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Vegas Always Wins: Pirates plunder the spread, Boise backdoor covers

Week six in college football had no shortage of bad beats

NCAA Football: Boise State at UNLV Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

We are deep into the thick of college football, nearly approaching the halfway point of the regular season. Some teams around the country are still searching for an identity, but the vast majority of programs have a pretty good idea of where they stand at this point in the year. Week six was another great weekend of football, with a few Top 25 matchups as well as a handful of upsets.

The biggest upset of the weekend was Stanford’s 23-13 win over No. 15 Washington, with the Pac-12 continuing its uphill climb in trying to get a team into the CFP. No. 10 Florida got a big win 24-13 over No. 7 Auburn in the only Top 10 matchup of the week, and No. 19 Michigan took down No. 14 Iowa in an ugly 10-3 final. The rest of the Top 25 held serve for the most part, with No. 4 Ohio State having the only other ranked matchup in a 37-10 drudging of No. 25 Michigan State.

At the bottom of the rankings, No. 18 UCF lost yet again, this time in a 27-24 Friday night game against Cincinnati, and No. 21 Oklahoma State fell to an unranked Texas Tech squad 45-35.

As always, despite a bunch of lopsided victories around the nation, it was the bettors that took a real hit with some tough losses. Let’s check in on what week six brought us in terms of bad beats.


Temple 27 - East Carolina 17
(Line: TEM -12.5)

We’ll start this saga as most hardcore gamblers would, with a random unranked matchup on Thursday night in Greenville, NC. Temple was being given anywhere from 11 to 12.5 points depending on which book you looked at, and after a tough first quarter began to look like the superior team.

ECU scored the only touchdown of the first quarter, but the Owls would respond with a 10-0 run of their own to start the second. The Pirates added a field goal to tie it at 10 apiece, but TDs late in the second and third quarter for Temple gave them a comfortable 24-10 lead. Another FG made it 27-10, and it looked as though the Owls were going to walk away with an easy cover. That was not to be, however, as East Carolina found the end zone with just 33 seconds left to make it 27-17. That isn’t even where this became a bad beat...

In an absolute rollercoaster of an ending, the Pirates appeared to fumble with no time left on the clock, and Temple took it to the house for what would've been at least a 34-17 win. Unfortunately for bettors of the Owls, the play was blown dead for forward progression, and the fumble and subsequent recovery did not count. Instead, East Carolina covered the 12.5-point spread, and bettors of Temple were left in disbelief.


Boise State 38 - UNLV 13
(Line: BSU -24.5)

The last game of the night on Saturday was never in doubt in terms of the final outcome, but in terms of the spread was one of the craziest endings we’ve seen in a long time. Boise State came out swinging, and UNLV just looked overmatched for pretty much the entire game as the Broncos raced out to a 24-0 lead by the middle of the third quarter. UNLV got their first touchdown of the game late in the third, but Boise State answered in the fourth with another score to make it 31-7.

That is when things got a little nuts. After getting dominated the entire game, the Rebels once again found the end zone, but would miss the PAT, cutting the deficit to 31-13 — making it nearly impossible for BSU to cover the spread. Then, for no reason at all, UNLV went for an onside kick. They would not recover, and instead it was Boise State with the ball, returning it all the way to the six-yard line. That extremely odd decision would set up this play...

The Broncos pretty much walked it in for a touchdown after the kick return. The Rebels’ onside kick attempt made absolutely no sense down 31-13 with a minute remaining, and it led directly to a Boise State TD. That late score made it 38-13, as the Broncos came away with a puzzling 25-point margin of victory to cover the 24.5-point spread after a crazy turn of events.


Maryland 48 - Rutgers 7
(Total: O/U 55.5)

In a battle between two of the Big Ten’s finest participants, Maryland headed to Piscataway to take on Rutgers. The Terps were 14-point favorites in the game, and that was never really in doubt for much longer than a quarter as the Scarlet Knights’ abysmal season continued. With the two teams tied at 7-7 early in the second quarter, Maryland preceded to go on an absolute tear, and by halftime already held a 27-7 lead.

Things did not get any better for Rutgers out of the break, as the Terrapins returned the halftime kickoff 100 yards for a TD. They continued to pour it on, and with six minutes remaining in the third quarter Maryland was now cruising with a 48-7 lead. With the over/under set at 55.5 and so much time remaining, it seemed as though this would be an incredibly easy over. It looked to be in the bag when the Terps lined up for a 29-yard field goal with 1:21 to go.

Rutgers blocked the short field goal attempt to keep points off the board, and the game would end with a 48-7 final (55 total points). Somehow, there was not a single point scored over the last 21 minutes of the game, as the total failed to go over by half a point. To add insult to injury, Maryland also had an extra point blocked earlier in the game, which at the time did not seem significant, but in the end added to what was a maddening loss by 0.5.