It should’ve been the easiest $11,200 any NFL bettor ever made, but it turned into a seven-figure nightmare.
When the Los Angeles Chargers took a commanding 27-0 lead in the first half of Saturday’s NFL wildcard playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, an unnamed gambler wagered the team would hold on to win. Since the outcome seemed pretty obvious at the time, it cost him $1.4 million for the chance to win less than a penny on the dollar. As football fans now know, the Jaguars, led by second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence, mounted one of the most unlikely comebacks in playoff history, winning 31-30 on a last-second field goal.
“[DraftKings Sportsbook] has confirmed that this bet was indeed made,” tweeted Action Network reporter Darren Rovell.
When the Chargers went up 27-0, a bettor bet $1.4 million on them to win the game to net $11,200.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 15, 2023
Lawrence threw four interceptions in the first half as it looked like Los Angeles would win in a rout. The former No. 1 overall pick out of Clemson seemed unable to do anything right until driving the Jaguars to a touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the first half.
But in the second half, Lawrence could do no wrong. The 6-foot, 6-inch field general threw three more touchdown passes, and Jacksonville’s defense stiffened up, allowing only a field goal. Somewhere, a gambler who thought he had lined up a sure payday must’ve grown sicker by the minute as the Jaguars seized the momentum.
As the clock ticked down, Lawrence engineered a 10-play, 61-yard drive to set up the game-winning, 36-yeard field goal by Riley Patterson. The comeback from a 27-point deficit was the biggest in Jaguars’ history and the third biggest in NFL playoff history, behind only Buffalo’s 1993 32-point rally against Houston and Indianapolis’ comeback from a 28-point deficit against Kansas City in 2014.
“You couldn’t write a crazier script,” Lawrence, who finished with 28 completions in 47 attempts for 288 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions, said after the game. “We said in the locker room that’s kind of how our season’s going. We’re never out of the fight. … I’m kind of speechless, honestly, just to see what belief can do and to see when a team believes in each other what you can accomplish.”