Sat. Dec 15th, 2018

Worst betting beats from the first half of the NFL season

A meaningless score late; an improbable comeback; a final play that impacts your bankroll, leaving you curled up in the fetal position in the corner of your living room.

Every gambler has experienced at least one soul-crushing beat. The first half of the NFL season has seen no shortage of them, so we narrowed down some of the worst beats for bettors through the first nine weeks.

5. Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in to spurn Cincinnati backers

Situation: Bengals -3.5 vs. Buccanneers

The Cincinnati Bengals had leads of 21-0, 27-6, and 34-16, and still couldn't cover against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After Ryan Fitzpatrick was called in to replace Jameis Winston late in the third, Fitzmagic set up the Bucs for a field goal on his opening drive to cut the lead to 15, threw a 72-yard pass to Mike Evans to chisel it to eight, and then, in a last-ditch effort to tie the game, converted an 18-yard touchdown pass to O.J. Howard on fourth down.

The Bucs completed the two-point conversion, then the Bengals marched down the field to kick a field goal to win the game and avoid overtime.

That's a pretty gross way to lose Bengals -3.5.

4. Spencer Ware trips over nothing to ruin the total

Situation: Bengals-Chiefs Over/Under 56.5

Bettors only needed a field goal with roughly 13 minutes left in Week 7 between the Bengals and Chiefs to go over the total. Up 45-10 midway through the fourth, Spencer Ware was primed to walk into the end zone to seal the deal.

Except ...

Those are plays where you simply accept defeat. A score is still possible with the ball inside the 11-yard line, but you just know it's over after something like that. Like clockwork, Kansas City ran the ball four straight times and was stopped inside the three, turning the ball over on downs.

Under bettors should be sending thank you cards to the Turf Monster this Christmas.

3. Baker Mayfield finds Seth DeValve on fourth down to go over the total

Situation: Steelers-Browns Over/Under 48.5

There's nothing worse for under bettors than a prevent defense.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers up 33-12 in the final two minutes, Baker Mayfield chewed up some garbage yards, eventually marching the offense down to the 24-yard line.

Here's how fourth-and-6 with 11 seconds played out:

WHERE'S THE DEFENSE?

Seth DeValve reeled that pass in for one of his three receptions on the season.

For bettors, none was bigger than that one.

2. Justin Tucker misses his first career extra point to crush Ravens/over bettors

Situation: Ravens -2.5 vs. Saints; Over/Under 49.5

Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens cruised down the field in six plays to cover 81 yards and score in the final stages of the fourth, putting them an extra point away from tying the Saints at 24. Those Ravens -2.5 tickets and over 49.5 wagers were still alive, hinging on the cleat of the most accurate kicker in NFL history.

Then this happened:

That's a facial expression that should be framed in the Gambling Hall of Fame.

1. Todd Gurley chooses to go down and drain the clock instead of walking in for a touchdown

Situation: Rams -8.5 vs. Packers; Over/Under 57.5

It's like watching "National Treasure" for the 16th time, in that you find something new every time you press play. Todd Gurley caught all the flak for the bad beat, but after toiling away in a cave for weeks with no sleep, meticulously dissecting the video frame by frame, we've reached some new conclusions.

1.) Why didn't Tramon Williams attempt to drag Gurley into the end zone to keep his team - and Rams/over backers - alive? 2.) How about stopping a jet sweep that took a decade to develop?

For a play that impacted both the spread and the total that late in the game, that'll be tough to top for the rest of the season.

Alex Kolodziej is theScore's betting writer. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.

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