It’s not often a kicker is one of the main storylines ahead of the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.
Then again, no one had ever missed four extra points in an NFL game since at least 1932, much less in a postseason game. That was, until Dallas’ Brett Maher accomplished the ignominious feat in Monday night’s 31-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It was one more missed extra point than Maher had during the 17-game regular season. However, one did come on his final attempt in Week 18, which began what would become a streak of five consecutive missed extra points.
Oddsmakers believe he will rebound against San Francisco on Sunday, with SportsBetting.ag offering a prop bet with Maher at -500 to not miss an extra point vs. +300 that he will add to the total.
However, the sportsbook didn’t stop there. Should Maher fail to convert on an extra point, you can wager on how it will happen.
Where Brett Maher Will Miss Extra Point Odds:
–Wide right -140
–Wide left +120
–Right post +700
–Left post +800
For reference, Maher sailed his first two attempts wide right on Monday before shanking the third one left. The final attempt clanged off the right upright.
The Cowboys signed journeyman kicker Tristan Vizcaino as an insurance policy this week, but Maher is expected to handle the kicking duties against the 49ers.
According to reporters in clear view of the kicking display at the Cowboys’ practice in Frisco, Texas, on Thursday, Maher went 6-for-6 on field goals and Vizcaino went 3-for-5, including missing his very first kick.
“(Maher) needs to practice well this week,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said, adding, “We all need to practice well this week. I better coach well this week.”
Whether Maher’s struggles Monday night play a factor in McCarthy’s decision making this weekend remains to be seen. Will McCarthy be more tempted to go for it on short fourth-down situations in 49ers territory? And will a potential lack of faith in his kicking game lead him to consider more two-point conversations?
“Whoever lines up here on the 48, I’ll have great confidence,” McCarthy insisted Thursday.
That didn’t stop SportsBetting.com to provide odds on whether Dallas will attempt a two-point conversion, be it due to more struggles in the kicking game or the game situation simply dictating it.
Will Cowboys Attempt a two-point Conversion Odds:
Maher did convert his fifth and final extra-point attempt on Monday night, and McCarthy tried to advise against reading too much into the Vizcaino signing.
“It doesn’t take anything away from our trust in Brett,” McCarthy said. “I just think it’s part of the responsibility. Player acquisition’s a 365-day (thing), this is nothing out of the normal for us.”
It’s unclear if the Cowboys would consider carrying two kickers on the active roster for Sunday’s divisional round game at the San Francisco 49ers.
–Field Level Media