Week 7 of the NFL season was relatively tame regarding bad beats, but as with any week, there are always a few that caused pain and heartache to bettors.
We have three notable ones to cover, starting with the -- sigh -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bad Beat: Bucs lose outright. Again.
OK, we're never betting on the Buccaneers, like ever again.
In Week 6, the Buccaneers were 10-point road favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers and lost 20-18. OK, that wasn't good. But against the Carolina Panthers the next weekend, they surely would cover a spread of -11. That was the line heading into the week. Then the Panthers traded running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2023 second-, third- and fourth-round pick and a 2024 fifth-round pick. The line moved to Buccaneers -13. With P.J. Walker starting at quarterback for the Panthers and them being without McCaffrey, it was challenging to find scoring avenues for them.
Well, they did score. They scored 21 points. How many did the Buccaneers score? Three. Yes, three.
To be fair, Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans had a layup touchdown at the beginning of the game on a deep passing play, but he dropped the ball. You have to wonder how that might've changed the momentum. Instead, the Buccaneers lost 21-3 to Walker and the McCaffrey-less Panthers. Brutal. This team might be toast.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Giants
Bad Beat: Over 43.5
This game gave off some Twilight Zone vibes before it started because the 5-1 Giants were three-point road dogs against the Jaguars.
The Giants would go on to win 23-17, but this line caused two different post-game narratives before it started. If the Giants covered (which they did), it would be, "See, that line was so silly! Easy money!" But then, if the Jaguars won -- which they almost did, and we'll get to it -- it becomes, "Don't let records be the determining factor; there were several reasons why this was a high-value bet!"
Outside of the point spread, we're looking at a total of 43.5. The game ended with 40 points.
However, at the end of the game, there was one play that would have given bettors the over, and the Jaguars would've won but not covered the spread. The Jaguars had the ball down by six on the game's final drive. They needed a touchdown and an extra point to win the game. The final drive went 74 yards on 10 plays over the course of just over one minute.
With five seconds to go in the game, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence fired a ball down the middle of the field to wide receiver Christian Kirk. He caught the pass but was immediately tackled by Giants defenders before he could score, ending the game. Typically, it's "Whatever -- maybe the Jaguars didn't quite have a chance, and we move on." However, Kirk caught the ball with his back to the end zone at the -- you guessed it -- 1-yard line. One yard separated bettors from winning the over and any Jaguars moneyline wagers. Brutal.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
Bad Beat: Over 46.5
If you've watched any Ravens games this year, you'd know they've had difficulty closing out games. Well, they almost gave another one away. The final score of this game was 23-20 in favor of the Ravens, with the point total being 43, and the line here was 46.5. Now, there was no certainty of that happening. But with 2:09 left in the game and Ravens leading 23-20, the Browns attempted a field goal with kicker Cade York.
York is a fine kicker, but the field goal had to be for 60 yards. That's far from a "gimme," but we had a chance here to get a tie, which would've prompted another score at some point to get the win -- hopefully -- and get the over. Instead, the kick was blocked, and the Ravens got the ball back. Still, the Browns got the ball again on a three-and-out and had it on their own 20. Then just three plays into the drive, quarterback Jacoby Brissett hit Donovan Peoples-Jones for 19 yards downfield, but he fumbled, and the game ended.
If the kick was good or DPJ didn't fumble, there were some chances late to get the over, and maybe even a Browns point spread cover. Brutal in its own way.
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