Patrick Mahomes’ smart decision with less than two minutes left cost Chiefs bettors a loss on Sunday night.
Mahomes slid downfield between the end zone and the first-down marker on a third-down scramble, giving the Chiefs a 23-20 victory over the New York Jets. However, since Mahomes didn’t score, the Chiefs didn’t cover the spread. Kansas City spent much of the week with an advantage of more than a touchdown before cutting the odds to 6.5 points in the hours before kickoff.
The Chiefs had the ball right after the 2-minute warning before a 3rd-and-8 on the Jets’ 11-yard line. With the Jets out of a timeout, a first down effectively ended the game, while a TD gave the Chiefs a likely insurmountable two-point lead.
Mahomes decided to end the game. With the Jets running man coverage on third down and apparently not having a spy for Mahomes, the reigning NFL MVP ran left and slid to the ground behind the first down marker and just short of the end zone.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that the Chiefs would have covered the spread if Mahomes had scored. The Jets could have driven down the field and scored a TD or kicked a late field goal to sway some bettors’ tickets before attempting an onside kick. But if Mahomes had reached the end zone, Chiefs bettors would have felt pretty good.
The Chiefs had the ball for the final 7:24 of the game on a long drive that only went 51 yards. Mahomes converted a crucial third down with a 25-yard scramble early in the drive and the Chiefs scored another third down conversion with a controversial holding call against Jets CB Sauce Gardner.
Mahomes finished the game with 51 rushing yards and was 18 of 30 passing for 203 yards as well as a TD and two interceptions.