In what was clearly the best college football game of the year so far, the Ohio State Buckeyes bested the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with a late-game touchdown that sent the sports world into a frenzy.
Ohio State running back Chip Trayanum plunged into the endzone to give the Buckeyes a 17-14 victory. However, the 3-point victory was dangerously close to being a 2-point victory, which became a big deal across the Ohio sports betting landscape.
Over the course of the week, the game’s spread hovered between 2.5 points and 3.5 points. For those that landed on the 3.5-point margin, the wild ending to Saturday’s game had minimal impact on you. However, those 2.5 and 3-point bettors were hanging onto the edge of their seats as it came down to a replay decision that altered the fate of several betting tickets across the country.
Ohio State secures craziest backdoor cover/push you’ll ever see
This is the first time folks dabbling in Ohio sports betting are taking part in a full slate of college football betting. So, let’s provide some context as to how important the final few moments of that game were to Ohio sportsbooks.
A point spread bet is one of the most common forms of betting. When you bet the moneyline, you’re just betting on a team to win or lose. However, the point spread sets one team as the favorite and the others as the underdog and sets a line that subtracts from the favorite’s winning margin to level the playing field.
For example, let’s say Ohio State is a 2.5-point favorite against Michigan. If you bet on the Buckeyes on the spread, they would need to win by at least three points for your bet to hit. If they only win by two points, your bet would lose.
The term “backdoor cover” comes when a team scores points, usually late in a game, that causes one side to cover the point spread. In this case, Ohio State needed a wild set of circumstances in order to secure that backdoor cover that went beyond the final touchdown.
Video review adding 1 second to the game clock
Late in the fourth quarter, Ohio State got the ball on its own 35-yard line, trailing 14-10. Quarterback Kyle McCord then led a ferocious drive to the other end of the field before coming to Notre Dame’s 1-yard line. Then, with 3 seconds left in the game, Ohio State snapped the ball and Chip Trayanum barreled across the goalline, scoring the game’s final touchdown.
In real time, the game was over at that point. The clock had hit zero, with the score 16-14 in favor of the Buckeyes. Due to college football rules, when there is no time on the clock when a touchdown is scored, the extra point does not have to be run if it is not necessary in deciding the game. We saw it with our eyes. Ohio State players and coaches were running onto the field in celebration. Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s players, coaches and fans were left stunned.
The game was over, and anyone who took Ohio State -2.5 or -3 was out of luck. Meanwhile, folks that got Notre Dame at +2.5 or +3 were celebrating a bet well made.
Not so fast! The referees decided to review the play to ensure that Trayanum got the ball across the goal line and actually scored a touchdown. They went to video review to double-check and were able to confirm that he had scored.
However, the refs made another discovery. The game was actually not over. It was determined that Trayanum crossed the goal line with one second left on the clock. Because there was more time left in the game, Ohio State was incentivized to kick the extra point, which made the score 17-14.
1 second adds three plays to the game
This ruling to add one second back on the clock essentially added three plays to the game. There was the extra point that secured the cover for Ohio State -2.5 bettors. Then Notre Dame received the following kickoff before attempting a separation lateral play that did not succeed.
The final score results in a push for anyone who found the spread at -3 or +3. Which means those bettors just got their money back. However, it becomes a significant turn of events for anyone who used any of the several Ohio sportsbook bonuses and promos on this game.
Meanwhile, Caesars Sportsbook Ohio was running a parlay profit boost for Notre Dame to win. That leg was coupled with Penn State, UNC and Memphis all winning their respective games. Penn State and UNC both won, while Notre Dame and Memphis came up short.
What happened in the Ohio State-Notre Dame game is the essence of what can make sports betting fun, especially for those who wouldn’t normally be interested in the action. In this case, defeat was snatched away by the jaws of victory. That is unless you are a Fighting Irish fan — sorry guys.