Worst gambling 'bad beats' of the weekend

The Oregon Ducks didn't reward backers in the Alamo Bowl against TCU. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Rob Nelson of ESPN Stats & Information revisits the worst bad beats from this past weekend's gambling action.

Note: Closing lines are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, and pick percentages are via Wunderdog sports.


Tennessee Volunteers vs. Northwestern Wildcats

Closing line: Over/under 49

In a game dominated by Tennessee throughout, the 42 percent of bettors who took the under appeared to be on the right side heading into the fourth quarter. The Volunteers led 24-6 after three quarters, and Northwestern had struggled to move the ball all day.

Early in the fourth, Joshua Dobbs ran it in from 18 yards out to extend Tennessee's lead to 31-6. That score held until less than five minutes left, when the Vols took advantage of a short field after an interception, and punched it in from a yard out. Those on the under now needed to avoid a Northwestern touchdown. And despite scoring just once in 12 previous drives, the Wildcats drove to the Tennessee 13-yard line with 24 seconds left.

On the next play, Northwestern's Zack Oliver was picked off by Evan Berry in the end zone, and bettors on the under thought they had survived. However, Berry decided to return the pick 100 yards for a touchdown, pushing the total over. It proved to be a rough start to 2016 for those on under in the first game of the New Year.

Final score: Tennessee 45, Northwestern 6 (game goes over)


TCU Horned Frogs vs. Oregon Ducks

Closing line: Over/under 73.5

If you changed the channel after the first half of this game, you're not alone. If you are an Oregon fan or had the under and watched the entire game, there's not much to say. The Ducks led 31-0 at halftime and the 36 percent of bettors who took the under needed to avoid more than 42.5 points in the second half.

While Oregon didn't score at all in the third and fourth quarters, TCU flipped the script and scored 31 unanswered points, tying the game with 19 seconds left in the fourth. With the game heading to overtime, those on the under were 12 more points away from a losing bet. The Horned Frogs carried their momentum into overtime, taking four plays to find the end zone and take a 38-31 lead. Oregon needed a touchdown to tie it up, but the Ducks hadn't scored since the second quarter. It all came down to a fourth-and-4 from the TCU 19 yard-line. A stop by the Horned Frogs and the under would be a winning bet. But Jeff Lockie found Royce Freeman for a 17-yard completion to set up first-and-goal, and two plays later, Oregon scored to force a second overtime and push the total over. By the time TCU ended up winning in triple-overtime, bettors who took the under were already trying to forget this tough loss.

Final score: TCU 47, Oregon 41 in 3OT (game goes over)


Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

Closing line: Chiefs -6.5

Sometimes the side that looks to be in control the entire game turns out to be the losing side when the final whistle blows. That was the case for the 56 percent of bettors who took the Chiefs to cover.

Kansas City jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and led throughout the game. Up 23-10 in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs took nearly nine minutes off the clock before setting up for a 39-yard field goal. A make and Kansas City would be up 16 with just over three minutes left, almost guaranteeing a cover. Cairo Santos nailed the field goal but a holding call on Travis Kelce negated the play. The penalty moved the Chiefs 10 yards back, and Santos appeared confused on the following attempt and ended up throwing a pass on an apparent fake. Needless to say, it didn't work out and the Raiders took over.

The chances were still slim that Oakland would score as its previous seven possessions ended with five punts, a safety and interception. None of that mattered when Michael Crabtree caught Derek Carr's heave into the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown, though. The Chiefs won by six, but they failed to cover by a half a point.

Final score: Chiefs 23, Raiders 17 (Raiders cover)

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

Closing line: Over/under 47

The only ones feeling better than Seattle at halftime were the 59 percent of bettors who took the over. The Seahawks led 30-6 after the first half, and the 36 combined points were just 11 shy of the closing over/under.

Seattle continued to move the ball early in the third quarter, kicking field goals on each of its first two second-half possessions. The next four possessions ended with punts and those on the over were questioning if they would get five more points. The Cardinals drove to the Seahawks' 12-yard line before Drew Stanton was picked off with just over five minutes left. Seattle proceeded to move the ball to the Cardinals' 17-yard line with just over a minute to go. But there would be no last-second score as Seattle took a knee to end the game. After a 36-point first half, the teams combined for six after halftime with no scores in the final 19:49.

Final score: Seahawks 36, Cardinals 6 (game goes under)