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Worst bad beats of the week: A gut punch in Philly

The gambling gods saved the worst for last.

Here are the worst bad beats of the sports betting week:

5. Pepperdine +6½

The focus is on football until the season is over, but college basketball returned last week, bringing some awful beats with it. The one that stuck out came in San Diego, where Pepperdine took No. 22 UCLA to overtime.

So another college underdog loses in OT? Big deal. Happens all the time.

But Pepperdine didn’t lose in overtime. Or double overtime. Finally, in the third overtime, UCLA grabbed the lead and pulled away, covering -6½ for the first time all game late in a 107-98 victory.

4. Cardinals -1½

Arizona backers suffered through a frustrating day in New England.

The Cardinals led 10-0 in the first quarter and seemed poised to take a 17-7 lead just before halftime, but Kenyan Drake was stopped at the 1 on fourth down.

With the game tied at 10, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray had a ball tipped and intercepted to set up a short Patriots touchdown drive. Arizona later tied the game at 17 and had a chance to win in the final minutes, but Zane Gonzalez missed a 45-yard field goal.

Now New England had a chance to win. Quarterback Cam Newton drew a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty that helped set up a 50-yard attempt by Nick Folk.

Folk is no Gonzalez. The Patriots won 20-17.

3. Chiefs -3½

NFL favorites were allowing backdoor covers all over the place Sunday, and the most egregious example came in Tampa Bay, as the Buccaneers stormed back to ruin the day for Chiefs bettors (but not the Chiefs).

High-powered Kansas City stormed out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and was driving for a 24-0 lead when quarterback Patrick Mahomes lost a fumble. Kansas City still led 20-7 at halftime and 27-10 into the fourth quarter.

With Tampa Bay’s chances of winning all but dashed, Tom Brady went to work. He hit Mike Evans for a 31-yard score, then — to Chiefs bettors’ horror — found him again for a 7-yard TD with 4:10 to play.

Kansas City backers hoped for one last explosive play out of Mahomes, but he methodically picked up three first downs to run out the clock on a 27-24 victory.

2. Eastern Michigan +6½

The underdog Eagles scored first and were off and running to a 17-6 halftime lead, a 20-6 advantage after three quarters and a 23-14 edge deep into the fourth quarter against Central Michigan.

The Chippewas stormed back to take a 24-23 lead with 2:31 left, but Eastern Michigan backers would be fine as long as the Eagles didn’t turn the ball over.

Promptly, a pass bounced off a receiver’s hands, then off a defender’s helmet into another defender’s arms with 2:26 to go.

Central Michigan tried to run out the clock, but Kobe Lewis was too good. His 31-yard run set up first-and-goal at the 9, and he punched it in himself with 1:43 to go to cap a 31-23 victory.

1. Seahawks -6½

Did we say there were a lot of backdoor covers in the NFL on Sunday? Well, Monday topped them all.

The underdog Philadelphia Eagles appeared listless, and Seattle cruised to a 14-6 halftime lead and was up 20-9 for virtually the whole fourth quarter. A field goal with 1:13 to play put Seattle in front 23-9.

The Eagles couldn’t win, but they still completed a miracle. Carson Wentz’s 33-yard Hail Mary bounced off a player’s hands and was caught by a diving Richard Rodgers for a TD with 12 seconds left.

But Seattle led 23-15 (extra point pending) and was still going to cover, right?

That’s not what the chart says in Philadelphia. The Eagles have embraced the analytic approach that says to go for 2 after scoring a TD to cut the deficit to eight, since slicing the lead to six greatly increases the team’s chance of winning in regulation.

And that analytic approach applies even if there are 12 seconds left in the game. Miles Sanders scored with little resistance, and the Seahawks recovered the onside kick to close out a 23-17 victory.

Among the stunned losers was someone who placed a $500,000 wager on Seahawks -6½ at BetMGM.

A gently offered lesson for those angry bettors: Get the best of the number. Seattle -5½ was still available Saturday night, and -6 was still around on Sunday.

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

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