Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder picked up a badly needed victory in Game 4 against the Houston Rockets on Monday, knotting the best-of-seven series at 2-2. While Oklahoma City’s ability to claw back into the series with back-to-back wins rightly drew the national headlines, an unsightly gambling outcome arrived in the final minute, at least for those who wagered on the second half Under.
In the first half, the Thunder and Rockets combined to score 120 points and, during the halftime break, oddsmakers installed a second half total of 110.5 points. With less than a minute remaining in regulation, only 97 points had been scored and, well, handicappers were seemingly in the clear if they could avoid overtime.
Then, disaster struck for those rooting against offense, with 14 (!) points in the final 36 seconds, including a memorable (and excruciating) 50-foot heave by Danuel House at the buzzer.
The 2H total of 110.5 goes OVER in Rockets-Thunder after five points scored in the final second, including this heave:pic.twitter.com/GfibhkdnSg
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) August 24, 2020
House’s shot was meaningless with regard to the win-loss outcome but, for anyone sweating the second half total, it was a highly notable moment. Prior to House’s heave, the Rockets were called for a foul on Paul with only 1.3 seconds left in a game that Houston was trailing by four points. On cue, Paul knocked down both attempts at the charity stripe, setting the stage for House’s final blow to Under bettors.
In addition to the second half weirdness, it is at least plausible that some handicappers were impacted on the full game total. Though the closing total was around 231.5 at most shops, a number between 230.5 and 231 was hanging around at some outlets during the day and, in short, House’s last-second launch made quite an impact on more traditional over/under bettors in that case.
With four games a day for two weeks, the NBA is providing all kinds of interesting content for sports handicappers. In this moment, some bettors emerged victorious in (very) lucky fashion, with others lamenting the actions of the Rockets and, in particular, Danuel House.