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Worst bad beats of the week: Chiefs-Ravens over stings

After a relative dearth of awful bad beats to start the season, bettors had plenty to shake their heads at over the weekend.

Here are our picks for the worst of the week:

5. Under 56 Alabama-Missouri

A 31-point first half had under backers on the ropes, but everything was on track late in the Crimson Tide’s game at Missouri.

Alabama kicked a field goal with 2:05 left to take a 38-13 lead. All the Tide had to do was keep the Tigers out of the end zone, a place Missouri had visited only once all game.

Thirteen plays and 68 yards later, Missouri faced fourth-and-1 at the Alabama 7 with four seconds left. Tigers quarterback Connor Bazelak dropped back, saw an opening in the middle of the field and jogged into the end zone as the clock hit zeros.

Final: Alabama 38, Missouri 19. Over 56.

4. Over 47 Bengals-Eagles

When Carson Wentz dived into the end zone with 21 seconds left and the extra point was good, over bettors knew they had a winner. The Eagles had tied the Bengals at 23. Any score in overtime would push the game over.

But what if no one scores in overtime?

The Eagles and Bengals traded punts three times in OT, the last coming after a false start on a 59-yard field-goal try pushed Philadelphia out of range with 19 seconds left.

Instead of trying a Hail Mary or even a 64-yard field goal, the Eagles accepted the tie and punted. And over bettors had to accept their fate.

3. Central Florida -28 and under 77½

East Carolina delivered a two-for-one beat with 19 seconds left against the Knights.

Not only did Tyler Snead’s 7-yard TD on a jet sweep get the Pirates (+28) back inside the number at 51-28, it also pushed the game over 77½ by making the fourth quarter the highest scoring of the game.

The game was the epitome of how sports betting drama transforms a blowout. Central Florida never led by fewer than 23 points in the second half, but the “lead” against the spread changed hands six times.

And under bettors felt the final blow.

2. Iowa State -4

The Cyclones and Texas Christian traded scores throughout the second half, but it appeared that Iowa State had finally salted away the cover, up 37-28 in the final seconds.

All the Cyclones had to do was avoid a 31-yard TD pass on the final play. Then Max Duggan hit Blair Conwright with a 31-yard near-Hail Mary on the final play.

Final: Iowa State 37, TCU 34. For an extra wrinkle, the Horned Frogs declined to try the extra point, so bettors who took the Cyclones -2½ earlier in the week survived.

1. Over 55 Chiefs-Ravens

This one was felt at sportsbooks across Las Vegas on Monday in the most anticipated game of the week.

Sportsbook directors reported heavy action on the over, and one said the book would get “smoked” by a high-scoring game.

There was plenty of fire in the first half as the Chiefs took a 27-10 lead. Only 19 points were needed after the break to push the total over. Surely Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s missed extra point and 42-yard field goal wouldn’t matter.

They mattered. Only three points were scored in the third quarter, but the teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter to leave the Chiefs ahead 34-20 with 8:14 to play.

Now any score would do for over bettors. The Ravens promptly drove down the field, but their drive stalled out with two Kansas City sacks and they turned the ball over on downs.

Now over bettors were in trouble. The Chiefs merely milked the clock and turned the ball over on downs instead of kicking a field goal with 23 seconds to go.

Experienced bettors saw another lesson in the game: The total was available at 53½ or lower earlier in the week. It often pays to bet early, especially for favorites and overs.

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

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