The Weekend In Bad Beats: Rodgers To Cobb And A Blocked Punt TD To Cover

Written By Thomas Casale on September 10, 2018
bad beats

You have to love gambling. It’s the only reason people would be glued to their TV sets for a 42-7 game in the fourth quarter (like one of the games that make an appearance in this article below).

Each week, TheLines will take a look back at some of the worst sports betting “bad beats” from the weekend of college and pro football. These incredible moments caused a swing in money at sportsbooks, resulting in jubilation — and plenty of pain — for bettors everywhere.

Florida Atlantic 33, Air Force 27

Line: Florida Atlantic -9

There are bad beats, then there’s what happened in the Florida Atlantic/Air Force game.

Florida Atlantic took a 33-20 lead with 10:41 left after a touchdown and successful two-point conversion. There was plenty of time left at that point but as the minutes ticked down, it looked like FAU backers would survive with a cover.

Following a failed fourth-down conversion by Air Force at the Florida Atlantic 25, the Owls took over and attempted to run out the final three minutes. One first down and the game is over. FAU covers.

However, the Owls came up two yards short and were forced to punt. With just 57 seconds remaining and Air Force not known for its passing game, Florida Atlantic backers were still feeling good. Just needed to get the punt off.

Then the unthinkable happened.

Sebastian Riella’s punt was blocked by Garrett Kauppila. The ball was scooped up by Lakota Wills, who returned it five yards for the score and an improbable backdoor cover in the final minute. Books took a loss on this one, as 58 percent of the money was on Air Force.

It’s still early in the college football season but we have a leader in the clubhouse for Bad Beat of the Year.

Oklahoma 49, UCLA 21

Line: Oklahoma -31
Total: 66

Oklahoma started this game off slowly, leading just 21-7 at halftime. The Sooners came roaring out of the locker room by scoring three unanswered touchdowns to take a 42-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. It was the first time OU was covering the spread all day.

The next 13 minutes was a roller coaster for gamblers. UCLA scored with 11:11 remaining to cut the lead to 28. Then Oklahoma responded four minutes later when QB Kyler Murray scored to give Sooners’ backers hope. The 35 second-half points also put the UNDER in jeopardy, as the game was now just a field goal away from pushing the total.

UCLA hadn’t done much on offense all game long but with Oklahoma playing prevent, the Bruins marched down the field for a potentially huge “meaningless” touchdown. It came down to 4th-and-6 from the nine-yard line for all the marbles. Both the side and total were on the line. Freshman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw a strike to Michael Ezeike for a nine-yard touchdown and a Bruins cover. The OVER cashed with 42 points in the second half.

The outcome was a split for sportsbooks. According to Sports Insights, 72 percent of the money was on Oklahoma but a whopping 92 percent came in on the OVER.

For some, a 49-21 game had the most thrilling ending of the day.

Packers 24, Bears 23

Line: Bears ML

The Packers entered Sunday night’s game against the Bears 0-111 when trailing by 17 points in the fourth quarter. Green Bay is now 1-111 in its 100-year history thanks to a furious comeback led by a hobbled Aaron Rodgers.

Sportsbooks saw a lot of money come in on the Bears +7 to the point where the line dropped to Packers -6 at some places. Many betters also took a shot on the Bears money line at +245. Close to 40 percent of betting tickets on the money line backed the Bears.

Everything looked like a walk in the park whether you bet Chicago with the points or on the money line. The Bears raced out to a 17-0 lead and more importantly, Rodgers left the game on a cart with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

With Rodgers looking unlikely to return, the second half line was Chicago +1/5 with the Bears juiced up to -150 at some sportsbooks. Then, Rodgers comes walking out of the tunnel with his helmet like he’s Willis Reed. Ah, good luck. Khalil Mack and the Bears’ defense is dominating, right?

Even with Rodgers, the Bears took a commanding 20-3 lead into the fourth quarter. The game changed when Rodgers hit Geronimo Allison for a 39-yard touchdown. Then it was Davante Adams from 12 yards out. Is this really going to happen?

The Bears put the comeback on hold with a drive that drained 6:22 from the clock but it ended in only a field goal. Rodgers had 2:39 remaining down 23-17. Did we even have to watch the ending? Bears moneyline backers and second half bettors got that uneasy feeling in their stomachs. We all knew it was coming.

A dropped interception gave Rodgers a second life and that’s all he needed. Rodgers hit a streaking Randall Cobb for a game-winning 75-yard touchdown pass. The Packers’ defense closed the door and the legendary comeback was complete.

What looked like an easy win for bettors on the Bears’ money line turned into a devastating loss in a game no one will ever forget, especially gamblers

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Thomas Casale

Thomas Casale has been following the sports betting industry for 25 years. He's contributed to The Linemakers and is currently an editor at BetChicago. Thomas has also provided fantasy sports analysis for multiple websites and print publications, while also covering the NFL, college football, college basketball and MMA for different media outlets.

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