- What were the five worst gambling beats from this weekend's NFL and college football games? Reader discretion advised before going any further.
Welcome to the first-ever SI Backdoor Cover Jinx, where we will commiserate (or for others who are more cruel, laugh at) with our fellow gamblers’ misery from the worst beats to take place over this past week’s gridiron action. After scouring the half and full-game spreads and totals from NFL’s Week 1 and college football’s Week 2 slate, here were the five most devastating results that made us question our sanity and how the gambling world can be so cold.
First, some music to put us in the mood courtesy of Limp Bizkit.
5. Colorado/Nebraska OVER 62.5 points
Over backers had to be feeling confident after the first three quarters of this rivalry game. Nebraska led 28-27 and both teams were moving the ball up and down the field. Just eight points separated bettors from their winnings heading into the final 15 minutes of the contest.
The Buffaloes and Cornhuskers continued to get into opposing territory in the fourth quarter, but just couldn’t find the end zone. They combined to miss not one, not two, but three field goals (!) in the first 10-plus minutes of the quarter.
Colorado scored a go-ahead touchdown on a 40-yard bomb from Steven Montez to Laviska Shenault Jr. with 1:06 left to make it a 33-28 score. To make it a seven-point game, and much to the delight of over bettors who just needed two points to cash, the Buffs went for two. But the conversation attempt ended up one yard shy of the end zone on a short pass.
Nebraska had one last-gasp effort, and reached the Colorado 21-yard line with 19 seconds left. One false start, one six-yard gain and three incompletions later, the Cornhuskers lost and under 62.5 bettors miraculous prevailed with 1.5 points to spare.
4. Dolphins/Titans UNDER 45 points
This game closed at 43.5, and while that total is also a bad beat of its own, those that bet under 45 suffered the biggest punch to the gut (and wallet).
It’s one thing to be on the right side of the wager for most of the game, but under bettors here were on the right side for over seven hours. You read that right—thanks to the first lightning delay setting the game back 1 hour and 57 minutes, and the other lasting for 2 hours and 2 minutes.
After the teams came back onto the field following the second delay, the scoreboard read 7-3 Dolphins with 6:47 left in the third quarter. Heading into the fourth quarter, Miami led 10-3. Then a points explosion occurred.
Four touchdowns were scored in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, including a kickoff return to the house for each team and a 75-yard scoring toss to Kenny Stills for the Dolphins. Miami kicker Jason Sanders knocked in a 30-yard field goal to make it 27-17 with 3:53 left.
With Blaine Gabbert in at quarterback and the team starting its final drive at its own 20-yard line with 1:07 remaining, the Titans reached the Miami 40-yard line with 16 ticks left. Gabbert spiked the ball following a 10-yard completion to Dion Lewis, however, the Dolphins were flagged for too many men on the field. Trying to make it a one-possession game to give the Titans even a remote shot of winning, Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel trotted out Ryan Succop for a 53-yard field goal attempt.
Succop drilled it, the Titans didn’t recover the onside kick attempt and the Dolphins won 27-20. And after more than seven hours from the opening kickoff, under bettors were left with a taste of despair in their mouths.
3. Florida Atlantic -8 vs. Air Force
Following a Week 1 walloping at the hands of Oklahoma, FAU looked much sharper to start its second game. The Owls led 19-7 at the half, though the Falcons cut the deficit to five points before the start of the fourth.
FAU struck back early in the final quarter, as Chris Robison connected with Willie Wright for a 26-yard scoring toss. After a successful two-point conversion, FAU bettors felt more comfortable with a 13-point lead.
Then things got crazy.
A holding penalty wiped out a Devin Singletary 75-yard run that would have made it at least a 19-point game with a little over five minutes remaining. Later on that drive, Lane Kiffin opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from FAU’s own 34-yard line to try and ice the game. Singletary was stuffed for a loss, and Air Force only needed 33 yards for a backbreaking cover.
The Falcons failed to convert a fourth down of their own after getting stopped on a fourth-and-2 from FAU’s 25-yard line.
So the Owls have the ball with two minutes left and a 13-point lead. FAU -8 bettors must be starting to count their money right?
Air Force burned its final two timeouts, and Robison was sacked on third down to give the Falcons one last chance to score. Yet, the offense didn’t even need the ball, as this occurred with 57 seconds left.
Thanks to that blocked punt return for a TD, Air Force covered the spread with its 33-27 loss. See, not all teams called the Falcons are on the wrong end of these!
2. Bears ML (+250) at Packers
Chicago had a 20-point lead in the third quarter and was defending a one-legged Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. If you are one of the few people who lives under a rock and doesn’t know how this game ended, I’ll direct you to this highlight video below.
1. Kentucky-Florida UNDER 24 points in the second half
Wait, Bears moneyline isn’t the worst bad beat of the week? This must have been a real doozy to top that one. And it certainly was.
The two teams had combined for 20 points in the second half, and Florida had the pigskin down five points at its 25-yard line with four seconds left.
On the final play, the unthinkable happened.
Here’s another angle.
The Kentucky sideline was screaming to Davonte Robinson that it was a fumble and not an incompletion, so after lollygagging around with the pigskin originally, he then realizes it’s a live ball and barely gets it across the goal line with Florida offensive lineman Tyler Jordan dragging him down. After the replay review, the touchdown stood and the 2H over cashed with 26 points scored.
The Wildcats gave its fan base a moment to remember as they snapped their 31-game losing streak to the Gators, and also gave bettors on both sides heart palpitations.
While that was surely a tough pill to swallow for those on the wrong end of that crazy final play, hopefully the luck evens out in next week’s action (even though it seemingly never does).