Moose Club Week 11 Football Bad Beats: The Coin Toss Matters

Moose Club Week 11 Football Bad Beats: The Coin Toss Matters article feature image

Where were these Alaska cops at 3 a.m. ET on Saturday night to save us all from the Boise State moose?

For those of you not familiar with the term “Moose,” it has been used for years within the sports betting world to reference a bad beat. It originated within the old school gambling forums over fifteen years ago, and has stuck ever since.

Each Tuesday, I will highlight the 10 biggest “mooses” from the football weekend from my perspective (I can’t see everything). If you had the misfortune of betting on four or more of the 10 I selected, you will be inducted into the “Sports Action Moose Club,” get some gear, and potentially win some cash if you are a “Pro” member on the Sports Action App.

Let’s get into the top 10 bad beats of Week 11…

10. East Carolina +6.5

Regardless of how the game gets to overtime, losing a 6.5 point underdog in college football overtime will always get strong consideration for this weekly list.

The first step in the moose process of losing a 6.5 point underdog in overtime is having that team win the coin toss. Winning the coin toss offers a strategic advantage, but not if you are trying to cover +6.5. If you lose the toss, the other team will make you start with the ball, which only allows for a maximum six-point loss in the first overtime (since the opposing team wouldn’t kick the extra point if they scored a game winning touchdown). However, if the favorite starts with the ball, they will kick the extra point to increase their lead to seven; therefore, if the underdog doesn’t answer, you are left in the dark.

That is exactly what happened with East Carolina +6.5 on Saturday. Tulane started with the ball after losing the coin toss and scored a touchdown on fourth and 1 from the 16-yard line. On the next possession, ECU was stuffed on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, and the Green Wave held on for a 31-24 victory.

9. Ohio St/Michigan St Over 55

Over backers had to feel pretty good after the Buckeyes increased their 35-3 halftime lead to 42-3 one minute into the third quarter on a Binjimen Victor 48-yard touchdown catch. Only 10 more points were needed the rest of the way for at least a push. On Ohio State’s next drive, they couldn’t punch it in after having first and goal from the Michigan State 6-yard line, but they did kick a field goal to make it 45-3 with over nine minutes left in the third quarter.  Just seven more points were needed over the final 24 game minutes.

Ohio State, who added one more field goal on the final play of the third quarter, took a 48-3 lead into the fourth quarter. Here are how the fourth quarter possessions played out:

  • Ohio State returns an interception inside the 10-yard line
  • Buckeyes throw an interception at the 1-yard line
  • Michigan State punt
  • Ohio State punt
  • Sparty turns it over on downs inside the red zone
  • Buckeyes run out the clock to secure a 48-3 win

Zero points in the fourth quarter with two red zone trips.

8. Florida State +16

Tough year to be a Florida State booster. Not only is your preseason top-five alma mater now 3-6 on the season, but you still have yet to get a cover all season. The Seminoles fell to 0-7-2 ATS in 2017 after losing 31-14 to Clemson on Saturday.

Thanks to touchdown drives of 20 and 28 yards in the first half, Clemson took a 17-0 lead into the half. Florida State turned it over on downs early in the third quarter inside of the Clemson 25-yard line, but they finally found pay dirt later in the quarter, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 17-7 at the end of three.

Florida State forced a Clemson punt to start the fourth quarter, and then James Blackman hit Ryan Izzo for a 60-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 17-14 with under nine minutes left. Those who backed the underdog were now in very good shape.

On the next Clemson drive, Kelly Bryant lost a fumble at his own 40-yard line. Florida State took over inside Clemson territory trailing by only three points with under seven minutes remaining. On the very next play, Blackman threw an interception. Clemson would subsequently answer with a touchdown to extend their lead to 24-14 with just over three minutes to go.

On the following possession, Florida State could not get a first down and turned it over on downs at their own 28-yard line. Clemson would pile on a rushing touchdown with 35 seconds left, which gave them a 31-14 victory. Frontdoor Freddy.

That meaningless Clemson touchdown also caused pain for under 45 backers, as it turned a winner into a push.

7. Navy -4

If you waited to grab the Mids -1 right before kick, you avoided the moose. However, if you bet Navy at any other point during the week, you were left out in the cold at the end of this one.

Navy led 34-11 at the half, but they saw that lead completely evaporate in the second half when SMU converted on a two-point conversion with 3:30 left to tie the game at 40.

On the ensuing drive, Navy drove down inside the SMU 10-yard line, setting up a first and goal with under two minutes to go. On second down, Garrett Lewis broke free, but decided to go down at the 1-yard line! He pulled a Brian Westbrook, for those of you who remember the former Philadelphia Eagle, who pulled a similar move in 2007 against the Cowboys. Instead of taking it into the end zone for the win and cover, Navy would kick the game-winning field goal as time expired to come away with a 43-40 win.

6. Colorado/USC Over 62.5

USC led 38-24 with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Over 62.5 bettors simply needed any type of score, even a safety, to cash their tickets. Here are how the final five possessions played out:

  • USC punted from midfield
  • Colorado intercepted at their own 26-yard line
  • USC decided to go for it on fourth and 6 from the Colorado 22-yard line instead of kicking the field goal, which would have put the game over the total. Their pass attempt fell incomplete, and Colorado took over on downs.
  • Colorado turned it over on downs at the USC 3-yard line after they failed to convert on fourth and inches – which also didn’t please Colorado +13.5 bettors.
  • USC ran out the clock to secure the 38-24 victory.

5. Oklahoma/TCU Over 63.5

Another appearance by a Sooner over, which you wouldn’t expect given their explosiveness on offense and holes on defense.

To the delight of over bettors, Baker Mayfield hit Rodney Anderson for a 33-yard touchdown with under 10 seconds remaining in the first half, which gave Oklahoma a 38-14 lead at the midway point. After a 52-point first half, over backers simply needed 12 points in the second half to get to the window.

Nerves started to creep in after a scoreless third quarter, but the game was still on pace for the over after 45 minutes. In the fourth quarter, TCU found the endzone with 10:44 left to cut the Oklahoma lead to 38-20 (failed two-point conversion). The game simply died from that point on, and Oklahoma held on for a 38-20 win. Over bettors could only get six total second half points.

4. Fresno State/Hawaii Over 52.5

Another over moose. This one occurred late night on the Island.

Hawaii returned a Fresno State interception for a touchdown to cut the Fresno lead to 31-21 with 13 minutes left in the game. A successful extra point would have put the game over the total, but Hawaii decided to go for two to make it a one-possession game. They didn’t get it, which meant over backers still needed one more point to get to the window. Here are how the remaining possessions in the fourth quarter played out:

  • Fresno State missed field goal
  • Hawaii punt
  • Fresno throws an interception in Hawaii territory
  • Hawaii throws an interception on second and goal from the 5-yard line
  • Fresno runs the clock out for a 31-21 victory

Since this game wasn’t televised, here is a video of a moose taking on a Prius.

3. Panthers/Dolphins 1H Under 20

Carolina, holding a 3-0 lead with seven minutes left in the second quarter, faced a fourth and goal from the 4-yard line. “Riverboat Ron” decided to go for it, and it paid off, as the Panthers took a 10-0 lead after Christian McCaffrey broke Kiko Alonso’s ankles. Tough break, but not the end of the world for first half under bettors.

On the next possession, Jay Cutler finished off a 75-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Julius Thomas, cutting the Panthers’ lead to 10-7. After Carolina was forced to punt on the next possession, Miami took over at their own 20-yard line with 47 seconds left in the half. On the first play of the drive, Luke Kuechly picked off Cutler to give Carolina a shot to add to their lead – I still don’t know why Miami was throwing the ball.

After the inexplicable turnover and a Dolphins personal foul, Carolina took over at the Miami 20-yard line. Under backers could still at least push if the Dolphins held the Panthers to a field goal, but Cam Newton hit Ed Dickson for a touchdown on third and goal from the 7-yard line with 20 seconds left in the half to give Carolina a 17-7 halftime lead.

Three points in the first 23 minutes of the first half, and 17 in the final seven.

2. Browns 1H +6.5

The Browns went full Browns on Sunday. I don’t know if you can ever feel safe about a Browns bet, but first half underdog backers had to feel confident after Cleveland jumped out to a 10-0 lead, their first double-digit lead of the year.

The rare Cleveland lead lasted only five minutes into the second quarter, as Ameer Abdullah rushed for an 8-yard touchdown to tie the game at 10. With four minutes left in the half, Browns tight end Seth Devalve fumbled after making a catch near midfield – the Lions would scoop up the loose ball and return it for a touchdown, which gave them their first lead of the game.

Now trailing 17-10 with four minutes left in the half, Browns +6.5 backers needed a scoring drive. Cleveland took the ball right down the field, setting up a first and goal from the 2-yard line before this happened…

1. Colorado State +6.5

Colorado State jumped out to a 28-3 lead at home against a lifeless Boise State team. That margin wouldn’t last, as Boise slowly started to chip away. However, Colorado State scored a touchdown with three minutes left in the game to extend their lead to 52-38.

Boise quickly answered with a touchdown and then successfully recovered an onside kick. The Broncos would then punch it into the endzone to tie it up in the final minute.

Here we are again with the 6.5 point underdog headed to overtime.

Guess who won the coin toss? Colorado State, of course. Boise State easily scored a touchdown on the first possession of overtime, which gave them their first lead of the game.

Here is how the Colorado State possession ended…

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