Each week, TheLines takes 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.
LSU 24, Arkansas 17
Line: LSU -13.5
Remember two weeks ago when Todd Gurley broke the Internet by taking a knee instead of scoring a touchdown to cover the spread in the final minute against the Packers? Well, it looks like Gurley has started a trend.
Let’s go to the wild ending in the LSU/Arkansas game. The Tigers were in a tough spot laying 13.5 points after getting drilled by Alabama last week. Still, LSU was in control with a 24-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Then the wheels fell off for LSU backers.
Arkansas scored to cut the LSU lead to 24-10 early in the fourth quarter and then got within seven points after another touchdown with just 5:27 remaining in the game. In what looked like a laugher for LSU bettors was now a one-possession game.
LSU got the ball back and drove to the Arkansas 23-yard line. It appeared the Tigers had put the game away after a Nick Brossette’s 16-yard run set up LSU with a first down at the 7-yard line. With the clock ticking and Arkansas unable to stop it, LSU could take a knee and send Tigers bettors home with a bad beat.
Then LSU head coach Ed Orgeron inexplicably handed the ball off to Brossette with just over a minute to go. Brossette broke free, but instead of scoring, he slid down at the 1-yard line, similar to Gurley two weeks earlier. The touchdown would have all but given LSU bettors the win, but it was Arkansas that got the cover with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
While it was a bad beat for LSU backers, Orgeron should have never been running the ball in the first place. What if Brossette fumbled and it got returned for a tying touchdown? If you think that can’t happen, give ex-Baylor coach Kevin Steele a call. Steele once did the same thing up 24-20 and just as his running back was about to score, he fumbled with four seconds left. UNLV’s Kevin Thomas returned the fumble 100-yards to score a touchdown with no time remaining, giving the Rebels a 27-24 win.
It was a tough beat for LSU bettors when a running back took a knee to impact the spread for the second time in three weeks. You can’t blame Orgeron though. He gave LSU backers hope. But Brossette put his awareness on display. And he even took a question about the gambling impact of his decision after the game.
Texas A&M 38, Mississippi 24
Line: Ole Miss +13
Wow. If you had Ole Miss +13, words really don’t do this loss justice. Last week, Texas A&M was on the other end of a bad beat when they allowed Auburn to score twice late and cover. On Saturday, it was the Aggies scoring two late touchdowns to give Ole Miss backers the worst beat of the day.
Ole Miss was covering this game the entire way until the very end. Texas A&M kicked a field goal to go up 31-21 with 4:36 remaining. Until that kick, the biggest lead either team had all day was seven points. Trailing by ten, the Rebels drove down to the Aggies’ 7-yard line, but Ole Miss coach Matt Luke opted to kick a 24-yard field goal on fourth down with 1:51 left in the game to pull within seven.
The Rebels lined up for an onside kick but Ole Miss backers were looking good because if A&M recovered, they would just try to run out the clock. The Aggies recovered the kick. They tried to run out the clock. Texas A&M running back Trayveon Williams didn’t get the memo. On the first play after the onside kick, Williams bolted 46 yards for a touchdown to give the Aggies a 14-point lead. It was the first time all game Texas A&M was covering the spread.
Ole Miss got the ball back with 1:39 remaining and a shot to still get a backdoor cover. Amazingly, the Rebels went on a 15-play drive in the final 1:39 but were unable to score on 4th-and-21 from the Texas A&M 33-yard line on the game’s last play.
Let’s add it all up. The Rebels fumbled in the red zone with a chance to go up 21-7 in the second quarter. Ole Miss missed a 22-yard field goal with 7:18 left that would have tied the game. Following the missed field, the Aggies scored two touchdowns in the final 4:36, including a 46-yard run when they were trying to run out the clock.
Sometimes bettors are on the right side and still lose. On Saturday, Ole Miss was the right side until just over a minute to go in the game. Tough beat.
Indianapolis Colts 29, Jacksonville Jaguars 26
Line: Jaguars +3
There weren’t any really bad beats on Sunday, so we’ll have to settle for a PUSH from Jaguars bettors when it looked like they were headed for a win.
The Jaguars trailed 29-13 in the third quarter and fought back to within three, 29-26, late in the fourth quarter. It appeared the Jaguars were going to complete the comeback and get a victory over their AFC South rivals. Jacksonville had moved into field goal range but with just over one minute to go, Rashad Greene lost the ball while going to the ground after a catch.
It was originally ruled Greene was down by contact, giving the Jaguars a first down at the Colts’ 23-yard line. However, after a review, the call was overturned and ruled a fumble. The Colts took over and ran out the clock.
Jaguars bettors will live with a PUSH after trailing all game long but they got a bit unlucky on the close fumble. Jacksonville had all the momentum and just 23 yards to go for a game-winning touchdown. Even though both sides ended up with a PUSH, you know when the call got reversed to a fumble, it felt like a win to Colts bettors and a loss for gamblers on the Jaguars.