Thanks to Mike for making me relive my worst moments of the year. Here are my most painful losses from 2019:
10. Texas Tech-Virginia: A magical run for the Cavaliers ended by winning their title game in overtime. Usual mix. Controversial replay and clutch play. Buying points with the underdog only made it more expensive. As SVP says, overtime is not a friend of the underdog bettor.
9. Pacers-Blazers: The second half total was in doubt. I needed a late basket. Indiana missed one shot after another before hitting a shot just after the buzzer. Although the game had already been decided, a review would determine whether or not the second half went over. No basket. Second half over loses.
8. Chargers-Broncos: Few teams suffer more excruciating losses than the Chargers. I took them to win as a road favorite in Denver. The game appeared destined for overtime after an LA field goal. So hard to not call them San Diego. Denver threw up a prayer and benefited from an awful pass interference call before booting the game-winning kick with no time left.
7. UNC-Gonzaga: It was an easy win for the Zags. They were ahead by 19, but North Carolina hit a pair of late threes to sneak under the number. I only bought it from 14 to 13.5, and could have used an extra point. Also, the line went up. My dilemma was not being able to buy points until it gets close to the start. Could not buy down when the number was lower. Teasing with over would have worked as well.
6. Rockets-Warriors Game 1: Golden State was up by three. I bought it down to Warriors -4.5 instead of going ML. Chris Paul picked up a technical in the closing seconds. Golden State then went up by 4, so Houston didn’t foul. At 103-100 they likely would have fouled Curry and lost by 5. Frustrating for numerous reasons. Not buying enough points. Could have gone ML. Technical probably cost me the win. Also, I was at a party. Got the news after it happened, then suffered through an overnight replay to catch up on all the brutal details.
5. Alabama-Auburn: The Iron Bowl again provided us with a memorable contest. Alabama’s defense was poor, but unpredictable happenings ultimately doomed them. The Tide appeared headed for six when an interception was returned 100 yards by a backup linebacker. This pass hit Najee Harris in the back. A late field goal to tie was no good off the left upright. Auburn benefited from the clock stopping for replay just before halftime. It allowed them to score three points, and they won 48-45. Down goes my Alabama ML. Would have been an easy over.
4. Mets-Nationals: Washington came back from 10-4 down in the ninth inning. Jacob deGrom’s bad luck continued, and so did mine. First of all, I didn’t take the run line. That cost me. An epic collapse by the Mets was capped off when Edwin Diaz allowed a home run to Kurt Suzuki. The Mets scored five runs in their final frame to go up by six runs. This created a level of comfort for manager Mickey Callaway. He took out Seth Lugo, who was his best relief pitcher. This was the largest ninth-inning comeback in Nationals history. There were other stats about just how crazy this comeback had been. I started to hear them choking while driving, and they had already lost when I finally put SNY on.
3. Bengals-Dolphins: This game cost me on a parlay sheet. Hard to say losing on the Bengals is a bad beat when they were down 23 midway through the fourth, but I’ll explain. At 35-33, Cincinnati made their conversion with no time left and forced overtime. I had +3. Miami scored with no time remaining in overtime to finally win. A tie would have been good for me. There were other things that made it worse. After picking Miami to win during the week, I listened to people and settled on Bengals +3. It pushed, and Miami would not have won either. Ties are losses unless picked, which is ridiculous. Finally, it really wasn’t Dolphins -3 by late in the week. Miami was an underdog. My official pick was 19-18 Dolphins. If the sheet had Miami +1, I would have taken the underdog and won.
2. Falcons-Niners: Another parlay sheet goes down. Atlanta scored a pair of touchdowns in the final two seconds. A replay review prevented the final from being 22-17 San Fran. Laterals and insanity resulted in another Falcons score with no time remaining. This is probably considered the worst beat of 2019 by most gamblers. Definitely one of them. I didn’t realize it had cost me until sorting through my picks later on. Three other sheets lost only one game that weekend. These things have haunted me since I went 10-0 on a sheet in 1994. Even then, I was given 200-1 when a competing sheet had better odds. By not getting the 300-1 payout, I felt cheated out of 500 dollars. First, I’m rooting for Atlanta. The last touchdown doesn’t even register with me until SVP tweets about it putting that game over. My thought was what idiot would take that under. Then I checked my sheets.
1. Utah-BYU: I call this the SVP game. He talked me into BYU. Live bets were flying. This game took place in the summer. Football games that take place in August are sometimes delayed by bad weather. We saw that during this year’s Jets-Giants preseason affair. A delay prolonged my agony, but also provided hope that bets would be wiped away because 55 minutes had not yet been played. During SVP’s show an update on the bottom showed that it had gone final. This made me think that is was cut short. The game had resumed and finished. ESPN didn’t return to Utah-BYU, and never even told us about play resuming. A debacle on all fronts. Nothing happened late except for a very long drive killing time, and all game wagers becoming official. SVP even addressed an angry tweet about this, saying that he didn’t know what channel they were on at that point. ESPN taking it off air and the false hope of losses getting wiped out make this the worst beat of 2019 for me.