I’ve always had a hard time defining what a “bad beat” is. The term, which has been popularized by the GOAT Scott Van Pelt, gets thrown around left and right on social media. The common use of the term has left a lot of non-gamblers confused by what a true bad beat is. For me, a bad beat is a sudden change of fortune in a sporting event that affects the common gambling outcome (over/under, team total, 1st/2nd half bet, spread, total, straight) which leaves one side feeling awful and the other feeling luckier than Frane Selak. A bad beat can also be referred to as a “moose.”
Here are the top 10 bad beats from this weekend of college football.
(The odds listed below may be different from the odds you saw at your personal sportsbook. All bad beats did exist at one point at a major sportsbook in Vegas and/or online throughout the last week. I typically find line movement history at Sportsbook Review.)
10. Florida State +3:
Up 3 with 11 seconds left, Miami had the ball with 11 seconds left on the FSU 23. Time for a quick run up the middle or a quick hitch to the sideline to make the field goal to tie up the game a bit easier. At least that’s what FSU bettors thought, but they forgot Mark Richt has BALLS OF STEEL:
9. Kansas State +4.5:
Down 27-24 late in the fourth, Texas tied the game up at 27. After intercepting a pass with 41 seconds left in KSU territory, a game-winning field goal was looking likely for the Longhorns. Those with KSU +4.5 couldn’t envision a better situation. If Texas made an FG, the Wildcats backers wouldn’t have to sweat out an overtime. That didn’t happen:
KSU and Texas traded touchdowns in the first OT only to see Wildcat kicker Matthew McCrane miss a 53-yard FG to start off the second OT. All Texas needed was an FG to win the game and Kansas State backers would leave happy. It was third and goal from the two-yard line, a situation where coaches will bring out their FG unit just in case there is a bad snap. Tom Herman instead ran the ball up the middle for a TD and Texas won by 6 points.
8. SMU +10.5:
144 yards. Three trips inside Houston territory. Two interceptions. One turnover on downs. Zero points.
That was SMU’s 4th quarter on Saturday. They lost by 13 points.
7. Ole Miss +21:
Ole Miss trailed 44-17 with six minutes to go in the fourth. Three minutes and thirty-five seconds of gameplay later Jordan Wilkins ran into the end zone to put the game at 44-23. All Ole Miss needed to do was hit the extra point to cover the number. Ole Miss didn’t end up going for the extra point:
I really can’t think of any explanation behind going for two there. I guess if you get the two-point conversion you are down 19 points, which is an easier three scores (two touchdowns, two two-point conversions and a field goal) than three TD’s, but there were only three minutes left in the game. The writing was on the wall.
After the game, Ole Miss put up an opening for the head coaching position:
Now I’m not saying anything, BUTTTTTTT I’m just saying that’s some weirddddd timing.
6. Cal +28.5:
Down 38-7 with one second on the clock, Cal decided to kick an FG to bring themselves within 4 scores of the Washington Huskies. Turns out Cal’s long snapper had Washington -28.5:
5. Stanford -3.5:
A 2:49 drive, which featured two targeting calls (one of which was on 4th down), led to this:
More of a troll than a bad beat, but the moose still came knocking in Salt Lake City early Sunday morning!
4. App State -13.5:
New Mexico State was up 31-24 with 10 minutes left to go in the fourth and then everything fell apart.
After tying it up at 31, App State went for the onside kick but NMSU recovered, which gave anyone with a +13.5 bet on NMSU feel a bit better. That was until:
New Mexico State responded to being down 7 and drove, again, into App State territory. On 4th and 6 from the Mountaineers 26, Tyler Rogers found Jason Huntley for a first down, which was soon challenged and then reversed for being a half-yard short of the line to gain.
Two minutes later it was 3rd and 6 from their own 44 for App State. NMSU only had one timeout left, so if they ran for a first down, they would take a few knees and call it a day. That didn’t happen:
To troll their backers one last time, NMSU drove to App State’s 43 only to do this:
That was the FOURTH interception of the day for App State’s Clifton Duck.
MOOSE MOOSE MOOSE.
3. Buffalo/WMU Over 140:
Buffalo started their possession in the seventh overti….just kidding.
3. Ohio -6.5 1st Half:
14-7, 6 seconds on the clock in the second half, and this happens:
I was considering putting this #1, but remembered if you bet a first-half spread in a Saturday mid-afternoon #MACtion game than you have much bigger problems than the moose being on the loose.
2. Purdue/Minnesota Under 46.5:
24-17 and a fourth and five for Minnesota with just 23 seconds on the clock. Under bettors were already walking to the window as their worst nightmare came to fruition:
1. UCF/Cincinnati Over 53.5:
It was two points from being over before halftime. The quick 21 points in the third put the total over by 20.5 points and then the delay happened:
The delay never ended and all tickets were canceled. You could make an argument that canceling any spreads makes sense because Cincinnati could have come back to cover, but the over was over. What was going to happen?!? Cinci and UCF were going to score 21 negative points? The delay doesn’t affect the over at all.
For more on this game, I’d like to defer to the fearless leader of Barstool Sports:
Until next week degen nation, continue to keep fighting off every MOOSE in sight!
Tweet any bad beats you have this upcoming weekend to @JackMacCFB