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Worst bad beats of the week: Texans backers tortured

The Houston Texans reminded backers that sometimes you don’t want your team to score a touchdown.

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

5. Under 26½ Auburn-South Carolina 1H

First-half under backers can thank Auburn quarterback Bo Nix for their pain Saturday.

Nix threw two interceptions in the first half, setting up short South Carolina touchdown drives of 29 and 49 yards.

The last score came with 35 seconds left in the half to push the total over at 16-14 Auburn. The Gamecocks ended up rallying for a 30-22 victory.

4. Over 64 North Carolina-Florida State

Over backers were in great shape at halftime with the underdog Seminoles holding a 31-7 lead. The fifth-ranked Tar Heels would be forced to push the pace, and they have the high-powered offense to score a bunch of points in comeback mode.

But, of course, it is never easy. Florida State missed two field goals in the second half, and North Carolina missed one. The Tar Heels also turned the ball over on downs twice in Seminoles territory, including once at the 6-yard line.

Florida State didn’t score in the second half, but pulled out the 31-28 upset. And over backers were left a few points short.

3. Central Florida -3

With a defense like Central Florida’s, no lead is safe, but, come on. The Knights led 35-14 in the third quarter and 49-37 with 5:29 to go against the Tigers and seemed poised to cover.

Memphis quickly scored to cut the lead to 49-44. All Central Florida had to do was pick up a couple of first downs, but Jacob Harris couldn’t haul in a third-down pass.

Now Knights backers were worried, and with good reason. Memphis need 1:22 to drive 85 yards to take a 50-49 lead, and Daniel Obarski missed a 40-yard field goal in the final seconds that would have bailed out UCF money-line bettors.

And Knights backers could now look back and rue being stopped on downs at the Memphis 4- and 32-yard lines in the first half.

2. Under 49 Kansas-West Virginia

Forget about the side; the total was the true disaster of this Big 12 matchup.

Kansas, an underdog of 22 to 21 points, jumped to a 10-0 lead over the Mountaineers. West Virginia regained control, eventually going up 31-10 early in the fourth quarter.

The Mountaineers appeared to put a bad beat on Jayhawks backers when Alec Sinkfeld scored on a 3-yard run with two minutes remaining to put West Virginia in front 38-10 and outside the number for the first time all day.

While Kansas backers were moaning, did under backers even see it coming? Pooka Williams took the subsequent kickoff back 92 yards for the touchdown, moving the margin back to 21 at 38-17 and tearing up under tickets in the process.

Williams opted out of the rest of the season this week; under bettors wish he thought of that before.

1. Texans +3½

A funny thing can happen in betting. Sometimes when the team you’re backing scores, it hurts you.

That was the case for Texans backers in a calamitous loss Sunday at Tennessee. The Texans led 30-29 and got the ball back with an interception midway through the fourth quarter. Houston moved the ball and milked the clock, finally arriving at fourth-and-goal at the Titans 1-yard line with 1:50 remaining.

If the Texans kicked a field goal to go up 33-29, bettors were home free. Even a Tennessee touchdown wouldn’t make Houston +3½ a loser.

Of course, the Texans were playing to win, not cover, so they correctly went for it and scored. Much has been made of Houston’s subsequent decision to go for 2 and try to put the game out of reach with a nine-point lead. Of course, that decision would be criticized less if the Texans had converted.

The Titans promptly drove down the field and tied the score with four seconds left (on a questionable catch that replay didn’t reverse). When the Titans won the coin toss in overtime, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson grimaced, and so did Houston bettors.

Derrick Henry scored six players later, and the Titans pulled out the cover in a 42-36 win.

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

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