 early, on others. The lowest bet was so hard that the streak actually went down to 37.5 in some locations. For some context, a change of two and a half points in either direction is enormous.

Those bettors who believed in the bottom line at the start of the week were happy to see the score at 23-17 before the last play, 40 total points, a boost, or a win if you had 40.5. They really liked that they missed the Cade York PAT at that point, I’m sure. Sure, Pittsburgh was pinned to its four-yard line, so safety wasn’t out of the question, but after Mitch Trubesky got his pass to Deontay Johnson, bookies felt safe. They were probably jumping for joy. Johnson was eighteen. There was no way to go back to the end zone, right? Well, he didn’t, but after Chase Claypool’s side and another Nagy Harris side, the ball found its way back into Stiller’s end zone. Regardless of who swooped on top of the confusion – corner back Denzel Ward – under the bookies was bad. The Browns ended up going down. This was the only spin of the game.

This play:

What makes it even more painful is that the Browns had a chance to put the game away one possession earlier in the waning minutes. On a third-down-run play to Nick Chubb, refs signaled a first down, which would have essentially ended the game. But hold on! Steelers coach Mike Tomlin challenged the spot and won. The Browns then sent out their punt team, pinning the Steelers within their own five. Brutal.


That brings me to my next point. Bettors seemed inclined on betting against Mitch Trubisky in this game. The most popular bet of the week, in terms of total bettors, was Trubisky INTs over 0.5. The most popular bet of the week, in terms of money, was Trubisky under 207.5 yards passing. The money was so heavy in favor of the passing under that it actually shifted to 192.5 by the start of Thursday Night Football.

Surely, Trubisky, a trash QB in Chicago now sent to replace the ghost of Ben Roethlisberger would throw an interception this game. Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome, Grant Delpit — one of them was sure to catch one of Trubisky’s errant passes. However, as the night went on, Trubisky never even really threw an interceptable pass. The closest came with 2:27 left in the fourth quarter. Trubisky took a massive shot to the end zone for George Pickens. Pickens, who’d already made a spectacular catch on the night, stepped in front of his defender and seemingly had a beat on the ball, but could only reach out one hand to try to reel it in. He didn’t. Instead, he knocked the ball up in the air. The corner covering Pickens dove to catch the ball and flipped forward, all while keeping it secure. Based on the camera angle, it looked possible that we just witnessed one of the greatest interceptions of all-time the same night we witnessed one of the greatest catches of all time. However, the corner’s right foot was ever-so-slightly out of bounds, and the Trubisky interception under bettors collectively let out a massive sigh and poured themselves a glass of their finest scotch.

Passing yards

Then there’s the under 192.5 passing yards. There wasn’t a horrible beat for too many people on that. While the over 207.5 bettors probably had a tough time after Diontae Johnson ran backward after catching that last pass — meaning he could’ve had about three extra yards if he just laid down after making the catch, which would’ve put Trubisky at 210 for the day and hit the over — it doesn’t seem that too many people were betting on the over. Under bettors still had a rough day though. How?

After three quarters, Trubisky only had 133 passing yards after three quarters. The Steelers signal-caller needed 60 passing yards in order for over 192.5 to hit.

Fourth quarter woes

The fourth quarter has always been the toughest quarter for Trubisky. For his career, Trubisky has a 59.47 completion percentage in the fourth and a passer rating of 76.3 — both of which are his lowest for any quarter. Trubisky also struggles when his team is losing. When behind, Trubisky completes 61.2 percent of his passes and has a passer rating of 78.4. His yards per attempt also go down in both situations. When Trubisky is winning, his yards per attempt sits at 7.2. When tied, it’s 6.6. When trailing, it falls to 6.2. Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter, Trubisky’s yards per attempt fall from 7.0, 6.5, and 7.3 in the first, second, and third respectively, to just 5.9. When trailing with less than four minutes to go in a game, Trubisky’s career completion percentage is 58.04 percent. His passer rating is 76.9, and his yards per attempt is 5.9.

Playing over his head

Under passing yards bettors were in a prime position to watch Trubisky flounder. He didn’t though. Trubisky passed for 74 yards, almost all of which came on the Steelers’ penultimate drive. Prior to that drive, the Pittsburgh quarterback had only gone 1-of-4 for 7 yards in the fourth quarter. On that third drive of the fourth quarter, something snapped in Trubisky. He started using his tight end, Pat Freiermuth. Prior to that drive, Freiermuth had only seen one target all game. After a 13-yard gain by Diontae Johnson on the first play, Trubisky found Freiermuth on two consecutive plays for gains of 26 and 15. All of a sudden, Trubisky’s passing yardage had shot up from 140 to 194. The over had officially hit in the span of three plays, or just 27 seconds of game time.

For his career, Trubisky has never had a season where he’s averaged over 60-yard pass in the fourth quarter. Trubisky always needed a perfect storm to be able to throw over 60 yards for fourth, but in a game where the winds were strong enough Attempts to aim wide right thrust field. Trubisky managed to pull it off. This painful.

Receiving yards

Oh, there was another one. Claypool’s 35.5 yards total turned from being a lock-up at 41 yards before that final play—when Johnson later stopped him the ball—to a loss at 35 yards afterward. Ugh.

in the plural

Basically, last night was a cesspool of unfortunate events for the cross bettors Nation. If you see your co-worker or a relative of your soccer fan looking gloomy this morning, be sure to tell them how bad the kicks they stumbled on were. It’s bad, but it happens. It happened a lot last night.