Meaningless last-second Duke free throw hands bettors a win and sports books a loss



USA Today Sports

It may have seemed like a boring finish to some, but Friday’s Duke-Utah Sweet 16 matchup featured an ending that had sports bettors on the edge of their seats.

With the clock reading 0.6 seconds and the victory wrapped up at 62-57, Duke (who closed -4.5 but were -5 or -5.5 for many bettors) was sent to the charity stripe after the Utes intentionally fouled despite the game being out of reach. The ending was certainly not without drama, as the officials had reviewed the call before making the decision.

Quinn Cook was sent to the line and missed the first free throw but converted on the second to put the Dukies up by six while effectively covering the spread in the process – a shot that gave many sports books a loss.

Mike Jerome, an oddsmaker for, was still smarting the next day due to the finish.

“I was celebrating with a couple of our overnight guys as we thought we got a lucky back door cover for the Utes,” Jerome told Covers. “We were dealing Duke -5.5 virtually all week, and 84 percent of the cash was backing the Blue Devils on the spread.”

“We had a ton of bets that parlayed Michigan State with Duke as well, which obviously means we weren’t on the winning end of things last night.”

Did you have any action on this game last night and, if so, what was your reaction to the meaningless free throw? Let us know in the comment section.


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