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Week’s worst bad beats: Falcons buck 440-0 trend

When a team breaks a 440-0 streak to kill your bet, that’s a bad beat.

This week’s list is about quality and not quantity — and No. 1 is from the top shelf.

Here are the three worst bad beats from the past football weekend:

3. Under 41½ 49ers-Jets

The New York Jets do not appear to be playoff contenders, but they put together one final drive Sunday to stick a fork in under bettors.

San Francisco built a 21-3 halftime lead, and with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo among several key injuries, the 49ers were content to sit on the ball in the second half.

Meanwhile, the Jets could do nothing. Their second-half drives went the following distances (in yards): 8, 19, 15, 23, 22 and 6. They kicked a field goal on one of those drives after an interception, but they showed no signs of mounting a long drive with the 49ers up 31-6 and cruising.

Until the final drive. Quarterback Sam Darnold found Chris Hogan for 27 yards, and the Jets converted a third-and-11 on a pass interference penalty. Finally, Darnold escaped a sack and threw on the run, against his body, to a streaking Braxton Berrios, who scored a 30-yard touchdown with 1:23 to play to cap a seven-play, 80-yard drive.

Final score: 49ers 31, Jets 13. Over 41½ wins, and it also affected second-half bets, turning Jets +2½ into a winner and under 20 into a push (and under 19½ into a loser).

2. Clemson -50½

Betting massive college football favorites is a dicey proposition. When do they pull their starters? Do they still let the backups play aggressively in the second half?

It didn’t look as if that would matter for the No. 1-ranked Tigers on Saturday as they raced to a 49-0 halftime lead against The Citadel. Surely, Clemson’s second- and third-stringers would still win the second half by at least two points.

Clemson’s drives in the first half: touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, end of half. (The Tigers also had a defensive score.)

Clemson’s drives in the second half: fumble, fumble, punt, stopped on fourth down, punt, punt.

Halftime score: Clemson 49, The Citadel 0. Final score: Clemson 49, The Citadel 0. Bulldogs +50½: winner.

1. Falcons ML +130

How soon did Atlanta backers start counting their money Sunday? The Falcons led 20-0 in the first quarter and 29-10 at halftime.

The Cowboys cut the lead to 29-24 in the third quarter, but the Falcons immediately responded, pushing the lead to 39-24 with 7:57 to play. Dallas scored but failed on a 2-point conversion, leaving Atlanta still up two scores at 39-30 with 4:57 to go.

By the time Dak Prescott plunged into the end zone to cut the lead to 39-37, 1:49 remained. The Cowboys would have to recover an onside kick, something that has become a remote possibility in recent years with changes to kickoff rules.

When the ball left Greg Zuerlein’s foot, the idea that the Cowboys would recover it was laughable. The slow roller did not even look as if it would go 10 yards.

But it kept going, and the Falcons kept watching it go. They even kept watching it as it went 10 yards, and a Dallas player pounced on it before the Falcons could.

Six players later, Zuerlein split the uprights, and the Cowboys won 40-39. It was their only lead.

Elias Sports said the Falcons were the first team since 1933 to lose despite scoring 39 points and having no turnovers. Teams had been (gulp) 440-0 when doing that.

One BetMGM bettor learned the hard lesson that there is no sure thing. The bettor wagered $35,000 to win $1,050 on the Falcons to win the game up 39-24.

There’s one bright side, Atlanta backers: The Falcons still covered +3.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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