Rams' Sean McVay 'not aware' of gambling implications when team kicked meaningless field goal vs 49ers

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay addressed the late field goal against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 that cut the lead to seven as time expired.

In the grand scheme of the NFL, the kick was meaningless. A loss is a loss whether a team is down by seven or 10 points. However, in the world of sports betting, it mattered a lot. Some sportsbooks had the 49ers favored by 7 points and others by 7.5.

McVay explained the reason to kick the field goal on Monday.


Sean McVay on the sideline

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay watches game action against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, Sept. 17, 2023. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

“What we were trying to do is we were trying to be able to get a completion to where we kicked the field goal beforehand with the opportunity to be able to. … if we had hit that deep in-breaking route, it really would’ve worked out the way we wanted to,” McVay said. “We were going to try to kick a field goal once we got into field goal position to then be able to kick an onside and try to give ourselves the real opportunity to win the game.

“By the time it got down to it, [I] didn’t anticipate that in-cut that we hit Puka (Nacua) running that long and just said, ‘Alright, go ahead and kick the field goal.’ (I) felt like it was an opportunity to be able to not leave Matthew (Stafford) susceptible to an unnecessary heave to the end zone and get an opportunity for our field goal operation. The initial goal was to try to get a two-for-one to where you end up getting into field goal range a little bit earlier with some of the play selections that we had and then ultimately be able to try to have an onside kick to then be able to go try to compete to tie or win the game.”

Sean McVay coaches vs 49ers

Rams head coach Sean McVay walks the sidelines during the game San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 17, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

McVay said he was told afterward about the gambling angle but insisted he had no thoughts about that.


“Apparently, (Rams V.P. of communications) Artis (Twyman) told me there’s a lot of people in Vegas pissed off about that decision. I clearly was not aware of that stuff,” he said.

San Francisco won the game 30-23. Some sportsbook directors weighed in.

“Sean McVay ‘settling’ for a field goal at the end of the game was about the worst possible outcome for an otherwise okay day,” Jeffrey Benson, director of operations for Circa Sports, told Fox News Digital earlier this week. 

Brett Maher kicks

Brett Maher, #8 of the Los Angeles Rams, kicks a 43-yard field goal during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 17, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)


Basically we either refunded all the money at -7/+7 and paid out all the +7.5 bets during the week that drove the number down to what we closed at. A wretched result that we weren’t a fan of but that is gambling. The lights will come on in the morning.” 

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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