We just finished our first full weekend of football to bet on, and while some bets were easy winners, others never had a chance. The five games below fall into their own category.
These are the weekend's worst bad beats.
Line: Florida Atlantic -8, over/under 59.5
There's just something about Lane Kiffin and bad beats. Florida Atlantic made its fair share of appearances in this column last season, most notably when it failed to cover against Marshall in early November and Kiffin acknowledged it on social media.
Just like that Marshall game -- where the Owls elected to take an intentional safety after lining up to punt -- special teams doomed bettors who took the favorite Saturday. With less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, Florida Atlantic sent out its punt unit with a 33-20 lead. You might be able to guess what happened next. Sebastian Riella's punt was blocked and returned for a touchdown by Air Force's Lakota Wills with 51 seconds left. The extra point made the score 33-27, which was not only brutal for bettors on Florida Atlantic -8 but for those on under 59.5 as well.
Final score: Florida Atlantic 33, Air Force 27 (Air Force covers and total goes over)
Line: Over/under 58.5
How would you feel if a touchdown pass on third down with 22 seconds left pushed the total over by a half a point? Probably not too happy. Imagine how you would feel if the team throwing the ball that late was already leading by 24 points.
That's what happened in Wisconsin on Saturday.
In a game that was just 10-7 Badgers at halftime, 42 combined points in the second half resulted in a tough loss for those on the under. Wisconsin scored touchdowns on each of its final five possessions, capped off by backup quarterback Danny Vanden Boom's touchdown pass to Taj Mustapha with 22 seconds on the clock. That touchdown marked the only pass attempt of the drive and the first throw of Vanden Boom's college career.
Final score: Wisconsin 45, New Mexico 14 (total goes over)
Line: Louisiana Tech -34
You really just never know what teams with big leads are going to do at the end of games.
Southern +34 looked like a good bet at the halfway point of the third quarter. The Jaguars were down just 31-17, easily covering the big number. Louisiana Tech, however, took control from that point on and scored the game's next 16 points to go up 47-17. With the clock ticking down and about to expire, a 30-point win was apparently not enough for the home favorites, who connected for a 30-yard touchdown on third-and-12 with 6 seconds left. Southern lost by 37 and bettors who backed the Jaguars walked away mystified.
Final score: Louisiana Tech 54, Southern 17 (Louisiana Tech covers)
Line: Over/under 69
Taking the under in a Hawai'i game that was going to end after 3 a.m. on the East Coast is a tough sell for most people. It's an even tougher sell going forward, with how this one ended in the wee hours Saturday night/Sunday morning.
The Rainbow Warriors led 28-22 late in fourth quarter before things got crazy in Honolulu. A Hawai'i touchdown with 3 minutes, 1 second left came on a 99-yard drive and started the scoring spree. Five plays and 71 seconds later, Rice scored on a Shawn Stankavage to Aaron Cephus 19-yard touchdown. After a failed onside kick, Hawai'i scored on the next play from scrimmage, a Fred Holly III 46-yard touchdown run that sent the total over with 1:35 left. That capped off a stretch of 22 points in 86 seconds -- crushing whomever decided to bet the under.
Final score: Hawai'i 43, Rice 29 (total goes over)
Line: Over/under 43.5
This game was simply too much. Too long to play, with multiple lightning delays that caused it to take over seven hours from start to finish. Too many injured Titans, as Marcus Mariota, Taylor Lewan and Delanie Walker all left hurt. And too many points -- at least for bettors who had the under.
When the Titans and Dolphins resumed after their second weather delay, Miami led 7-3 at the 6:47 mark of the third quarter. The Dolphins extended their lead to 10-3 entering the fourth quarter before a scoring surge led to the worst bad beat so far in the 2018 NFL season. In a span of 4:06, these two teams combined for 28 points, which included a pair of kickoffs returned for touchdowns. With less than four minutes left, a 30-yard field goal by Miami's Jason Sanders made the score 27-17, pushing the total over the closing line of 43.5. But just in case you got it at 45 earlier in the week, Ryan Succop's 53-yarder with 11 seconds left made sure that everyone holding an under ticket walked away with a loss.
Final score: Dolphins 27, Titans 20 (total goes over)