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. Florida State/Syracuse Over 51.5:
Coming into the fourth quarter, Syracuse & FSU had a combined 41 points. After a late FG by FSU and a TD by Syracuse, over bettors suddenly had hope. After forcing FSU to punt with 1:32 left in the fourth, Syracuse drove all the way down to FSU’s 25. With 6 seconds left out came Cole Murphy to put the game over:
9. Northwestern/Nebraska Over 55.5:
After seeing just 17 points in the second half, over backers were looking at a potential overtime backdoor cover. Northwestern started off overtime with a touchdown to put the score 31-24. Over bettors were so close they could TASTE the money, then they remembered that all they needed help from was 2017 Nebraska:
Great job by Mike Riley calling a pass 7 yards short of the sticks on fourth down!
8. Notre Dame -16.5:
Notre Dame had….wait for it….710 yards! They were up 41-16 with 17 minutes left in the game. They still didn’t cover all thanks to a 14-play, 90-yard drive with just 5:20 left in the fourth:
A death by a million paper cuts.
7. Colorado +6.5:
Up 30-27 with 7 minutes left in the fourth, those who had Colorado +6.5 were feeling prettttyyy, pretttyyy, pretty good. That was until 14 points by Arizona State in 5 minutes, which included a ridiculous run from a freshman:
And a 3rd-and-goal run from Manny Wilkins with just 46 seconds on the clock, which had ASU -6.5 bettors feeling a certain type of way:
6. Michigan/Minnesota Under 40.5:
After four straight punts in the fourth quarter, Michigan still led Minnesota 33-7. Minnesota started a drive on their own 33. 11 plays later it was 4th-and-goal from Michigan’s five-yard line with just under two minutes left. Being down 23 meant Minnesota went for it, right? Nope! PJ Fleck rowed his boat of booster cash to his FG kicker to let him know that he better get his ass out there and make this field goal because Mr. Van Dyke, who owns car dealerships all across Minnesota, took the over and they need his money for the cool new oars he wants to buy this year. Final? 33-10. MOOSE!
5. Fresno State -4.5 2H:
The second half score stood 10-7, Fresno State. After recovering a fumble by BYU at their own 25, Fresno took over to secure the 2nd half cover. Their 7-play, 21-yard drive ended on 4th-and-3, but not the way 2nd half bettors would have appreciated:
4. Florida/Missouri Under 60.5:
Halfway through the fourth, Florida and Missouri combined to score 51 points. The under seemed like a lock. There was no way that this game ended up in the bad beats blog, right?!
About two-thirds way through the fourth, Florida struck:
Missouri started their drive with 5:36 on the clock. After a 6-play, 4-minute drive, it was fourth & 8 from Florida’s 25. Instead of handing the ball off for a potential first down/turnover, Missouri ran out their kicker for a 42-yard kick to push the total over by half of a point.
3. Texas A&M +7.5 1st Half:
4th & 4 from their own 26-yard line. All Texas A&M needed to do was punt the ball away and go into the half down 1 point. Go out there, impress the crowd with decent punt coverage and all Texas A&M 1st half backers could go into the half hap….oh no:
2. USF -23.5:
Up 37-14 late in the fourth, South Florida gave up a not-so nice 10-play, 69-yard touchdown drive to UConn. Luckily for anyone on USF -23.5, UConn missed the tw0-point conversion. As South Florida started their drive with just 6 minutes left in the fourth, any rational bettor (the joke here is there is no rational bettor) was convincing themselves that USF could score a TD to cover. Starting on their own 48-yard line, USF found themselves in the red zone with under a minute left. Hope was still alive! But meet hope’s dick of a brother, disappointment:
I can only imagine watching that run with USF -23.5. “Why are you still watching this game, Jack? It’s UConn-South Florida and it’s 37-20 in the fourth!” asks your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/fried as you respond, “it’s not over for me” watching Darius Tice take a route to the front left pylon to give you the cover. You stand up, screaming “Go! Go!!!” only to see the ball take the bounce only happens in games you, the most cursed gambler in the world, gamble on.
1. FAU -6.5:
I’m sure you’ve seen it by now, but if you haven’t, here it is:
If that final play, which probably took a year or so off the life of everyone who had FAU, didn’t cause you enough pain, Lane Kiffin decided to take his troll knife and stab it in your back one more time:
6,674 people who retweeted this as a joke, none of them knowing the PAIN the bad beat caused by Boca Lane Kiffin.
(Lane, if you are reading this, I still love you #THEfaU)
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