The Bad Beat Bracket: Seeding the 64 Worst Beats in Recent Betting History
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks on after being defeated by the New England Patriots during Super Bowl 51.
Warning. This post contains lots of heartbreak.
We acknowledge there’s some recency bias in the selections; fresh wounds still sting, and the Twitter Era has made it easier for these beats to surface.
You can check out the full bracket here.
What’s a bad beat? They come in many shapes and sizes, but it’s generally a bet that looked like a winner and ended up a loser thanks to some wild series of events.
Over the next few weeks, you can cast your votes on Twitter to determine the worst beat of all-time.
Some of these atrocities will look familiar, and some you probably haven’t heard of. So we explained all 64 below with videos.
1. Falcons vs. Patriots, Super Bowl 51
- The Line: Falcons +4.5
- The Final: Patriots 34, Falcons 28
- The Heartbreak: Everything
This game needs little introduction.
If you’re a Falcons fan, you still can’t believe they blew a 28-3 lead and lost Super Bowl 51. If you bet the Falcons that day, you still can’t believe they didn’t cover as 4.5-point underdogs.
New England's Julian Edelman made this brilliant catch on the big stage last night…
— 888sport (@888sport) February 6, 2017
16. Patriots vs. Bengals, 1993
- The Line: Patriots -5.5
- The Final: Patriots 7, Bengals 2
- The Heartbreak: The Intentional Safety
In 1993, the 1-11 Pats made a goal-line stand leading 7-0 against the 1-11 Bengals. And instead of punting with 19 seconds left, New England took an intentional safety by snapping the ball over its punter’s head and out of bounds to give Cincy a cover at +5.5.
8. Eagles vs. Redskins, 2019
- The Line: Redskins +6.5
- The Final: Eagles 37, Redskins 27
- The Heartbreak: Scoop-and-Score
When you bet an underdog, sometimes you just want that team to lay down and accept its fate — they’ll be a straight-up loser, but not an ATS loser.
The Redskins were still pushing down 31-27, and Chris Thompson got out of bounds at Philly’s 42-yard line with one second left.
You can guess what happened next — Dwayne Haskins fumbled, and the Eagles returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
When Chris Thompson stepped out of bounds with :01 seconds in the game I knew something had to go wrong.
Redskins (+6.5)… 🤮 pic.twitter.com/lWQynF7bHj
— Justin Katz (@KatzDeliSpecial) March 13, 2020
9. Pat Mahomes Rushing Yards, Super Bowl 54
- The Line: 29.5 to 35.5
- The Final: 29 yards
- The Heartbreak: The Longest Kneel Downs Ever
Some would say the best part about betting overs is that you’re never truly dead. But in the case of quarterback rushing yard props, the inverse is true.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes racked up 44 rushing yards through the first 59 minutes of Super Bowl 54. Even with three-straight kneel downs, almost anyone who bet his rushing yards over would be safe.
But Mahomes — maybe out of sheer excitement, or maybe to be extra cautious — instead took losses of 3, 5 and 7 yards on his kneel downs, knocking his total back to 29 to go under by a half yard for even folks who got the best of the number.
5. Bills vs. Patriots, 1998
- The Line: Bills +3.5
- The Final: Patriots 25, Bills 21
- The Heartbreak: The 11 vs. 0 Conversion
This might be the most unique football beat in the bracket.
As a Bills +3.5 ticket holder, you were safe no matter what with Buffalo leading 21-17 with just seconds left.
The officials called pass interference on Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe’s Hail Mary attempt as time expired, giving the Pats an untimed down from the 1-yard line. They scored to go up 23-21. And still, you were safe.
But in frustration, the Bills walked off the field, leaving 11 Patriots against zero Bills players for the extra point. Instead of kicking the PAT, Adam Vinatieri just ran it in for two points and New England won 25-21, covering -3.5.
12. Cardinals vs. 49ers, 2019
- The Line: Cardinals +9.5
- The Final: 49ers 36, Cardinals 26
- The Heartbreak: The Cannonball
You always get a little nervous when your team is whipping the ball across the field in desperation as time expires, but the Cardinals’ run appeared to be over. There was a pileup around the 25-yard line that seemed like the end.
Then, the ball somehow launched out of the pile 15 yards down the field to open space, and the Niners tripped over themselves into the end zone to score and win by 10.
Worst beat in NFL history? You can make a case for it.
— Bleacher Preacher / Sports (@BleachrPreachr) November 18, 2019
4. Falcons vs. 49ers Total, 2019
- The Line: 49
- The Final: Falcons 29, 49ers 22
- The Heartbreak: 14 Points in 2 Seconds
It took a lot of good fortune for Atlanta just to score a touchdown with two seconds left and convert the 2-point conversion to take the lead. Then this happened…
We'll take that TD, too! pic.twitter.com/ZXrN8KnLCE
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 16, 2019
13. Patriots vs. Raiders, 2002
- The Line: Raiders +3
- The Final: Patriots 16, Raiders 13
- The Heartbreak: The Tuck Rule
When Tom Brady fumbled with less than two minutes left, trailing 13-10 in the AFC Championship Game, anyone with a Raiders +3 ticket started celebrating.
But the fumble was overturned to an incomplete pass thanks to the infamous Tuck Rule — and New England went on to win 16-13 in overtime.
— Big Al (@Mancave_1992) March 20, 2020
6. The Music City Miracle
- The Line: Titans -5
- The Final: Titans 22, Bills 16
- The Heartbreak: The Music City Miracle
A moment like this transcends gambling, but it was a brutal beat for anyone with Bills +5 in the 1999 AFC Wild Card Game against the Titans.
The kick return for a touchdown not only gave Tennessee the win en route to a Super Bowl appearance, but got the Titans a cover, too.
20 years ago today the Titans pulled off the Music City Miracle.
Can Tennessee recreate that playoff magic this Saturday against Baltimore?
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 8, 2020
11. Steelers vs. Chargers, 2008
- The Line: Chargers +4.5
- The Final: Steelers 11, Chargers 10
- The Heartbreak: The Overturned Lateral
No one knew what the final score of this game really was.
Troy Polamalu tipped a lateral, recovered the ball and scored to put the Steelers up 17-10 as time expired. After reviewing it and signaling touchdown again, the officials then ruled one of the laterals was an illegal forward pass (it wasn’t). Steelers won, 11-10.
After the game, referee Scott Green said that it should have been ruled a touchdown, but the NFL wasn’t going to overturn it after the fact.
3. The Fail Mary
- The Line: Packers -3
- The Final: Seahawks 14, Packers 12
- The Heartbreak: Replacement Refs
One replacement ref ruled the play a touchdown. The other ruled the play an interception. After review … I still don’t think they know yet.
Trailing 12-7 with no time left, Russell Wilson chucked up a Hail Mary that appeared to be intercepted, but the replacement refs ruled simultaneous possession and awarded it to Seattle, so the Seahawks won and covered.
The Fail Mary!
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) November 15, 2018
14. Packers vs. Rams, 2018
- The Line: Rams -8.5, Over/Under 57
- The Final: Rams 29, Packers 27
- The Heartbreak: Gurley Goes Down
Many of these beats featured guys not going down and scoring unnecessary touchdowns.
Todd Gurley did the opposite, going down on purpose inside the 5-yard line to ice a win over the Packers. A touchdown would have given the Rams a cover and pushed the total over.
A moment that sports bettors will never forgetpic.twitter.com/IVUzdPpz8Q
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 28, 2018
7. Chiefs vs. Redskins, 2017
- The Line: Chiefs -7, Over/Under 48.5
- The Final: Chiefs 29, Redskins 20
- The Heartbreak: So. Many. Fumbles
The Redskins had three chances to just call it quits on this lateral play with no time remaining, but they refused. And as you can expect, it cost anyone who bet on them.
10. Steelers vs. Jaguars, 1997
- The Line: Steelers +3
- The Final: Jags 30, Steelers 21
- The Heartbreak: Blocked FG for TD
The Steelers trailed 23-21 and needed a 40-yard field goal from Norm Johnson to win it on the final play of the game.
Instead, Clyde Simmons blocked it and Chris Hudson scooped and scored to cover -3.
2. Browns vs. Bears, 2001
- The Line: Browns +4.5
- The Final: Bears 27, Browns 21
- The Heartbreak: Pick-Six in OT
I can’t believe it took us this long to find a Browns bad beat, but here it is.
The Browns (+4.5) led 21-7 win 32 seconds left. They gave up a touchdown, onside kick, and tipped Hail Mary to send the game to overtime.
In 2001, you needed just a field goal to win in overtime, so Browns bettors still felt safe. Then Tim Couch had a pass tipped at the line, intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
15. Cardinals vs. Seahawks, 2016
- The Line: Cardinals -1
- The Final: Cardinals 6, Seahawks 6
- The Heartbreak: Missed 24-yard FG
Arizona had so many chances to win this game, and ultimately missed a 24-yard field goal in overtime after both teams had already kicked field goals. Then Seattle missed a 28-yarder with seven seconds left, and the game ended in a tie.
But if you had Seahawks +1, it didn’t matter.
1. Duke vs. UConn, 2004 Final Four
- The Line: UConn -2.5
- The Final: UConn 79, Duke 78
- The Heartbreak: Duhon’s Bankshot
UConn had effectively wrapped up the 2004 Final Four game with a free throw to go up 79-75 with 3.2 seconds left.
Then, Chris Duhon launched one from 38-feet off one leg and banked it in, covering +2.5 for Duke bettors.
16. Virginia vs. Rutgers, 2014
- The Line: Rutgers +18
- The Final: Virginia 45, Rutgers 26
- The Heartbreak: 2 Points in 16 Minutes
If you bet an 18-point college basketball underdog and its opponent only scored 45, you’d feel pretty good, right?
But UVA’s pack-line defense allowed just two points in the final 16 minutes, and covered by a point, against Rutgers in 2014.
8. Knicks vs. Grizzlies, 2017
- The Line: Knicks +12.5
- The Final: Grizzlies 101, Knicks 88
- The Heartbreak: JUST DRIBBLE IT OUT
The Memphis Grizzlies were cruising to a 10-point win against the Knicks and dribbled out the clock on the final possession … or so it seemed.
But instead, rookie Wade Baldwin launched a deep, deep three with less than one second left and splashed it, giving the Griz a 13-point win and cover.
I had Knicks +12.5. This is how the game ended.
If everybody could say a quick prayer for me, that'd be great. pic.twitter.com/aMOHLvJg31
— Jack McGuire (@JackMacCFB) April 8, 2017
9. St. Bonaventure vs. VCU, 2017
- The Line: Bonnies +1.5
- The Final: VCU 83, St. Bonaventure 77
- The Heartbreak: The Court Storm
If you’re going to storm the court, make sure you wait until the clock hits 0.
St. Bonaventure ended up losing this game in overtime after a go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left. The Bonnies received a technical foul, and VCU converted the foul shot to send the game to overtime, where the Rams won by six.
Brutal way to lose.
St. Bonaventure assessed a technical for premature court storm. VCU would make the foul shot to force OT & win. pic.twitter.com/Eel1pc2bMq
— Matt Schick (@ESPN_Schick) February 4, 2017
5. Penn State vs. Duquesne, 2018
- The Line: Duquesne +5.5
- The Final: 73-67
- The Heartbreak: The free throws
Penn State got fouled with 5.2 seconds left, causing Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot to lose his damn mind. He received two technicals, giving the Nittany Lions four additional free throws.
Penn State was just 11 of 20 at the free throw line before this, but of course hit all six.
Oh, yeah. The line was +5.5.
What a way to end the game.
Tied at 67 with 5 seconds remaining, technicals were handed out to Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot after a foul resulting in SIX straight FT's for @PennStateMBB to secure the victory. pic.twitter.com/r10cvdYCUH
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) December 20, 2018
12. Nets vs. Cavs, 2019
- The Line: Cavs +8
- The Final: Nets 148, Cavs 139
- The Heartbreak: The overtimes
The Cavs led the entire game, but Brooklyn forced a third overtime on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
And Cleveland wouldn’t give up. The Cavs fouled down seven late in the third OT and the Nets hit both free throws to win by nine.
4. Duke vs. Utah, 2015 Tournament
- The Line: Duke -5
- The Final: Duke 63, Utah 57
- The Heartbreak: The Foul
Utah had already walked off the court after a 5-point loss to Duke, when officials decided that they had called a foul with 0.7 seconds left.
It was a foul, but you could also argue Utah forced a jump ball seconds earlier that wasn’t called.
13. Raptors vs. Rockets Total, 2016
- The Line: 216.5
- The Final: Raptors 115, Rockets 102
- The Heartbreak: Patrick Beverley
Down by 11 points with less than 20 seconds left, Patrick Beverley just couldn’t leave it alone.
He mugged Kyle Lowry as Lowry was running out the clock in a game that was already decided, and officials called a foul with less than a second left. They actually ended up reviewing it to see if the foul was called with time still on the clock.
They did, with 0.2 seconds remaining, and of course Lowry made both free throws to push the total over.
6. Seton Hall vs. Kansas, 2019 Tournament
- The Line: Kansas -4.5
- The Final: Seton Hall 83, Kansas 79
- The Heartbreak: Powell’s 3
This meaningless Myles Powell 3-pointer cut Seton Hall’s deficit from seven to four points, giving the Pirates a backdoor cover for the ages in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
The teams also combined for 27 points in the final 59 seconds to push the total well over 155.
🚨🚨🚨 #MOOSEALERT 🚨🚨🚨
Myles Powell's "meaningless" 3 pointer to cut Kansas' lead from 7 to 4 is a shot that Jayhawks full game (-4.5) and 2H (-1.5) bettors will never forget. pic.twitter.com/Vweqc4km1X
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 18, 2018
11. T’Wolves vs. Thunder, 2019
- The Line: T’Wolves +3.5
- The Final: Thunder 139, T’Wolves 127
- The Heartbreak: The Untucked Shirt
A miracle full-court heave isn’t even the worst part of this beat.
After Karl-Anthony Towns missed a free throw with 1.1 seconds left, leading 121-119, OKC’s Chris Paul called out Minnesota’s Jordan Bell for not having his jersey tucked in. That resulted in a technical free throw for the Thunder, which Danilo Gallinari made to make it 121-120.
Towns then approached the line for his second free throw, and all he had to do was miss since OKC had no timeouts. But he made it. Then this happened before the Thunder won by 12 in overtime…
Unreal. Jeff Teague gets an inexplicable delay of game making it only a one-point TWolves lead.
No timeouts for OKC.
All Towns has to do is miss.
Then this happens. pic.twitter.com/7GjJhdPdEX
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) December 7, 2019
3. Iona vs. Manhattan, 2013 MAAC Title
- The Line: Iona -4
- The Final: Iona 60, Manhattan 57
- The Heartbreak: 5 Points, 1 Second
Iona (-4) was cruising to a win and cover in the 2012 MAAC Championship Game. The Gaels led by eight points with six seconds left. Then disaster struck.
Manhattan hit a three as time expired, but officials ruled there was still time on the clock, so Iona received a technical foul when its bench rushed the court.
The Jaspers hit both free throws and covered +4.
14. Gonzaga vs. San Fransisco, 2020
- The Line: San Fransisco +16.5
- The Final: Gonzaga 71, San Fran 54
- The Heartbreak: The Corner 3
Gonzaga could have just dribbled out the clock after outscoring San Fransisco 49-23 in the second half.
But instead the Zags ran a play that made it look like they were down 3, not up 14. Corey Kispert got an inbounds pass with less than three seconds left, turned and fired to put his team up by 17, covering the 16.5-point spread.
One of the worst beats you’ll see 🤮
San Francisco (+16.5) led Gonzaga 31-22 at the half.
They were outscored 49-23 in the 2nd half.
They were trailing by 14 points with less than :03 seconds remaining when this happened…. 😳pic.twitter.com/bM9prxhFwf
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) February 21, 2020
7. Raptors vs. Wizards, 2007
- The Line: Wizards +4.5
- The Final: Raptors 123, Wizards 118
- The Heartbreak: The heave
How do you run out the clock in a basketball game? Heave the ball into the air. Just make sure there are more than 2.5 seconds left.
The Wizards’ Michael Ruffin did just that against the Raptors in 2007, and Mo Peterson caught it and fired in almost one awkward motion to tie the game at 109 and send it to overtime.
Of course, Toronto won by five in OT to cover -4.5.
10. Virginia vs. Purdue, 2019 Tournament
- The Line: Purdue +4.5
- The Final: Virginia 80, Purdue 75
- The Heartbreak: The errant pass
Purdue (+4.5) was up three points in the final seconds after splitting free throws and fouled so UVA couldn’t tie the game with a 3-pointer. Ty Jerome made the first and missed the second … then chaos ensued.
Mamadi Diakite tipped the rebound all the way to the backcourt, then got a long pass back and tied the game on a floater.
The Boilermakers still had a chance to cover in overtime. Purdue led by one in OT with 30 seconds left, but UVA won by five after making four free throws in final five seconds sandwiched in between a turnover by Carson Edwards, who had 42 points in an all-time performance.
2. Warriors vs. Clippers, 2016
- The Line: Warriors -3.5
- The Final: Warriors 115, Clippers 112
- The Heartbreak: The meltdown
During their historic 2016 season, the Warriors covered a lot of games. Not this one.
The Clippers outscored Golden State 10-0 in the final 60 seconds to lose by the hook.
15. Knicks vs. Pacers Total, 2019
- The Line: 209
- The Final: Pacers 104, Knicks 103
- The Heartbreak: The Last 5 Minutes
Mapping out the pace of NBA totals in your head can be a frustrating exercise, but when this Pacers-Knicks game was 104-00 with 5:05 left, anyone on the over felt at ease.
Then the scoring just … stopped. The Pacers didn’t score again, and the Knicks scored just three points. Julius Randle missed a free throw with 0.1 seconds left and the game didn’t go to overtime.
College Football Region
1. Belk Bowl, 2012
- The Line: Cincinnati -9
- The Final: Cincy 48, Duke 34
- The Heartbreak: Goal line fumble, 83-yard TD, Pick-Six
Belk is no longer sponsoring this bowl after the 2019 edition, which will be a welcome change for anyone who was on Duke in the 2012 game. You never have to hear the words “Belk Bowl” again.
Tied 34-34, Duke (+9) was inside Cincy’s 5-yard line with less than two minutes to play. There’s not even a chance Duke doesn’t cover in bettors minds. But the Blue Devils fumbled. Still, you feel great about +9.
Cincinnati QB Brendon Kay then threw an 83-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce to go up 41-34 with 44 seconds left. Still, at +9, you feel good.
But then, Duke quarterback Sean Renfree got hit as he threw with less than 20 seconds left, and Cincy picked it off and returned it for a touchdown.
16. La. Tech vs. FIU, 2019
- The Line: FIU +7.5
- The Final: La. Tech 43, FIU 31
- The Heartbreak: The Onside Kick
It appeared FIU had snuck in the backdoor with a late touchdown, but Louisiana Tech returned the ensuing onside kick for a score to cover -7.5.
Onside kick for a TOUCHDOWN to seal the game for @LATechFB
La Tech 43 FIU 31 pic.twitter.com/6G7cSH6S77
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 21, 2019
8. South Carolina vs. Mississippi State, 2011
- The Line: South Carolina -3
- The Final: South Carolina 14, Miss. State 12
- The Heartbreak: Intentional Safety
This isn’t the first or last intentional safety in this bracket, but the fact that South Carolina took a delay of game from the 15-yard line, then ran 10 yards backward for the intentional safety, makes it a difficult one to swallow.
9. Florida Atlantic vs. Marshall, 2017
- The Line: FAU -6
- The Final: FAU 30, Marshall 25
- The Heartbreak: Intentional Safety
Another intentional safety, this time from the 24-yard line.
Lane Kiffin even acknowledged tipping the point spread after the game, though he later said it was a joke.
— Lil Mook (@Lilmook4real) November 4, 2017
5. Stanford vs. UCLA, 2016
- The Line: UCLA +3.5
- The Final: Stanford 22, UCLA 13
- The Heartbreak: The Strip Sack
Josh Rosen danced around in the pocket a little too long, and was eventually strip sacked. Stanford returned it for a touchdown.
Bad Beat Thursday:
September 24th, 2016 – UCLA was +3.5 against Stanford. Here is the last play of that game.
— Barstool Bets (@barstoolbets) September 26, 2019
12. Alamo Bowl, 2016
- The Line: Pick’em
- The Final: TCU 47, Oregon 41
- The Heartbreak: The Comeback
Oregon led TCU 31-0 at halftime in a game that was a pick’em, and the Horned Frogs eventually prevailed in three overtimes.
TCU sent the game to OT with a short field goal, and hit a 46-yarder in the second overtime to keep the game alive.
4. Ohio State vs. Northwestern, 2013
- The Line: Ohio State -6.5
- The Final: Ohio State 40, Northwestern 30
- The Heartbreak: The Hook and Ladder
You might remember this one for Brent Musburger’s infamous call:
“And you know what, there are some folks that are celebrating, and others who are saying, ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.'”
What you might not remember is that Northwestern, 93 yards from Ohio State’s end zone, spiked the ball with five seconds left to run the play that ultimately led to a horrific beat.
13. Stanford vs. USC, 2011
- The Line: Stanford -7.5
- The Final: Stanford 56, USC 48
- The Heartbreak: The 3OT Conversion
If your 7.5-point underdog gets to three overtimes in college football, it’s time to sweat.
That’s what happened between Stanford and USC in 2011, when Andrew Luck hit Coby Fleener for a 2-point conversion to go up 56-48.
USC then fumbled inside the 5-yard line on its third-overtime possession to end it.
6. Auburn vs. Ole Miss, 2014
- The Line: Ole Miss -1
- The Final: Auburn 35, Ole Miss 31
- The Heartbreak: The Broken Leg
It looked like Laquon Treadwell would take this wide receiver screen into the end zone to give No. 4 Ole Miss the lead over Auburn.
But he got tackled from behind, broke his leg, fumbled at the 1-yard line and Auburn recovered in the end zone.
It ended Ole Miss’s College Football Playoff dreams and sent its season into a tailspin.
This play was surreal for so many reasons, and gambling was way down the list.
11. Prayer at Jordan Hare, 2013
- The Line: Georgia +3.5
- The Final: Auburn 43, Georgia 38
- The Heartbreak: The Tipped Pass TD
Auburn’s run to the 2013 national title game should have ended right here. But instead, two Georgia safeties collided, allowing Nick Marshall’s pass on fourth-and-18 to fall into the hands of Ricardo Lewis, giving the Tigers a win and cover.
3. Bahamas Bowl, 2014
- The Line: WKU -2.5
- The Final: WKU 49, Central Michigan 48
- The Heartbreak: The Hail Mary & Lateral
Central Michigan erased a 49-14 deficit in the fourth quarter and got inside the number on this absurd Hail Mary and ensuing lateral.
But instead of kicking the extra point and giving WKU (-3.5) backers a chance to cover in overtime, CMU went for two, and missed. What a waste of a comeback.
📆 Dec. 24, 2014: 5 years ago today…
Bahamas Bowl: C. Michigan vs. W. Kentucky (-3.5)
W. Kentucky led 49-14 entering the 4th quarter…
• Fast Forward: 49-42 W. Kentucky
• Time for the 💣 & wait .. they're going for TWO???pic.twitter.com/37A1wDikv7
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) December 24, 2019
14. Maryland vs. NC State, 2011
- The Line: Maryland +12
- The Final: NC State 56, Maryland 41
- The Heartbreak: Pick Six
Maryland blew a 27-point second-half lead, then threw a pick-six with under 30 seconds remaining to blow +12, too.
7. Stanford vs. Northwestern, 2019
- The Line: Northwestern +6.5
- The Final: Stanford 17, Northwestern 7
- The Heartbreak: Strip Six
Stanford has been on the fortunate end of many of these beats, and got another one here with a strip sack and score. The worst part is a Northwestern offensive lineman fell right over the ball and missed it — a safety would’ve kept Northwestern inside the number.
10. Oregon vs. Stanford, 2018
- The Line: Oregon +3
- The Final: Stanford 38, Oregon 31
- The Heartbreak: The Fumble
So much went wrong for Oregon here, including…
- An overturned TD when the ball hit the pylon that would’ve made it 30-7
- A botched snap returned for a TD by Stanford a few players later
- A fumble with inside a minute left when Oregon could’ve iced the game
- An insane touchdown catch in overtime
2. USC vs. Arizona State, 1996
- The Line: USC +7
- The Final: Arizona State 48, USC 35
- The Heartbreak: Strip six in overtime
This was the first year of college football overtime, and the first OT game to end in a double-digit win when Arizona State scooped and scored what looked like an incomplete pass to win by 13.
Unfortunately for USC bettors, the Trojans were +7.
15. Air Force vs. Colorado State, 2019
- The Line: Colorado State +10.5
- The Final: Air Force 38, Colorado State 21
- The Heartbreak: 99-yard pick six
Colorado State was a half-yard from punching in a game-sealing cover, but instead threw a pick six on an out route that Air Force took 99 yards for a score to go up 17.
This is a bad beat if you had Colorado State +10
Air Force got the pick six with 1:22 left to go up and win by 17.
Colorado State was up 14-0 as well pic.twitter.com/w53GIJB2RX
— Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) November 17, 2019
Other Sports Region
1. Mariners vs. White Sox Total, 2013
- The Line: Over/Under 7
- The Final: White Sox 7, Mariners 5
- The Heartbreak: 0-0 Entering Extras
The White Sox and Mariners played 13 scoreless innings on June 5, 2013. And then chaos ensued.
Chicago scored five runs in the top of the 14th and led 5-1 with two outs in the bottom of the frame, but Seattle answered with a Kyle Seager grand slam on a 1-2 count.
The Sox ended up winning 7-5.
16. 2014 Kobalt 400
- The Line: Dale Earnhardt Jr. 12-1
- The Final: Brad Keselowski (7-1) wins
- The Heartbreak: The Empty Gas Tank
With less than one lap to go, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran out of gas at the 2014 Kobalt 400 in Las Vegas.
He ran out of gas! That’s the only beat in this bracket we can say that about.
8. Mexico vs. Netherlands, 2014 World Cup
- The Line: 2.5
- The Final: Netherlands 2, Mexico 1
- The Heartbreak: Two goals after 88th minute
It appeared Mexico would see itself through to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup, until the Dutch scored two late goals — in the 88th and 94th minutes — that also pushed the total over 2.5.
The final goal came on a penalty shot following a controversial foul against notorious flopper Arjen Robben.
9. Maximum Security, 2019 Kentucky Derby
- The Line: Maximum Security 9-2
- The Final: Country House 65-1
- The Heartbreak: Long Review DQ
The connections for War of Will, which didn’t factor into the 2019 Derby finished, challenged the result. They argued that winner Maximum Security impeded their horse’s progress earlier in the race.
You’ll get varying opinions on the call. My (uneducated) opinion has always been that the call was right by the book, but that officials never would’ve overturned it in a run of the mill race.
— Kentucky Derby (@KentuckyDerby) May 4, 2019
5. Tigers vs. Orioles Total, 2019
- The Line: Over/Under 9.5
- The Final: Tigers 8, Orioles 4
- The Heartbreak: Walk-off Grand Slam
The walk-off grand slam certainly hurt the worst, but this meaningless September game was 3-2 in the ninth, 4-3 Orioles in the 12th, and then suddenly 8-4 Tigers.
12. British Open 1999
- The Line: Jean Van de Velde 200-1
- The Final: Paul Lawrie wins
- The Heartbreak: Socks and Shoes
Longshot Jean Van de Velde took a three-shot lead into the final hole of the 1999 British Open. Then disaster struck.
He pushed his drive, then tried to reach the green with a 2-iron, and his ball hit a railing on the grandstand and landed in deep rough. He again tried to reach the green and instead ended up in the water.
He removed his shoes and socks, rolled up his pant legs, then decided against the effort and took a drop. He then hit into a greenside bunker and splashed out to 6 feet. After that debacle, he holed the ensuing putt for a triple bogey to get to a playoff.
But with his nerves shattered, he lost the playoff to Paul Lawrie.
4. Cubs vs. Nationals, 2018
- The Line: Nationals -135
- The Final: Cubs 4, Nats 3
- The Heartbreak: Walk-off Grand Slam
The ultimate grand slam — bottom 9, two outs, two strikes, trailing by three.
That’s what David Bote delivered here to lift the Cubs over the Nationals after Max Scherzer’s brilliant start on Sunday Night Baseball.
13. Sharks vs. Avalanche, 2010 Playoffs
- The Line: Sharks -130
- The Final: Avs 1, Sharks 0
- The Heartbreak: The Own Goal
The Sharks outshot the Avalanche 50-16 in regulation, but had nothing to show for it. It went to overtime tied 0-0.
Then, Dan Boyle put the puck in his own net while trying to sweep it back around to his defensive partner.
6. Mets vs. Nationals, 2019
- The Line: Mets +120
- The Final: Nationals 11, Mets 10
- The Heartbreak: It’s the Mets, Remember?
Already leading 5-4, the Mets added five runs in the top of the ninth to go up 10-4.
Then Washington stormed back to score seven in the bottom of the ninth to win 11-10.
11. Blues vs. Bruins Total, 2019 Stanley Cup
- The Line: 5
- The Final: Bruins 5, Blues 1
- The Heartbreak: The Empty Netter
This isn’t the first empty netter to swing a hockey game, but the flurry of three goals in four minutes to push, then the ENG in a three-goal game, makes this one especially tough to swallow.
🚨 Bad Beat Alert: Under 5 in Game 6. 2-0 with 10 minutes left in the 3rd. Sitting pretty. 3 goals in 4 minutes pushes it to 4-1. They wouldn't pull the goalie down 3, right? Chara buries everyone's hopes. Bruins win 5-1 and we're headed back to Boston #badbeat #sportsgambling 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/WfRTMXHHfb
— The Fade Report (@TheFadeReport) June 10, 2019
3. Sharks vs. Golden Knights, 2019 Playoffs
- The Line: Knights -105
- The Final: Sharks 5, Knights 4
- The Heartbreak: The Cross Check
With Vegas up 3-0 with 11 minutes left, Cody Eakins was inexplicably given a major for cross-checking Joe Pavelski off a faceoff.
San Jose scored four goals on that 5-minute powerplay (major penalties don’t end if a goal is scored), and eventually won it in overtime after the Knights tied it 4-4 with 47 seconds left in regulation.
14. Athletics vs. Rangers, 2018
- The Line: Rangers -105
- The Final: A’s 13, Rangers 10
- The Heartbreak: The Stat
The Rangers were 429-0 in franchise history when leading by eight runs or more in the seventh or later. In fact, no MLB team had lost in that situation in six years.
But Texas blew a 10-2 lead in the seventh and lost 13-10 in the 10th thanks to Khris Davis’s home run.
— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 25, 2018
7. Padres vs. Rockies, 2019
- The Line: Rockies -110
- The Final: Padres 16, Rockies 12
- The Heartbreak: The Comeback
The Padres trailed 11-4 in the eighth and 11-5 in the ninth, then tied it with two outs before winning 16-12 in extras.
10. Indians vs. Mariners, 2001
- The Line: N/A
- The Final: Indians 15, Mariners 14
- The Heartbreak: The Streak
The Indians became the first team in the last 75 years to erase a 12-run deficit, winning 15-14 after trailing 14-2 in the seventh.
2. Mets vs. Braves, 1999 NLCS
- The Line: Over/Under 7.5
- The Final: Mets 4, Braves 3
- The Heartbreak: The Grand Slam Single
Robin Ventura smoked a grand slam to right field to give the Mets a 7-3 win in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS.
But Todd Pratt, the runner on second, mobbed Ventura before he could finish rounding the bases. So the home run was officially ruled a single, and only one runner had crossed the plate.
That meant the game finished with seven runs, falling just short of the total.
15. 2019 NASCAR Truck Series at Iowa
- The Line: Ross Chastain 37-1
- The Final: Brett Moffitt
- The Heartbreak: The Inspection
The worst part of every NASCAR race when you picked the winner … a post-race inspection.
Ross Chastain failed his after winning the NASCAR Truck Series race at Iowa in 2019, ripping the 37-1 tickets away from anyone who bet on him.