Teams scoring touchdowns when they didn’t actually want to score cost bettors this week.
Here are the worst bad beats of the sports betting week:
Two that qualify as freak occurrences but not necessarily bad beats:
— Under 7½ Dodgers-Rays (Game 3): Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena hit a solo home run with two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning to push Game 3 over in a 6-2 Dodgers victory. Being one strike away from a win and losing stinks, but over bettors probably deserved to win after the game was 5-0 in the top of the fourth and 6-1 in the top of the sixth.
— Browns (-3½): Yes, Cody Parkey missed a late extra point that would have made early Cleveland bettors winners. (The game closed -4 or even -4½ at some books.) Instead, the Bengals covered in a 37-34 loss to the Browns. But Cleveland did not have a lead until the fourth quarter, and it required a TD with 11 seconds left to put the Browns in a position to cover. The Bengals were the right side.
5. Seahawks -3½
The Sunday night game got nutty in overtime, but Seattle backers should have been in good shape when the Cardinals tried a field goal with 2:57 left, trailing the Seahawks 34-24. You would think Seattle would be happy to hold Arizona to a field goal and still have a seven-point lead, but Benson Mayowa rushed as if the Seahawks’ season was on the line, leaping onto the back of the center. The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave the Cardinals a first down, and they scored a TD with 2:28 to go.
The Cardinals eventually tied the game on a field goal on the final play — they likely wouldn’t have had time to score a TD if they kicked the earlier field goal — and won 37-34 in overtime in a game in which Seattle led by double digits four times.
4. Under 68½ Nebraska-Ohio State
There was an epidemic of college football teams refusing to kneel out victories last week.
One of those came in Columbus, where Buckeyes backup quarterback Jack Miller scored on a 2-yard run with 18 seconds left to push the game over the total in a 52-17 Ohio State victory.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day later apologized, saying, “I had a younger quarterback into the game, and I didn’t feel like we had the personnel to take the knee.”
Under bettors reply: They didn’t have the right personnel for the QB to drop to a knee?
3. Under 51½ Illinois-Wisconsin
A similar Big Ten finish but with an added twist. After being stopped on third-and-goal at the 2, Wisconsin kicked a 19-yard field goal on fourth down with 56 seconds left instead of kneeling (or running a play that might have been stopped).
Final: Wisconsin 45, Illinois 7.
2. Under 61½ Penn State-Indiana
Indiana backers avoided an epic bad beat when the Hoosiers prevailed in overtime, but under bettors couldn’t be saved. Indiana led 20-14 with less than three minutes to play. Penn State took a 21-20 lead, then got the ball back with less than two minutes to play.
Indiana was down to one timeout, and the Hoosiers knew their best chance was to let Penn State score and get the ball back. The Nittany Lions’ Devyn Ford faced no opposition on a 14-yard TD run. He seemed to realize what was happening at the last second, but couldn’t pull up in time.
Now Penn State led 28-20 with 1:42 to go. Indiana marched down the field and scored, but under backers could still survive if the 2-point conversion failed. No dice. Indiana ended up winning 36-35 in OT.
1. Falcons ML
The Falcons are a bad beat staple, and they added to their legacy Sunday. Atlanta didn’t trail until the Lions took a 16-14 lead with 3:16 to play. The Falcons drove to the Detroit 10 and were in a position to win.
The Lions were out of timeouts, and the Falcons could kneel with the ball and kick a short field goal on the final play. Like Indiana, the Lions knew their best chance was to let Atlanta score. Todd Gurley realized as he neared the end zone that he needed to go down, but he barely crossed the plane of the goal line with 1:04 to go. A Lions player thrust his arms in the air to celebrate getting the ball back.
Detroit scored on the final play for a 23-22 win.