The One(s) that got Away

The One(s) that got Away

Week six in college football is in the books and we had another week of sports betting heartbreak. You can crunch the numbers, dot the i’s, and cross your t’s but the bookmakers sometimes get the best of us. Don’t worry, we will try, try again but before we do, let’s take a look at last week’s missed opportunities.

Case #1: TCU @ Kansas Game Total Over/Under: 69 points

This season’s feel-good story, the Kansas Jayhawks had the college football world rooting for the perennial loveable losers out of Lawrence, Kansas. Once and always a basketball school, suddenly the gang from ESPN was more than willing to do a College GameDay broadcast in hoop-crazy Kansas. The matchup between the 17th-ranked Horned Frogs of TCU and the 19th-ranked Jayhawks was too good to pass up. Kansas came in as a 7pt home dog but that seemed less appealing than the total. Two awful defenses out of the high-flying Big XII seemed like a no-brainer over, no matter the total.

By the end of the first half, who could have possibly felt good about that bet? At halftime, the score stood 10-3 TCU as a Big Ten game broke out in the Big XII. To make matters worse, Kansas’ starting quarterback, Jalon Daniels, was lost for the game due to a right shoulder injury. It was the type of scenario that would lead one to jump on the second half under total and hope to break even.

A funny thing happened in the second half, however, a Big XII game broke out. Suddenly, both teams were scoring at will and it looked more like a basketball game - Rock Chalk chants were all the rage. By the end of the third quarter, the two teams had combined for six third-quarter touchdowns and calculators were out trying to figure out point needs for the 4th quarter. By the time TCU had taken the lead, 38-31, with 1:36 left, the total was a push and a Kansas game-tying touchdown was looking inevitable.

As luck would have it, the Jayhawks' backup quarterback turned back into a pumpkin on that final drive, twice missing wide-open receivers and turning the ball over on downs with under 30 seconds to play. Before you start lamenting about not taking the points and going with the feel-good Jayhawks, the final score was a push as well! Those darn oddsmakers! There is nothing worse than a spread and a total that is picked on the nose, unless you own a sports casino.

Final Score: TCU 38 Kansas 31 Total: 69 - PUSH

Case #2: Kansas State @ Iowa State Point Spread: Kansas State -1

The state of Kansas and the Big XII were full of betting angst this past weekend. The Cougars traveled to Iowa State looking to improve to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big XII. Iowa State came into the matchup with one of the worst offenses in college football while the Cougars have looked revitalized under former Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez. One point? Sounds manageable. Besides, one-point games in the fast and frenzied college football world? Those never happen…right?

When K-State scored on an 81-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter, all signs pointed to an easy night. Iowa State has had trouble scoring and the Cougars scored on their first deep shot of the game. One more touchdown and this one was a near-lock for the Cougars. Ok, the first quarter ends 7-3 but there’s plenty of time. I mean, that first drive took no time at all. This won’t last. Is that a bead of sweat on your forehead by halftime? It is 7-6 now and that K-State offense isn’t humming but sputtering.

The anti-acids were pulled out by the end of the third quarter as the Cyclone pathetic offense kicks yet another field goal and it was 9-7. Mathematicians everywhere were quickly crunching the numbers and knew what just a Cougars field goal would mean to the outcome. Oh for the love of God, take a deep shot! There has to be another touchdown in this high-powered offense. Midway through the fourth, the Cougars are driving. Come on, punch it in! Punch it in! Yep, you guessed it, the Iowa State defense tightened and that damn field goal unit came out. The kick is good, 10-9. This is college football. Seven minutes remained. Surely there would be more..nope, that was it. Saturday college football and suddenly everyone is a Push-over.

Final Score: K-State 10 Iowa State 9 Spread -1: PUSH

So what did we learn this week? Well it seems those oddsmakers kind of know what they’re doing and sometimes, sometimes, they hit it SO on the nose they break it. And sometimes, hell, most times, a push feels so much worse than a loss. Check in next week for another sampling of ‘The One(s) that got Away’. Also, be sure to check out my premium bets and packages here for all the inside knowledge in baseball, the NBA, the NHL, the NFL and college football.

*College football lines courtesy of

Author Profile
Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.