As someone who lives in Tennessee, a state in which it is legal, I have been known to dabble in sports betting. And by dabble, I mean that I have placed 964 bets since Nov. 1, 2021.
While that number is not necessarily up to par with some of my peers, like OutKick's resident sports betting expert Geoff Clark, I've averaged 2-3 bets per day for the last year or so— and that doesn't include anything before last November. All of this goes to say that I am familiar with bad beats.
However, I have not been as torn-up about a bad beat as I was on Thursday afternoon.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, it is the time of year where college basketball is being played in the middle of the day as part of some random tournament. It's the best.
..... UNTIL IT ISN'T .....
Both the Nittany Lions and Paladins entered the game with high-scoring totals in their early-season games. The latter had scored 91 against North Greenville and 89 against a formidable Belmont team. The former dropped 93 against Winthrop, 90 against Loyola (Maryland) and 68 against a stout Butler defense.
Thus, when I woke up on Thursday morning, betting the Over felt like a lock. The total moved to 146 by tipoff -- because college basketball lines move more than any other sport -- but I had already hopped all over 141.5 at -105 odds on DraftKings about three hours prior to tip.
I needed Penn State and Furman to score 142 combined points. 71 each. There was never a doubt in my mind.
Through the first half, I was cruising. The Nittany Lions were up 46-29 (75 points) and the Paladins did not find much of a rhythm offensively. If they could come out firing in the second half, there was no way that the game was going Under 141.5.
And then it did. By 0.5 points.
Penn State beat Furman 73-68. 141 total points.
Gut-wrenching, sickening, depressing— whatever adjective you choose, it works.
I was absolutely demoralized and the final 62 seconds played a big role. With one minute and two seconds left in the game, the total sat just three points short of the Over at 141.5.
A layup and a free throw would have done the trick. Two quick baskets would have done the trick.
One three-pointer would have done the trick.
I was nervous, but I wasn't sweating. Both offenses were shooting no less than 42% from the field and neither team sat below 32% from beyond the arc.
Surely they were going to get the job done, right? Wrong.
First, Furman missed a triple off of the iron. It looked good off of his hand.
Then Penn State missed a triple off of the iron. It also looked good off of his hand.
If that wasn't enough, Furman took another three-pointer, this time from straight-away, and missed.
BUT THEY GOT THE REBOUND! THE OVER WAS STILL IN PLAY!
After passing the rock around the back court for a moment, the Paladins pulled up one last time.
The shot hung on the rim.
It looked good. It was going in.
It didn't. Furman missed and fouled, which put the game, and the Over, to bed.
Here is how it went down:
There is a lot of day left to hop over to DraftKings and get back on track, but man, that was a real bummer way to start my Thursday.