Top Sports Betting Bad Beats

Photo by Luis Santoyo on Unsplash

When it comes to placing a wager on a sports event, we all know that the phrase ‘you win some, you lose some’ should be our mantra – so we don’t get too invested in the outcome.

But when you have a bet that looks like a sure thing, until it isn’t – that is when it can really hurt.

Whether you have had a little wager with your buddies about a college game, or whether you’ve put your bankroll on the line for the Super Bowl, one insignificant factor can bring it all down, and even the best algorithms and prediction engines cannot foresee that happening – but that doesn’t meant that getting your research in and learning more about the teams is a bad thing. If you want to get your wagers on, then you need the top betting sportsbooks apps listed and reviewed in order to help you make your decision.

So, when it comes to sports betting, what have been the worst bad beats?

What is a Bad Beat?

Let’s get our phrasing sorted here. This is not just backing the losing side or putting some money on a 100/1 outsider and losing.

We are talking about having a wager that is a sure thing, until some freak incident or unique series of events seems to conspire against us, making us lose it all at the very last minute. These are shocking and often cruel twists that make the games being played so much more exciting, but also so much more heartbreaking when it all comes down to the last seconds.

The phrase bad beat originated in poker games and was used to describe the rare event when what might seem to be an unbeatable hand was beaten in the dying seconds by an unlikely higher hand.

The professional poker world has its very own master of the bad beat, at least when it comes to reacting to them – Phil Hellmuth. His histrionic reactions to getting the bad beat are one of the reasons he is such a popular player, because watching it happen to someone else is at least entertaining.

In our rundown of bad beats, we are focusing on the good old game of football, and mostly the Super Bowl. Although the final figures aren’t in yet, according to the American Gambling Association, 50 million people would be placing a wager on the game, with an estimated value of $16 billion. This shows just how much can be made (or lost) in one game, and why bad beats here are so earth shattering.

Super Bowl LI

Back in 2017, the Patriots and the Falcons were battling it out on the greatest stage of them all, and in the third quarter the underdog Falcons team were leading 28-3.

With almost insurmountable odds against them, the Patriots surged back in the final quarter to tie the score on a two-point conversion, sending the game to extra time where they managed to secure the win.

For many bettors, this was the worst bad beat in history. With a final score of 34-28 to the Patriots, it was not a good day to have bet on the Falcons to win.

Super Bowl XLIII

It’s the Cardinals against the Steelers, and the score is 20-14 with just three minutes to go.

One of the more popular bets to place on the Super Bowl (and other games) is the over/under – and for this one, the total points for the game used in the over/under was 46.

With three minutes left, it seemed like a safe bet to have chosen an under –  but in those three minutes, the Steelers managed to score seven points, bringing the final score to 27 – 23 for a win, and ruining the night for those who thought they had a safe bet.

Bills – Patriots, November 1998

Not the Super Bowl, but a playoff game. Buffalo were in the lead with the scoreline at 21-17, and there was one play left, set to start at the Bills 26-yard line.

There was a controversial defensive pass interference penalty called, which led to a touchdown – and the Bills players left the field in disgust.

This action meant that the Patriots had the freedom to make the two-point conversion, bringing the final score to 25 – 21 and ruining the night for the Bills fans.

Houston Oilers – Buffalo Bills, January 1993

Another Bills controversy, but this time in their favor – as the Oilers were set to win when they were 35 – 3 ahead.

The comeback for the Bills started in the third quarter, but nobody saw them being able to not only overcome a 32-point deficit but also come back to win – and this is why it is known as ‘The Comeback’ and is referred to often as a demonstration of what can be achieved in the game.

The three points scored in overtime clinched it for Buffalo and ruined that Oilers sure thing.

Check out more of our unique and disturbing investigation stories here, where in this case the individuals involved were up against the forces of nature rather than ourselves.


This content was provided to Verge Magazine by a third-party.

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