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.
West Virginia 42, Texas Tech 34
An UNDER in a Big 12 game is never safe but bettors had to feel pretty good when West Virginia led Texas Tech 35-17 heading into the fourth quarter.
UNDER bettors could still allow three touchdowns and Texas Tech was down to their third-string quarterback, Jett Duffey. Duffey wasn’t expected to make a big impact in this game but he ended up being an OVER bettor’s best friend by the end of it.
— The QB Paul Blake (@TheQBPaulBlake) September 29, 2018
That ridiculous run, straight out of a video game, set up a field goal to make it 35-20 West Virginia. Duffey then scored on a 3-yard run with 7:50 remaining to make the score 35-27 — still 13.5 points short of the total. The Red Raiders got the ball back for one final drive late in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie. As long as the game didn’t go into overtime, UNDER bettors were safe — or so it appeared.
Then Duffey did the one thing UNDER backers couldn’t have happen. He threw a pick-six with 2:58 left in the game. Not only did that give West Virginia a commanding 42-27 lead, it set up for a backdoor cover for OVER bettors.
With West Virginia playing soft on defense, Duffey led Texas Tech down the field on a nine-play drive that was capped off by a Ta’Zhawn Henry 1-yard run with 38 seconds left to put the nail in the coffin for UNDER bettors.
It took 24 fourth quarter points and two touchdowns in the final three minutes for the game to go OVER. To make matters worse, the total opened at 77 at most books and dropped to 75.5, meaning gamblers who hit the OVER early lost as well. The sports books also took a hit on the late score with 72 percent of the bets and 75 percent of money wagered coming in on the OVER.
Texas 19, Kansas State 0 (First Half)
Bettors who had the OVER 24 in the first half of the Texas/Kansas State suffered a bad beat that has to be seen to be believed.
Texas dominated the first half even though either team produced much on offense. The Longhorns scored on a 90-yard punt return and added a safety for nine of their 19 points. Kansas State was completely shut down by Texas’ defense until the Wildcats finally came alive on their last drive of the half.
Kansas State faced a fourth-and-goal with just two seconds remaining in the half. OVER bettors could care less about a field goal and luckily, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder agreed. He decided to go for the touchdown, to the delight of everyone who bet OVER 24 points.
Kansas State fullback Adam Harter was wide open in the end zone for an easy touchdown. Quarterback Alex Delton sailed the ball high and Harter couldn’t bring it in. The game stayed UNDER 24 points and as you can see from the video below, OVER bettors must still be sick to their stomachs.
Here's how Kansas State ended the first half. Yikes pic.twitter.com/kQrVTgT2VQ
— 69 (@ftbeard_17) September 29, 2018
Texans 37, Colts 34
Line: Texans -1
Where do we begin with one? In a game that was a roller coaster of emotions for bettors, it will forever be remembered for a coach’s decision not to punt.
The Indianapolis Colts opened as a one-point favorite but the game closed Houston -1. The Texans took an eight-point lead after a Ka’imi Fairbairn field goal put them up 31-23 with just 2:58 remaining in the game. Texans backers needed just one stop or an unsuccessful two-point conversion if the Colts scored. They got neither.
Andrew Luck hit running back Nyheim Hines for a nine-yard touchdown with only 45 seconds left and converted the two-point conversion to send the game into overtime. After a Colts field goal, the Texans tied the game with 1:50 remaining in the extra stanza.
Were we headed for another tie? Not if Colts head coach Frank Reich could help it. Indianapolis faced a fourth-and-four from its own 43-yard line with just 24 seconds remaining. Colts bettors just needed a punt and the game would end in a tie. Indy +1 cashes. Just the punt the football.
Reich had other ideas.
The Colts lined up to go for it, obviously just trying to draw the Texans offsides. No one is crazy enough to go for it in this situation, right? Then, to the surprise of almost everyone, Luck snapped the ball. His pass to Chester Rogers fell incomplete. Colts bettors were left stunned.
Houston needed just one play to get into field goal range. Fairbairn connected from 37 yards out to give the Texans a 37-34 win.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 30, 2018
There were a lot of tough beats on Sunday. The Browns losing in overtime by three as a 2.5-point dog stung, but none were worse than the Colts failing to cover. One punt away from victory, Indy bettors will be re-telling the story about the time Reich went for it from his own 43-yard line in overtime for years.