The Pick-Six That Rocked Vegas: ‘Meaningless’ Late Touchdown Provides Million-Dollar Swing

The Pick-Six That Rocked Vegas: ‘Meaningless’ Late Touchdown Provides Million-Dollar Swing article feature image
Credit:

Brian Fluharty, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jarrett Stidham, USA Today Sports.

  • Tom Brady's backups haven't seen the field often during his 19-year career as a starter with the Patriots.
  • Rookie QB Jarrett Stidham showed why having Brady on the field is so valuable to Pats bettors and sportsbooks.

With 8:41 to go in the game versus the New York Jets on Sunday, Bill Belichick made the call. Up 30-7, he was taking out Tom Brady.

It was a rare move, as Brady usually plays full games and doesn’t get pulled often.

In no time, Brady’s backup Jarrett Stidham threw a pick six, making the score 30-14, going from a Patriots cover (up to 22.5) to a Jets cover. No points were scored for the rest of the game.

For the sportsbooks, the pick six turned would-be winners into losers and potential losers into winners. At the Westgate’s Superbook, most bettors lost on the swing.

“It was the No. 2 decision for us behind Sunday Night Football,” said the Superbook’s Jeff Sherman. “We were writing ‘NE -21’ all morning.”

In fact, Sherman said of the two 20-plus spread games, the Patriots-Jets game was was doubly more appealing that the Cowboys-Dolphins game based on the number of tickets the sportsbook wrote.

At CG, the pick six actually turned out good for bettors. The book took at $11,000 bet on the Jets (+23) earlier in the week and CG’s Tony DiTomasso told The Action Network that the sharp net late in +21. “The cover or the lack of play by the Patriots cost us,” he said.

PointsBet said they too were heavy on the Jets and it got heavier as the team was bet on as the live line swelled up to +31.

“We would’ve preferred to see Brady go the distance,” said PointsBet’s Matt Chaprales.

In other sportsbooks, Stidham’s Pick ruined parlays, as the Patriots spread was a popular pick to add on.

What’s amazing about the whole thing is that Belichick even put Stidham in.

Stidham saw no time in the first two games, which saw the Patriots outscore their opponents, 76-3. So when he got the call Sunday, he admitted he was surprised.

“I wasn’t really expecting it at the time,” Stidham told the press after the game.

Stidham came in and threw an 11-yard pass to Phillip Dorsett, which put Stidham in an even more rare class — a Brady backup that got to air it out.


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In just 37 of Tom Brady’s 310 career starts, or 11.9% (regular season and playoffs), has another Patriots quarterback attempted at least one pass in the same game, according to the Action Network’s Evan Abrams.

On his second play, Stidham was sacked. He followed that up with a 3-yard pass to Rex Burkhead.

On third and 14, Stidham horribly overthrew his receiver Brandon Bolden and the ball went right into the arms of Jamal Adams.

At that point, Stidham joined an even more select class — just the fifth game (1.7%) that a Brady backup has thrown an interception. And only three of the those interceptions went to the house (Matt Cassel had the other two, vs. Chargers in 2005 and vs. Dolphins in 2007).

So for bettors who won and for bettors who lost, think of what it took to win or lose that cover. That’s why they call it gambling.