A gambler's nightmare

I would have loved to be at a sports book in Vegas during the end of yesterday's Chargers-Steelers game.

The Steelers were a five-point favorite according to sportsbook.com. With five seconds left, San Diego's offense had time for one last play from its own 21-yard line, down 11-10. Philip Rivers hit LaDainian Tomlinson in the middle of the field, and the Chargers lateraled the ball a couple times before Steelers safety Troy Polamalu broke the play up. Polamalu grabbed the ball and ran into the end zone for an apparent touchdown, which would have given Pittsburgh the cover and a 17-10 victory.

But as Lee Corso would say, not so fast my friends. The officials flagged the Chargers for an illegal forward pass. Pittsburgh tried to decline the penalty, but it was ruled that the play would have been dead so declining wasn't an option. Final score: Steelers 11, Chargers 10. Even Jim Nantz and Phil Simms were thoroughly confused.

Then fast-forward to today. Referee Scott Green admitted that the touchdown should have counted.

"We should have let the play go through in the end, yes," Green said in an ESPN.com article. "It was misinterpreted that instead of killing the play, we should have let the play go through."

More from the article:

"Anyone who had a bet on the Pittsburgh side and thought they had won weren't too happy," said John Avello, director of the race and sports book at the Wynn resort.

Avello said there might have been $10 million bet on the game statewide, and many times more than that in illegal bets around the country and in offshore Internet betting sites. There was more money bet on Pittsburgh, he said, especially in parlay bets.

The video of the play is tacked on to the bottom of this post.

Tonight's pick: BILLS (-5) over Browns