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.”
In visual form, this is the best way I’ve seen to describe a bad beat:
(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. Wyoming/New Mexico Over 47.5:
The halftime score was 42-0 in Wyoming on Saturday night. The second half had a combined 10 possessions, 2 turnovers, 6 punts, and a combined 3 points. Somehow, someway the total stayed under. MOOSE CITY!
9. Purdue -4:
Purdue was up 12 points with 12 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Up to that point in the game, Nebraska had scored 12 points on four field goals. To make things better for anyone on Purdue -4, this was Nebraska, a team that seemed to just be counting down the seconds until the Mike Reilly era is over. At least that’s how you were supposed to feel:
Uh oh….next thing you know Tanner Lee led an 8 play, 70-yard drive that ended like this with just 14-seconds on the clock:
8. Texas Tech/Oklahoma Over 77.5:
When Baker Mayfield’s pass was caught by Mark Andrews in the end zone with 10:24 left in the third, Texas Tech and Oklahoma had combined for 69 points. Over the next 25 minutes, all over backers needed was 9 points. The following 50 plays saw 244 combined yards but only seven points. To make it that much worse, the moose came out of the woods both slowly and methodically. The fourth quarter involved only two drives. One from Texas Tech that ended on Oklahoma’s 2-yard line:
Oklahoma then went on an 18-play, 65-yard drive, which included two 3rd-down conversions and one 4th-down conversion, that ended in a victory formation. Brutal.
7. Oklahoma State/West Virginia Under 78:
West Virginia held Oklahoma State to their second-fewest yards in a game while Oklahoma State held West Virginia to their fewest yards in a game. The final still ended up combining for 89 points. How on earth?
With four minutes left in the third, Oklahoma State led 30-10. That was until West Virginia scored 14 points in 50 seconds, none of which happened when the offense was on the field:
After a few more touchdowns, Justice Hill finished off this bad beat with 4 minutes to go in the fourth:
6. Tulsa/SMU Over 75:
Losing a bet because of a penalty stings. Losing a bet because of a dumb penalty can drive a man insane. Up 7 early in the 3rd quarter, Luke Skipper found Justin Hobbs for what looked like a touchdown only to be taken away by the refs:
Tulsa ended up scoring a FG on this drive. The total ended up staying under by just 3.5 points. Sickening.
5. Virginia/Pittsburgh Over 49:
With 11:09 to go in the fourth, Virginia started a drive on their own 20-yard line down 31-14. 12 plays and 79-yards later, Virginia faced a 3rd-and-goal from Pittsburgh’s one-yard line. They were stuffed. Instead of taking the points, they went for it on fourth:
After a three-and-out from Pittsburgh, Virginia found themselves back in the red zone facing a 4th-and-goal from inside Pittsburgh’s ten:
4. Duke +9.5 1st Half:
There were 42 seconds left in the half when Greg Stroman returned the ball to Duke’s 42-yard-line. Virginia Tech led 10-3 and the rain started to come down hard. There was no way Virginia Tech turned this into anything, right?
3. Louisville/Wake Forest Under 66:
Have you ever wondered what 22 points in 56 seconds looks like that directly affects a game’s total? Well, lucky for you, I’ve got you covered!
2. Rice +12.5:
When Rice’s Sam Glaesmann found Aaron Cephus for a 51-yard touchdown on fourth-and-12, the score stood 28-28. There was only 4:33 left in the fourth. Even after Louisiana Tech’s 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with one minute left, Rice +12.5 was looking like a lock. Then the pick-six moose came out of the woods to play!
1. USC/ASU Under 58.5:
Let’s start with the hail mary at the end of the first half that shouldn’t have counted:
So, as Arizona State started their final drive of the game with 1:36 left in the fourth, the score should have been 41-10, not 41-17.
That drive started on their own 10-yard-line. Even though it was 41-17, the under was still intact. That was until ex-Alabama QB Blake Barnett dropped back to throw the ball 1st-and-10:
Look at that bounce! God wanted this game to go over! He must have!!!
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