SI Backdoor Cover Jinx: The Five Most Excruciating Betting Losses From NFL Week 11/CFB Week 12

A controversial replay review in the SEC and an absolute meltdown in the Mountain West were among the most excruciating betting losses from this past week of football.
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It’s Thanksgiving week, one of the greatest times of the year. You get to spend time with the closest people in your lives and eat like a king while doing so (though admittedly, I’m in the turkey is overrated party). But for sports bettors like yours truly, it’s also non-stop excitement. Three NFL games on Thursday, plenty of intriguing college football contests on Friday and Saturday and even early weekday college basketball affairs to speed up the workday.

So have a happy and a healthy holiday week, and of course, a profitable one.

But while it’s easy to look ahead, here at the SI Backdoor Cover Jinx, we also unfortunately have to go back into the past to reminisce over the worst betting losses over the last week.

Before we relive our anguish, here are this week’s accompanying tunes to get us mentally prepared for the world of betting purgatory.  

5. NC State/Louisville OVER 66 Points

The two teams combined for just 20 points at halftime, so reaching the over here was certainly an uphill battle.

NC State scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, and completed a 99-yard drive with a Ryan Finley three-yard throw to Jakobi Meyers in the end zone to start the fourth.

Louisville and NC State traded touchdowns, to bring the score to 52-10 with five minutes to go. Now just one touchdown was needed for the over to cash.

The Cardinals started their final drive at their own four-yard line because of an illegal fair catch signal penalty. Malik Cunningham fumbled on the first play of the drive inside the five, but got it back—much to the chagrin of over bettors who could have used an NC State recovery deep in Louisville territory.

The Cardinals avoided the hiccup and drove down the field, reaching the NC State one-yard line for one final play of the game.

Just short. Woof.

4. Titans/Colts UNDER 24.5 points first half

The game was scoreless for the first 13 minutes, but then the Colts scored on four straight drives to make it 24-0 with 2:29 remaining in the half. Their final two drives of the half went for four plays, 87 yards (ending with a T.Y. Hilton 68-yard scoring grab) and five plays, 85 yards (Jordan Wilkins 18-yard touchdown run).

Still, under bettors were alive thanks to the hook. And the Titans had not scored a point yet, and they had the worst offensive scoring numbers in the first half this season.

On second-and-seven from the Indy 38, Marcus Mariota was sacked and suffered an injury on the play. In came Blaine Gabbert.

Gabbert completed a six-yard throw to Jonnu Smith, which would have put the ball at the 39-yard line. Instead of asking Ryan Succop to deliver on a 56-yard field goal, the Titans were gifted an unnecessary roughness penalty after the play, advancing the ball 15 yards forward.

Succop nailed the 42-yard boot as time expired in the second quarter, sending a dagger into the hearts of under bettors with the scoreboard reading 24-3.

3. Ole Miss +3

The Rebels zoomed out to a 13-0 lead on the road against Vanderbilt, but the Commodores roared back to take a 26-19 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Ole Miss tied the game on a sensational nine-yard touchdown grab by DaMarkus Lodge. Vandy, however, responded on the next drive with a Ryley Guay 44-yard field goal to go up by three.

Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu was picked off by Vandy’s Joejuan Williams in the end zone with three minutes to go. At this point, a push would have been slightly disappointing, though at least it’s not a loss.

Instead, the Ole Miss defense got a seemingly rare three-and-out stop, giving the pigskin back in control of the offense.

The Rebels faced a third-and-10 from the Vandy 24-yard line offense, and Ta’amu connected with Elijah Moore for a nine-yard gain.

So now it’s fourth-and-one from the Vandy 15. Ole Miss is ineligible for a bowl game this season, so you’d think Matt Luke would play with a nothing-to-lose mentality.

Out trotted kicker Luke Logan instead, who drilled a 32-yard field goal to tie the game with 40 seconds left.

In overtime, the Commodores scored a touchdown to start it off, but committed an unsportsmanlike penalty to give Ole Miss the ball at the 12-yard line for its first overtime possession.

On third-and-six from the Vandy eight-yard line, Ta’amu appeared to find star wideout A.J. Brown in the end zone.

After replay review, though, the refs deemed it was incomplete. An incompletion on fourth down gave Vanderbilt a 36-29 win, and gave Ole Miss bettors a tough loss to swallow.

2. Bears/Vikings UNDER 44 points

It was a 14-3 game with 12 minutes to go.

Then a scoring of rampage of 28 points in a span of 11 minutes ripped defeat from the jaws of victory for under bettors. The Bears and Vikings opting for two-point conversions on the four touchdowns in the game, and converting on three of them, was especially brutal.

1. Air Force +3

This was the type of bet that ruins your week.

The Falcons were leading 24-14 with just over 10 minutes left, and were in prime position to put the game away with a first-and-goal from the Wyoming three-yard line.

A flag for a chop block moved Air Force 15 yards back, but it was still able to salvage a field goal out of the possession to boost its lead to 13 with 8:44 remaining.

Wyoming responded with a 13-play, 76-yard scoring drive—aided by a defensive pass interference on fourth down and a third-and-15 conversion—that was capped off by quarterback Tyler Vander Waal’s five-yard rushing touchdown.

Air Force still was up 27-21 with the clock on its side. But the Falcons went three-and-out, giving the Cowboys the ball back with 2:55 to go.

Wyoming converted another fourth down, this one from nine yards out, on this drive. Vander Waal found Austin Conway from 22 yards out to tie the game, despite three defenders surrounding the wideout. An extra point put the Cowboys up 28-27 with 1:09 left.

So Air Force bettors are still in good shape. Just anything but a turnover.

Just. Anything. But. A. Turnover.

Sure enough, Donald Hammond III was picked off by Logan Wilson on Air Force’s first play of the drive, giving Wyoming the ball back on the opposing 22-yard line.

Air Force had two timeouts left, so all Wyoming needed was a first down to ice the game. The Falcons burned them on the first two plays of the drive, giving Wyoming a third-and-15 with 52 seconds left.

Tailback Xazavian Valladay had other ideas on his third-down run besides sealing the game, scampering from 27 yards out to reach the end zone.

BUT WAIT, a flag!

Wyoming was flagged for offensive holding, so this wipes the touchdown off the board to keep it a 28-27 game right?


Air Force declined the penalty to give itself a better chance of winning, because a Wyoming TD and extra point would still make it an eight-point game.

While it was the smart decision, Hammond III was picked off again shortly thereafter, locking up one of the worst beats of the season for those who had Air Force +3.

If you want to see the painful events unfold with your very own eyes, watch below.