Stuckey: My 10 Worst Betting Bad Beats of 2018

Stuckey: My 10 Worst Betting Bad Beats of 2018 article feature image

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cubs third baseman David Bote

  • Just like every year, bettors will have horror stories about their worst bad beats during 2018.
  • I wanted to share my 10 most painful, ranging from tennis retirements to walk-off grand slams and overtime torture.

Just like every year, 2018 had its fair share of bad beats (I’m still so sorry, Duquesne backers). And while I had some fair share of lucky covers (more on that later today), I suffered through many horrific losses as well.

I thought I’d look back at the year that was and recall the 10 losses that stung the most. This is just a personal list and not the worst of the year, but I’m sure you’ll recognize plenty on here, especially if you follow me on the app.

Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we? And please share your worst 2018 war stories with me on Twitter. This is what brings bettors together.

10. NCAAB: NCA&T +12 (vs. Liberty)

No better way to kick off this list than with a CIT game between Liberty and NCA&T. I backed the underdog Aggies, who covered the ENTIRE GAME — until they decided to foul down 11 with two seconds remaining. Torture.

9. MLB: Brewers-Cubs Under 8

I’ll never forget this game on June 11. I was in the movie theatre with my girlfriend, keeping my eye on the app for this under that looked all but locked up.

The Brewers led 2-1 in the eighth inning and had one of the best bullpens in baseball. Well, the Cubs tied it in the top of the eighth.

Fine, no biggie, right?


The Cubs would score five runs in the top of the 10th to win 7-2. To make things worse, that was my last game left on the baseball card after starting 0-3. Brutal.

I hate red dots.

8. Tennis: Marin Cilic +5 vs. Rafael Nadal (Aussie Open)

I backed Cilic +5 games against Rafa in the Aussie Open in January 2018. And after Cilic won the fourth set 6-2, I had a guaranteed winner if they finished the match. Even if Nadal bageled Cilic in the fifth and final set, Cilic still would have covered +5 games.

Well, they would not finish the match. Nadal got hurt and had to retire, which meant the bet was refunded — even though it was mathematically impossible for it to lose. Ugh.

7. NFL: Jets +3 (vs. Packers)

This one stung. Losing a +3 dog in NFL overtime is always brutal — especially when you have the home team that led by 15 in the fourth quarter.

If only the Packers didn’t get the two-point conversion late.

As soon as the Jets kicked a field goal in the final seconds to force overtime, I had a feeling I was doomed.

The lopsided officiating made it even worse, as the Jets were penalized 16 times for a franchise record 176 yards. It was so bad that the NFL issued an apology for a blown call the following week.

Unfortunately, the NFL doesn’t issue betting refunds.

6. NCAAB: Hawaii +9.5 (vs. Seton Hall)

After losing a college basketball bet on a prayer heave a few days prior to this game, this missed layup for the cover stung a little more than it normally would have.


I mean what was that attempt?!?! Use the backboard and get the cover!

Oh, and that wasn’t actually a guy in the stadium. The broadcast actually just picked up my screaming from the couch.

5. NCAAF: Ole Miss +13 (vs. Texas A&M)

There is nothing that frustrates me more in betting than a team breaking off a huge run to cover the spread as it’s trying to run out the clock.

Well, that’s exactly what Texas A&M did to us Rebel backers back in November (after a failed onside kick) to win by 14.

The worst part? Ole Miss missed a 22-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. That kick randomly popped into my head the other day when I was driving. 22 YARDS! Even Billy Cundiff would have made it.

4. NCAAB: Rhode Island +1.5 (vs. Davidson)

9-0 run by Davidson over the final 1:42 to cover by the hook in shocking fashion.

I’ll just leave this here:

3. MLB: Nationals -125 (at Cubs)

The Cubs again. Grrrr.

I loved Scherzer on Sunday Night Baseball in Wrigley. His revenge game from the loss in the previous postseason.

And Mad Max absolutely dealt that night, going seven strong shutout innings with 11 strikeouts. The problem was Hamels also pitched well, so the Nats only led 1-0. However, they would add two huge insurance runs in the top of the 9th to take a 3-0 lead.

With a three-run cushion and one out with nobody on, here’s how the bottom of the ninth transpired:

  • Infield single
  • Hit by pitch
  • Foul out (2 outs!)
  • Hit by pitch (again!?!?!)

And then with two strikes and two outs…

Gut punch.

The worst part about this loss is it ended a heater I was on — as bad beats seemingly do (emotional biases are funny). I did at least hit the F5, but what a stunning loss.

2. MLB: Rangers -102 (vs. Athletics)

I’ll never forget this entire series, where I lost every bet on the Rangers in heartbreaking fashion. The worst was on a Tuesday night when the Rangers led 10-2 in the seventh inning. TEN TO TWO.

Well, the Rangers bullpen had an epic meltdown and the game somehow made it to extra innings. And it was only a matter of time at that point.

Prior to that loss, Texas was 429-0 in franchise history when leading by eight or more runs in the seventh inning or later.

In fact, all MLB teams were 761-0 in that situation over the previous six seasons.


1. NCAAF: Oregon (vs. Stanford)

This was the worst loss I suffered all year by far.

First, I waited all day to get Oregon +3, which I finally locked in as the primetime kickoff approached.

Everything was going beautifully, as Oregon had built a 31-7 lead. Oh, wait. Random review. 24-7 lead with the ball at the 1. Well, that eventually led to a fumble that Stanford returned for a touchdown. From 31-7 to 24-14.

Luckily, Oregon rebounded and led 31-21 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Stanford added a touchdown to cut it to 31-28, but Oregon drove it into Stanford territory and was in position to take knees when an Oregon running back fumbled reaching for a first down with 46 seconds left! I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Stanford then predictably drove down the field and kicked a field goal to force overtime.

The Cardinal then won the coin toss and scored a touchdown to take their first lead of the game. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert threw an interception on Oregon’s possession. 38-31 final.

I still don’t really know what happened. 99% win probability at two separate times during the second half.

I’ll never forget that game.