Greatest (or worst) sports betting bad beats of all time

Oct 3, 2017 |
Greatest (or worst) sports betting bad beats of all time
Justin Houston's touchdown not only flipped Kansas City’s ATS loss to a win, but it also pushed the game over the 48.5-point total.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
Justin Houston's touchdown not only flipped Kansas City’s ATS loss to a win, but it also pushed the game over the 48.5-point total.
Photo By - USA Today Sports

The Monday night game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins was one of the all-time great bad beats. The Chiefs kicked a game-winning field goal with four seconds left to go up 23-20 and closed the door – or so it seemed – on any chance for a backdoor cover as 7-point faves.

The Redskins tried some lateral pass nonsense that backfired and the Chiefs’ Justin Houston rumbled in for pay-dirt with the game clock sitting on double zero. The touchdown not only flipped Kansas City’s ATS loss to a win, but it also pushed the game over the 48.5-point total. Notice how play-by-play man Sean McDonough takes a page out of the Brent Musburger/Al Michaels playbook and says "this might be meaningful to some."

It sure was, Sean.

We asked our followers on Twitter for suggestions of the worst bad beats or "mooses" – as degenerates like to call them – of all time. Here are some of those horror stories.

2012 Belk Bowl

Matchup: Duke (+9.5) vs. Cincinnati

Victims: Those who backed the Duke Blue Devils at +9.5

The Blue Devils had the ball in the red zone and pushing for a TD with the game tied at 34-apiece. Duke’s running back fumbles the ball and Cincinnati tight end Travis Kelce makes some magic on a long catch and run to put the Bearcats up 41-34. Duke gets the ball back and tries to answer but turns the ball over and sees Cincy take it back to the house.

The scenario left ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt nearly in tears describing it in his bad beats segment.

Here’s the highlight video:


Shout-out to @TheSharpMush for pointing this one out to us.

2013 MAAC championship game

Matchup: Iona (-4) vs. Manhattan

Victims: Those who took the favorite at -4.

It was a close game but Iona sealed the outcome and what seemed like the cover when it got a transition dunk to put them up eight points with six seconds left. Manhattan comes down the court and hits a deep three on the final second making the score 60-55.

Iona players and fans storm the court in jubilation, but an overzealous zebra cuts their moment short. The lead official, who clearly had Manhattan and the points, rules there is still a tenth of a second left on the game clock and hands Iona a technical foul. Manhattan nails the two free throws from the technical foul and makes the final score 60-57.

Not cool for many members of the Covers community. Props to @jphilinaz for pointing this one out.

2014 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl

Matchup: Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky (-3)

Victims: Any poor saps who backed the Hilltoppers as 3-point chalk.

Western Kentucky was up 49-14 going into the fourth quarter. If you were playing a video game with the same score going into the fourth quarter and you put the controller down to run to the store for a bag of Cool Ranch but forgot to hit pause – there is no way in hell the computer is coming back from that deficit.

Well, the Hilltoppers didn’t step out for Doritos, but they might as well have. Central Michigan outscored Western Kentucky 34-0 in the final period including this ridiculous Hail Mary with a few looney laterals mixed in.


Central Michigan failed its two-point conversion attempt meaning the Hilltoppers held on for outright win but failed to cover the spread. Western Kentucky’s players must have felt relieved not to have blown completely that 35-point lead, but there was no such relief for the team’s backers including @Carter3109.

November 29, 2000: NHL regular season

Matchup: St. Louis Blues at Toronto Maple Leafs (-120)

Victims: Those poor, long-suffering Leafs fans.

The ballad of the Buds begins with Tie Domi. The long-time enforcer was having one of the best games of his career. Domi collected his third point and second goal with 17:06 left to go in the third period to put the Leafs up 5-0 against the Blues.

The goal was Domi’s sixth for the year – and only two months into the season. He tallied just five goals in 70 games the campaign prior, so Toronto fans should have known right there the other skate was about to drop.

St. Louis scored five goals – including the last with just 25 seconds left – to force overtime where the Blues finished off Toronto like Baraka in Mortal Combat II, just 17 seconds into the extra frame.


Pour one out for all the Toronto backers who’d already spent their winnings on a cold case of Molson Canadian. 

April 24, 2015: MLB regular season

Matchup: Houston Astros at Oakland A’s (O/U 7)

Victims: The peeps predicting a perfect pitchers’ duel.

The game is scoreless at the end of nine innings thanks to remarkable pitching performances from Houston’s Dallas Keuchel and Oakland’s Scott Kazmir. The two sides combined had just 12 base runners in the first nine innings.

Of course, things go sticky in extra innings when the backend of the bullpens for both ball clubs made their appearances.

Final score: Houston 5 – Oakland 4. From zero runs at the end of nine innings to nine runners touching home plate just two innings later. That hurts.

May 5, 2014: English Premier League

Matchup: Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool (-180)

Victims: Liverpool supporters who thought this was their club's year.

Liverpool – 18-time winners of the English League Championship – had their best chance to win their first Premier League title in the 2013-14 campaign. They were neck and neck with Manchester City but lost control of their own destiny when captain Steven Gerrard slipped on his butt and Chelsea stole a result in the final month of the season.

All hope wasn’t lost until the next weekend though. The Reds needed to win their final two matches and hope City dropped points. Liverpool visited Crystal Palace on a Monday – the only EPL match on the day.

They jumped out to a 3-0 lead and with 12 minutes before stoppage time appeared to be home free. Palace had other ideas. Goals from Damien Delaney, and two from Dwight Gayle in the final nine minutes allowed the Eagles to eke out a point by drawing at 3-3.


The win probability model says Liverpool had a 100 percent chance of winning that game at the 78-minute mark. Don’t tell that to the folks who had Liverpool at -180.

Honorable mentions: OSU-Northwest 2013, Grizzlies-Knicks April 2017 and Robin Ventura's gland slam single. Think we missed some big ones? Leave a comment and tell us about your bad beat.


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