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. Texas Tech +4.5
Texas Tech scored a TD to make the score 35-17 with 9:19 left in the third quarter. At that point of the game, they were on pace to score around 50 points. In the history of college football, I am willing to bet an underdog that scored 50 points covered 99.9% of the time. Put simply, anyone who bet TTU was feeling good.
What if I told you, a person who knows nothing about this game, the final amount of points West Virginia scored was 46, what would you say the percentage was that TTU covered? 80%? 90%? Turns out that percentage was a big goose ole egg.
The final ended up being West Virginia 46, Texas Tech 35. After making it 35-17, their next five drives went as followed: missed field goal, three and out, three and out, three and out, interception.
9. Indiana +7/Under 43:
I hate seeing overtime bad beats. They should be illegal. You bet four quarters of football that is played on 100 yards of grass, not the 25 yards of grass CFB overtime occurs on.
Down 3 with 2 seconds left Indiana hit this field goal to tie the game:
On the first play of Michigan’s OT, Karan Higdon went 25-yards for a TD. A few plays later, on fourth and goal from the 2-yard line, Indiana secured the bad beat:
8. Boise State/San Diego State Over 47:
31-14. Strip sack taken back to the end zone. Over it is!
That was until it all got called back.
Boise State soon finished the game on San Diego State’s 24. MOOSE!
7. Arkansas +23 1st Half:
Down 24, Arkansas started their drive on their own 21 with 1:20 left in the first half. After a 2 yard run, Arkansas had a bit of hope:
Then on 3rd and 9, Arkansas completed a 14-yard pass to put the Razorbacks at Alabama’s 3-yard line with three seconds left. Time to bring out the kicking team, right? BRETT BELIEMA SAYS NOPE!
6. Arkansas +31.5:
Alright, this game closed at -37 in most books, but that was due to late line movement on Saturday after it was announced Arkansas QB Austin Allen was not going to play. I played this at 31, I know of people who got it at 29 earlier in the week, so for this column I am considering this game at 31/31.5.
Here’s the situation. Arkansas drove 72-yards to score a 3-yard TD on 4th & goal from Alabama’s 3:
Only to miss the extra point:
I’ve never had an extra point beat like this. I can only imagine what it feels like and the amount of cheap vodka it would take to drown that feeling out.
5. UTSA -2.5:
Up 26-22, UTSA pinned North Texas down at their own two with 1:17 left in the game. One minute later, this happened:
A damn death happened in the middle of the play and they still didn’t cover. A DEATH! THEY MURDERED SOMEONE AND DIDNT COVER!
4. Michigan State -4/Under 44:
Up 23-6, Michigan State started a drive on their 23 with 13:26 left in the fourth. They were covering by 12.5 points and under betters had a 15 point cushion. As you guessed, it all went to shit:
If I ran the gambling section of the FBI (if that is a thing), this is a game I would stop every investigation I had going on to look at. Watching this game (I had MSU) it looked like the two teams were competing against each other to see who was better at point shaving.
RIP to anyone who had MSU -4 or the under:
3. Cincinnati +14 1st Half:
Down 13, Cincinnati ran the final play of the first half. The clock read 0:00, but due to an offsides penalty on USF, Cincinnati was allowed to run one untimed play.
2. Coastal Carolina/Arkansas State Under 63:
Coastal Carolina should change their mascot from the Chanticleers to the Bad Beats. Two weeks after this:
Coastal Carolina returned to the top of the bad beats report this week in Arkansas:
THIS close to an under. Gambling is a cruel, cruel form of entertainment.
1. Utah State/Wyoming Under 49.5:
Our first safety bad beat of the season!!!! And it was with under a minute to go!!!! PHENOMENAL BAD BEAT!
I don’t even feel bad for the people on the under. Your pain is my entertainment.
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