If you bet on sports enough, you’re eventually going to be the victim of a bad beat. For those who aren’t familiar with what a bad beat is, it’s when it appears as though you have a wager won at the end of a game—until something completely fluky happens and robs you of your moment of glory (and of course, your money). ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt has an entire segment dedicated to bad beats that airs on SportsCenter every Monday night after the Monday Night Football game, and there have definitely been some doozies on it since Van Pelt started including it in his show.
But one of the worst bad beats—or rather, two of the worst bad beats—that you’ll ever see took place before Van Pelt got on the air this week. The Redskins traveled to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs on Monday Night Football last night, and with less than 10 seconds left in the game, it looked like everyone out there who bet on the Redskins and the under in the game was going to cash winning tickets. The Redskins were getting between 6 and 7 points heading into the contest, and the over/under for the game was 47.5 or 48. So when Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker kicked a field goal to make it 23-20 with just 4 seconds left on the clock, those who bet the Redskins and the under for the game were sitting pretty.
And those Redskins and under bettors should have felt good about their bets. The only way the Chiefs could possibly cover the spread and make the game go over would be to somehow get the Redskins to turn the ball over on their final play and then somehow find a way to score before time expired. There was next to no chance of it happening. Except, well, it did.
On the final play of the game, with Washington deep on their own side of the field, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a short pass to wide receiver Jamison Crowder. Crowder took a few steps forward before lateraling the ball back to Cousins, who couldn’t catch the ball. Redskins tight end Jordan Reed then picked the ball up and tried lateraling it to running back Chris Thompson, who also couldn’t catch the ball. And that led to a mad scramble for the ball with it eventually landing in the hands of Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, who—you guessed it—picked the ball up and ran it in for a touchdown. It was a wild play…
…and it resulted in one hell of a bad beat, both for those who had the Redskins +6 or +7 and for those who had the under at 47.5 or 48. ESPN’s Sean McDonough pointed out what had just happened to all of the bettors out there immediately. But he didn’t really even have to. Within just seconds of Houston scoring his touchdown, Twitter lit up with people talking about the historically bad beats they had just witnessed.
As we said earlier, if you bet on sports enough, you’re going to be the victim of bad beats from time to time. But these two bad beats were especially bad, and we’d bet Van Pelt is going to be referencing them during his bad beats segment for years to come.