State of the Union: Bad Beats & Biggest Stunners on Saturday

Jay Pryce

Sunday, September 17, 2017 3:55 PM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 17, 2017 3:55 PM UTC

Let us take you through college football's biggest upsets and toughest bad beats from Saturday in this week's State of the Union.

Biggest Stunners

Note to self: bet huge underdogs straight up against college football teams from Nevada. The betting world was stunned when FCS Howard upset UNLV 43-40 as 45-point pups in Week 1. On Saturday, FCS Idaho State shocked the Nevada Wolf Pack 30-28 while catching 32.5 points on the oddsboard. The defeat marks the third straight-up loss by an FBS team laying 30 points or more to an FCS opponent this year. Baylor fell 48-45 at home to Liberty as 30.5-point chalk in the opening weekend.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you tossing a pick-6 greatly diminishes your chances at winning a football game. Gifting two in a contest is a deathblow. Nebraska did just that in the first quarter of its home matchup versus Northern Illinois on Saturday, unable to make up an early 14-point deficit. The Huskies claimed victory 21-17 as 11.5-point pups.

Three other games saw underdogs spotted more than a touchdown win outright. North Carolina AT&T jumped out to an early lead over Charlotte and never looked back, beating the 49ers 35-31 with a 10.5-point handicap. Stanford, meanwhile, has lost three of its last four against Mountain West foes after a 20-17 defeat at San Diego State. The Cardinal lay 9 points headed into the contest. The SEC conference saw a stunner as well with Mississippi State routing LSU 37-7 despite kicking off a 7.5-point underdog. The Bulldogs victory is just the third over the Tigers in the last 26 meetings.

Bad Beats

The books are still counting their money after that wild Tennessee-Florida finish. The game ended up a bad beat times two. Tied at 20-20, Gators redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks hit receiver Tyrie Cleveland with a 63-yard Hail Mary touchdown for the walk-off win. The game finished 26-20 with college teams not required to kick an extra point, unlike in the NFL, if a touchdown is the final score. This proved significant for bettors.

The game closed -6.5 in favor of Florida at most sportsbooks, biting a slew of Gator ticket holders at that number. Many Tennessee bettors are licking their wounds, too. After opening at -8, the betting lines dipped all the way to -4.5 midweek. Books dealt the number between -5 and -5.5 much of the time. Volunteer backers getting in on this figure are losers as well. Overall, the books benefitted from a nice middling effort thanks to the final score and cashed out doubly. 

Some bettors risking the ‘over’ in the Oregon-Wyoming tilt are irate. The two put up 52 points in the first half, only to score 10 in the second. The number steamed to 66.5 points right before kickoff after dangling as low as 59.5 on Thursday. This marks the second week in row the Ducks have gotten off to a torrid start before the half and grow lame. They’ve accrued 84 first-half points in their last two contests and only one touchdown through the final two-quarters.

The perils of gambling hit hard for Iowa bettors in the Hawkeyes’ 31-14 win over North Texas. Laying -20, the team showed class when taking a knee with a first-and-goal at the Mean Green 2-yard line in the final minute of regulation to close out the game. Any score would have saved Iowa ticket-holders. If the opponent were a conference rival such as Nebraska, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, one would suspect the final play might have ended differently; tough betting loss for sure. 

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