If you were one of the many bettors who took the Minnesota Vikings +3.5, you won a bet. You also had years taken off your life.
The Vikings were the most-bet team for much of a week at BetMGM when they were 3.5-point underdogs. Bettors were lining up to take the 7-1 Vikings against a Buffalo Bills team that didn't know if quarterback Josh Allen would be available due to an elbow injury. The Bills took some bets later in the Bills-Vikings game was the most-bet game of Week 10.
That set up a game that was an absolutely ridiculous sweat for bettors on both sides. It was the game of the year in the NFL and one of the craziest games from a betting standpoint that you'll see.
We'll look at how the entire week unfolded for all those Vikings +3.5 bettors, who probably swore off betting a dozen times on Sunday afternoon:
• Allen missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, which is why the Vikings were such a popular bet. Then on Friday, Allen got the questionable tag on the injury report and it seemed he'd play. The line went to Vikings +6.5, but all those Vikings bettors had the worst of it. The line moved three points against them.
• There were a wild couple hours before the game in which nobody seemed to know if Allen would actually start because he wasn't out for pregame warmups. There were breakdowns on Twitter over Case Keenum wearing a wristband with plays. Then another breakdown on Allen taking snaps from the starting center. Allen started. Not the best news for Vikings bettors.
• The Bills took a 17-point lead early in the second half. The Vikings battled back and seemed to cut the lead to three points about four minutes left on a touchdown. Bettors who needed the Vikings to either win or lose by three or less were thrilled ... until kicker Greg Joseph hit the upright on the extra point. It was still 27-23 Bills and Vikings bettors were still in trouble.
• The final minutes of regulation went off the rails. Justin Jefferson made one of the greatest catches you'll see on fourth-and-18 to keep the game alive. Jefferson seemed to have a touchdown but he was ruled just short. On fourth-and-goal, Dalvin Cook dropped a touchdown pass but the Bills were offsides. The Vikings had another chance and Kirk Cousins was stopped short. But then — seriously, how did Vikings bettors and fans survive this game? — the Bills fumbled a snap at the goal line and the Vikings recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. Vikings bettors rejoice!
But the Bills had 36 seconds left.
• Buffalo drove down and tied the game in the final seconds. Vikings bettors still had to feel OK at +3.5 because a Minnesota win, a tie or a Bills field goal to win were all good outcomes for them. But still, you never know.
The Vikings won the coin toss, which was huge for all the bettors who had them. Minnesota drove inside the 5-yard line but couldn't score a touchdown, but the field goal all but assured that the Vikings would at least cover. If the Bills scored a touchdown, they wouldn't kick the extra point and would win 36-33. But the Vikings capped it with an interception deep in their own territory. They won 33-30.
Vikings bettors could finally breathe, and cash their tickets. If their hearts were still beating by the end.