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2013 Bad Beats
The year 2013 is almost in the books and if you’re reading this then it’s safe to say that you’ve placed at least one wager on a sporting event this year or you’re planning to make a wager in the future. We at always hope you won more than you lost, which isn’t always the case.

Sometimes it’s not your day.

Heck, sometimes it’s not your week!

Luck definitely plays a role in sports betting and catching breaks is part of the business. As a bettor, you always remember the tough losses and sometimes they linger, occasionally forever and often dubbed bad beats.

When defining a “Bad Beat” in this business, I like to use the world improbable. Something that might make you say, “WTF, did that really just happen?”

I asked Jay Kornegay, Senior Vice President of the LVH SuperBook in Las Vegas, if he recalls any tough losses this past year from the other side of the counter and he answered, “There have been so many. One thing is for sure, they will continue.”

With that being said, with the help of our Editorial staff, contributors and most importantly, our loyal VI users, we present the “Bad Beats” of 2013.


The Infamous Five-Pointer

Matchup: MAAC Championship, Manhattan vs. Iona
Date: Mar. 11, 2013
Bad Beat: Iona -4

It’s always fun when the Jaspers and Gaels get together but this particular outcome is one of the worst beats in sports betting and it will join the all-time “Bad Beats” archives. Iona was a four-point favorite and despite trailing at half, it pulled ahead midway through the second-half and the lead was never less than four points. Manhattan tried to extend the game by fouling but it couldn’t convert and the Gaels built an eight-point lead (60-52) with six seconds left after a dunk. Iona pulled back and bettors were ready cash their tickets since the closest Manhattan could cut the margin to was five points (60-55) with a 3-pointer. The Jaspers not only did so, but the Gaels thought the game was over and the bench ran on the court to celebrate. Unbeknownst to the reserves, there was one second left. Sure enough, the referees called a technical on Iona’s bench and Manhattan, as expected, drained both freebies to lose 60-57. I try to stay away from the comment sections on all sites but ESPN’s old-school board (which once catered to degenerates...I mean hard-core bettors) made for some classy comments, this one below in particular.


36-Point Explosion

Matchup: Minnesota at Baltimore
Date: Dec. 8, 2013
Bad Beat: Under 41 ½

The Vikings opened a 12-7 lead early in the fourth quarter and that score held steady until the final three minutes. With just over two minutes on the clock, Baltimore went ahead 15-12 on a fourth-and-goal touchdown pass from Joe Flacco. After that score, something happened to the special teams and defensive units for both clubs because they went missing. Minnesota answered with a touchdown in two plays to go up 19-15 but that score was quickly answered with a kickoff return touchdown by the Ravens. After a made extra point, Baltimore led 22-19 and bettors still had a winning ticket on the ‘under’ 41 ½. Sure enough, the Vikings only needed three offensive plays to take back the lead (26-22) and that wasn’t safe as Baltimore ended the game with an 80-yard scoring drive to win 29-26. Scoring has been way up in the NFL season, especially in the second halves but putting up 36 points in the final two minutes will be tough to match.

Honorable Mention

Ohio State 40 Northwestern (+6 ½) 34 – This one stung if you had the Wildcats plus the points, especially because they were in the game and had plenty of chances to win outright. After falling behind 34-30, the Wildcats tried to muster up some late-game heroics but a lateral found its way to the end zone and the Buckeyes received the fumble for a touchdown with no time left. There was actually a Northwestern player close to the ball and if recovered the muff or the ball went out of the end zone, the Buckeyes’ margin of victory would’ve been six and we wouldn’t be writing about this outcome.

I know some bettors believe this should be the top football bad beat but to be fair, we have seen this move before and if you don’t believe me, then check out the final plays in this year’s “Bedlam Battle” between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Sooners were big ‘dogs (+10) but the total closed at 56 ½ at most betting shops.

Northern Illinois 48 Ball State (+8 ½, 73) 27 – Personally, I think this beat is worse than the Northwestern loss. This is definitely one of those WTF games, especially if you had the underdog and the under. The game was tied late in the fourth quarter before NIU went ahead 34-27. On their next possession, the Cardinals moved the ball into NIU and turned the ball over on downs – a fourth-and-one too! Still, the margin was seven and NIU was running out the clock. With 1:33 left on the clock and no timeouts left for BSU, the Huskies could’ve taken a knee. Instead, QB Jordan Lynch pads his stats with a 16-yard rushing touchdown and push the margin to 14 (41-27). What about the total? Ball State believes it still has a shot and decides to throw the ball, which leads to a pick-six. Twenty-one unanswered points in the final six minutes helps the combined 75 points jump ‘over’ the closing number of 73.


My partner in crime at VI, Kevin Rogers, follows the diamond daily and according to him, he’s got two doozies that we hope you weren’t part of.

Extra Inning Nightmare

Matchup: Chicago White Sox at Seattle
Date: June 5, 2013
Bad Beat: Under 7

The White Sox and Mariners hooked up for the finale of a three-game set at Safeco Field on June 5.  The total closed at 7, which seemed extremely manageable as the two teams went scoreless through the first nine innings.  In fact, the first run wasn’t scored until the 14th inning when the White Sox posted five runs on the board.  However, Seattle wasn’t going to lie down, getting one run before a grand slam by Kyle Seager with two outs tied the game at 5-5.  Eventually, the White Sox won, 7-5 in 16 innings, but this was definitely a miracle win for ‘over’ backers that afternoon.
Six-Run Rally

Matchup: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers
Date: Sept. 21, 2013
Bad Beat: White Sox +130

The White Sox were involved once again, this time in a late September battle against division champion Detroit.  Chicago jumped out to a seemingly insurmountable 6-0 lead with just three outs to go, but the Tigers’ bats woke up in the bottom of the ninth inning.  Detroit plated five runs before recording an out, while Torii Hunter’s sacrifice fly tied the game at 6-6.  The Tigers had a shot to win the game without going to extra-innings, but Prince Fielder grounded out with the bases loaded.  Chicago failed to score in the next three innings, as the Tigers walked-off in the bottom of the 12th thanks to an Omar Infante infield single to win it, 7-6.

Hockey doesn’t garner much attention nationally and especially at the betting counter. This choice is pretty obvious considering the postseason circumstances.

Burnt Leaves

Matchup: Game 7, Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins
Date: May 13, 2013
Bad Beat: Game 7 Odds - Maple Leafs (+150), Series Odds - Maple Leafs (+200)
Toronto snapped a seven-year playoff drought only to find themselves facing the defending Eastern Conference champions Boston Bruins. The Maple Leafs overcame a 3-1 series deficit against the Bruins to tie up their first round playoff series at 3-3 heading back to TD Garden.  After an early Boston goal, Toronto put up four unanswered goals to grab a 4-1 advantage with 12 minutes remaining in regulation.  Following a goal by the Bruins’ Nathan Horton to cut the deficit to 4-2, the Maple Leafs still seemed in control with less than two minutes left.  However, Milan Lucic gave the Bruins hope with a goal to make it 4-3, then the Bruins used an extra attacker and won the ensuing face-off.  Patrice Bergeron lit the lamp 31 seconds later to tie things up at 4-4, sending the game into overtime.  Bergeron would score again in overtime to lift the Bruins to a series win and eventually an Eastern Conference title.  Toronto backers were left holding a generous underdog ticket, as the Maple Leafs weren’t strong enough to get through the final two minutes of regulation.

If you had a loss worse than any of the above this year or in the past, then please share with me via email at or tell us your story via Facebook or Twitter. We've got plenty in our archive and plan on publishing an all-time list online in the near future!

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