The Bad Beat Bracket: Championship

Credit:

Getty Images. Mets teammates mob Robin Ventura after a walk-off home run, preventing him from reaching home plate. That made the final score 4-3, keeping the game under 7.5.

May 26, 2020, 10:00 AM EDT

Warning. This post contains lots of heartbreak.

Stuckey compiled 64 of the worst beats in recent sports betting history with your help, and broke it down into four regions — NFL, college football, basketball and other.

We’re now down to the championship game after you voted on each matchup on Twitter.

The Patriots’ comeback over the Falcons in Super Bowl 51 defeated Iona vs. Manhattan in the 2013 MAAC title game. And the Duke-Cincy Belk Bowl fell to the 1999 NLCS on the other side of the bracket.

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.

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 remaining eight below with videos. Here are explanations of all 64 originally in the bracket.

The Bad Beat Bracket: Championship

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 in overtime.

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.


Final Four

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 in overtime.

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.


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. After this.

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.

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.

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