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Worst bad beats of the week: An all-timer for Abilene Christian

The gambling gods got creative.

Here are the worst bad beats of the sport betting week:

Honorable mention

Early bettors who had the Los Angeles Chargers -8 or even -7½ watched in horror as they let most of a 24-6 halftime lead slip away against the winless New York Jets.

Holding a 34-26 lead in the final seconds, the Chargers opted to have their punter step out the back of the end zone with one second left rather than risk a kick, making Los Angeles a loser at every number.

5. UCLA 1H ML +475

A bit obscure, but this was a gut punch for bettors who backed the Bruins to have the halftime lead against No. 11 Oregon as huge underdogs.

UCLA took a 21-17 lead with 3:24 left in the half, then got a stop, seemingly locking up the halftime money-line win with 41 seconds left.

Seemingly. On the final play of the half, UCLA quarterback Chase Griffin was hit as he threw. The ball fell into the arms of Oregon’s Jordan Happle, who cut across the field and raced 58 yards for a TD to put Oregon in front 24-21 at the break.

4. Cincinnati -4

Another confusing endgame that included a running back going down on his own at the 1-yard line.

The Bearcats held a 36-25 lead late into the fourth quarter before Central Florida scored and got a 2-point conversion with 4:27 left to make it 36-33.

Cincinnati drove back down the field and had first-and-goal at the 5 with 1:43 remaining. Central Florida still had two timeouts, so the Bearcats couldn’t quite run out the clock.

On first down, Gerrid Doaks could have scored but went down at the 1. With Central Florida out of timeouts on third down, Doaks tried to score but was stopped just short of the goal line.

The time differential meant Cincinnati still had to run a play. Rather than risk a field goal being blocked, the Bearcats lined up for a play, but quarterback Desmond Ridder could only dive on an errant snap.

Central Florida covered in a 36-33 loss.

3. Appalachian State +4½

The line eventually closed at 3, but the Mountaineers were available at +4½ and +5 all week and for some of Saturday.

And Appalachian State certainly appeared to be the right side against No. 15 Coastal Carolina. The Mountaineers led 17-9 at halftime and 23-21 for most of the fourth quarter.

Coastal Carolina took a 27-23 lead with 2:24 to go. Appalachian State tried to mount a final drive, but D’Jordan Strong picked off a pass and raced 38 yards for a TD to give Coastal Carolina a 34-23 lead with 1:20 left.

That was the only 1:20 Appalachian State wasn’t covering the spread.

2. Tulane +5

Here’s all it took for Tulane to not cover Thursday against Tulsa.

1. Blow a 14-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.

2. After retaking the lead at 21-14, allow a 37-yard Hail Mary on the final play of regulation to go to overtime.

3. Match Tulsa’s field goal in the first overtime when a touchdown or missed field goal would earn the cover.

4. Throw a 96-yard pick-six to lose 30-24 in double overtime.

1. Abilene Christian +38½

Teams have lost covers on late interception returns (see Appalachian State above), but have they ever lost because the team leading by 36 tried a double pass in its end zone with 34 seconds left instead of running out the clock?

Such was the case with Abilene Christian on Saturday. Virginia scored with 5:57 left to take a 49-7 lead, the first time the Wildcats weren’t covering all game. Abilene Christian answered with 1:26 left, and all appeared well for its backers at 49-13.

The Wildcats even kicked the ball deep instead of trying an onside kick. On second down, with the clock running, Virginia inexplicably tried a throwback pass into the end zone that resulted in a safety. (The Cavaliers later said the play call was a miscommunication.)

Now Abilene Christian had the ball back after a free kick. Driving for another score, Peyton Mansell threw an interception to D’Sean Perry, who rumbled 84 yards to give Virginia a 55-15 victory and a loss Abilene Christian backers won’t soon forget.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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