Moose hunting season apparently opened back up in Maine this week. Too bad there are no football games in Northern Maine.
The term "Moose" has been used for years within the sports betting world to reference a bad beat. It originated within some of the old school gambling forums over 15 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 (see the bottom of the article for details).
Let’s dive into Week 8…
10. Houston PK
Houston backers had to feel good when the Cougars took a 17-0 lead at home into halftime. Memphis did score early in the second half to cut the lead to 17-7, but Houston answered to increase the margin back to 17.
Memphis returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but Houston answered again with another seven. The Cougars led 31-14 with a minute to go in the third quarter.
However, less than five minutes into the fourth quarter, Memphis only trailed by three after two quick touchdown drives sandwiched in between a Houston fumble.
Houston, now only leading 31-28 with 11 minutes remaining, went on a five-minute touchdown scoring drive. However, before Cougar backers could even finish exhaling, Memphis scored another touchdown.
On the next drive, leading 38-35 with four minutes left, Houston decided to punt on fourth and 1 near midfield, which would prove to be a fatal decision. Memphis drove 80 yards for a touchdown to take their first lead of the game with 1:30 left.
Houston fumbled near midfield on the next drive, and Memphis, who did not score in the first half, held on for a 42-38 win.
9. South Florida -11
As someone who personally bet Tulane +11, I feel terrible for those who bet USF, who held a 34-7 lead with under three minutes to go in the third quarter. From that point on, the Bulls never scored again, and they held on for a 34-28 victory.
Tulane ended the game on a 21-0 run, holding on for the cover after tackling a USF player inside the 10-yard line after a broken run in the final minute. To add insult to injury, South Florida missed a field goal and had another blocked in the fourth quarter.
Green Wave +11 ? pic.twitter.com/SpijxPPqUH
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 22, 2017
8. West Virginia -8
West Virginia led 38-13 heading into the fourth quarter on Saturday night in Waco. Here is how the fourth quarter played out:
- Baylor 52-yard TD pass (38-20)
- Baylor onside kick recovery
- Baylor 40-yard TD run (38-27)
- West Virginia three and out
- Baylor six minute FG drive (38-30)
- West Virginia punt
- Baylor five-minute TD drive (38-36)
- Baylor failed two-point conversion
- West Virginia onside kick recovery
- West Virginia kneels (38-36 final)
Not only was West Virginia outscored 23-0 in the fourth quarter, they only ran nine plays for 12 yards in the quarter.
— Henderson Lions (@HendersonLionFB) October 22, 2017
7. Minnesota -13.5
Trailing 24-10 with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, a pedestrian Illini offense took possession at their own 25-yard line. With under two minutes left, they completed a 27-yard pass on third and 22 to move the sticks, and eventually punched it in the endzone on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 23 seconds left. The Gophers held on for a 24-17 win, but that doesn’t matter to anyone who backed the favorite.
6. Colorado State -7.5
New Mexico took over possession down 10 points with five minutes to go. They converted on fourth and 15 to keep the drive alive, and then eventually scored a touchdown (instead of kicking the field goal) on fourth and goal from the 12-yard line with under a minute go go. Take a look at the clip below to view a moose in its natural habitat.
Moose alert. New Mexico (+9.5) decides to not kick the field goal for some reason, and then this happens. pic.twitter.com/ZYfr6pZDfc
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 21, 2017
5. Maryland +24.5
Maryland trailed 28-13 headed into the fourth quarter. Wisconsin added a touchdown on a third and goal run from the 1-yard line with nine minutes remaining, which increased their lead to 35-13.
On the next possession, the Terps punted after driving to midfield. Wisconsin took over at their own 26-yard line with six minutes left. After seven straight runs, Wisconsin faced a third and 3 at the Maryland 17-yard line with 1:17 left. The Badgers only gained 2 yards, setting up a fourth and 1 from the Maryland 15 with 40 seconds left. Maryland backers most likely assumed that Wisconsin would either kneel it or run a dive up the middle, but they did neither. Wisconsin decided to kick a 33-yard field goal in the final minute to increase their lead from 35-13 to 38-13, which had to at least please Wisconsin boosters and alumni.
However, it was a brutal beat for Terps +24.5 backers, who were left sitting in shock after getting the "hook."
4. Indiana +7
Our third B1G game on the list!
Michigan State backers were victimized by the moose last weekend after Minnesota inexplicably snuck in the backdoor. However, this week, those who stuck with Sparty were rewarded with an improbable frontdoor cover against Indiana.
Indiana, who led 6-3 headed into the fourth quarter, increased their lead to 9-3 after Griffin Oakes connected on a 20-yard field goal with 12 minutes remaining. The Hoosiers maintained this lead until Sparty punched it in the endzone with six minutes left, which gave Michigan State its first lead of the game. It is worth noting that Michigan State converted on a fourth down on that drive.
Trailing 10-9 with six minutes to go, Indiana was forced to punt after failing to pick up a single first down. With five minutes left, Sparty took over at their own 35-yard line with a one-point lead. After converting on third and 8 and then third and 9 to keep the drive going, LJ Scott broke an 18-yard touchdown run with under two minutes left. If Scott just went down, as Mark Dantonio stated he teaches his team to do in that situation, Indiana +7 backers get to the window since the Hoosiers only had one timeout left.
Michigan State eventually held on for a 17-9 win after Indiana turned it over on downs on their final possession.
3. Louisiana Tech +1
This was the wildest game of the day, especially from a betting perspective.
With four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Louisiana Tech finished off a 95-yard drive with a touchdown to increase their lead to 27-16. If you backed the small home dog, you had to feel like you had a winner in your pocket at this point, especially considering that drive occurred after La Tech recovered a Southern Miss fumble inside of the 5-yard line.
Trailing by 11, Southern Miss took over with four minutes left. They converted on a fourth down to keep the drive going and eventually settled for a 49-yard field goal attempt with 1:30 left, which they made to cut the Louisiana Tech lead to 27-19.
Southern Miss then recovered the ensuing onside kick and eventually scored on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds remaining. Louisiana Tech backers could still get to the window if they stopped the two-point conversion, but Southern Miss converted. Out of nowhere, this game was now tied at 27.
Louisiana Tech actually drove up the field at the end of regulation and set up for a game-winning field goal…
….from 64 yards
….which they obviously missed. Overtime.
In the first overtime, both teams threw interceptions. In the second overtime, Southern Miss took their first lead of the game and then got a defensive stop to hold on for a wild 34-27 victory.
2. Louisiana Tech/Southern Miss Under 55.5
See above. Two in one game! Salt in the wound for under backers after neither team scored in the first overtime, which ultimately just delayed the inevitable in a 27-27 tie game.
1. Ravens/Vikings Under 39.5
With three minutes left in regulation, the Baltimore Ravens, incapable of moving the ball all game, took over possession at their own 30-yard line trailing 24-9.
Joe Flacco, with a band of backup wide receivers and tight ends, converted one third down after another. With under 30 seconds left, facing a third and 15, Flacco completed a short 4-yard pass over the middle to Nick Boyle. This set up fourth and 11 from the Vikings 13-yard line, but it appeared time would run out.
Time did not run out, as Flacco snapped the ball with a second remaining and completed a touchdown pass to Chris Moore with zeros on the clock.
Justin Tucker would come on to kick the extra point with no time on the clock to push the total over by a half point.
I personally played the under here, and this moose hit me like a Mack truck. A true gut punch.
If you are a pro subscriber, as of the previous weekend, and bet on at least four of the designated "mooses," you could potentially win $100 if you are the first to show proof of your membership and tickets ($25 minimum bets).