The One(s) that got Away

The One(s) that got Away

Week seven in college football is in the books and we had some upsets, high scoring affairs and a changing of the landscape in some major conferences. Oh and we had some heartbreak at the betting window as well. Let’s take a deeper dive into a couple of the key betting matchups last week.

Case #1: Oklahoma State @ TCU Betting Line: TCU -4

For the second week in a row, the TCU Horned Frogs were involved in one of the week’s betting heartbreaks. TCU had quickly shot up the rankings and came into this game ranked #13 in the country and 4-0-1 ATS. Dare I say, they’d turned into a bettor’s darling. Even getting matched up with another BIG XII power, 9th ranked Oklahoma State, TCU opened as more than a field goal favorite at home.

By halftime, the Cowboys led 24-13 at halftime including a 24-7 lead five minutes into the second quarter. Thankfully, this is the BIG XII after all, so a comeback was certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Still, visions of last year’s 63-17 Oklahoma State dismantling of TCU had to start dancing in a bettor’s head. Luckily, however, the Horned Frogs now have a healthy Maxx Duggan at their disposal so they weren’t done yet.

By the end of the 3rd quarter, the Horned Frogs were down 30-16 and the calculations began. Even in the high-scoring BIG XII, TCU outscoring the Cowboys by 21 points seemed like a lot to ask. Logically, it was time to think overtime. Overtime would afford a possibility of a touchdown win and paydirt! Sure enough, TCU scored 14 points in the fourth and we were headed to overtime.

In the first overtime, this dream looked like a reality. TCU scored on its second play and held a 7-pt lead. One stop..just one! Holy cow, it was fourth and nine and you could feel yourself inching toward the betting window. How in the hell is that guy wide open at the one?! Oklahoma State punches it in after that and we are tied. The Cowboys get it first and have to settle for a field goal. Quick calculation: just want a TCU field goal here because a touchdown doesn’t even get us a push since they won’t try for the point after. As the TCU back rumbled into the end zone and secured just a 3pt win and a betting loss, the only confetti you see is that of your gambling ticket being torn to shreds in disgust.

Final Score: TCU 43 Ok.State 40 TCU -4; loss

Case #2: Penn State @ Michigan Point Spread: Michigan -7

Sometimes, a betting loss comes on an unsuspecting bettor fast and furious and you don’t even know what hit you. A game is going along steadily as she goes and things are in your favor. However, one thing that should always, and I mean ALWAYS, concern a bettor is when things have gone your way despite what you see happening out on the field. On Saturday, in the Big House, just such an occurrence took place as the 10th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions battled the #4 Michigan Wolverines.

With just one first down in the game, Penn State turned a 13-0 deficit into a 14-13 lead in the span of less than two minutes. If you’ve done this long enough, you had to be uneasy despite carrying the +7 points in the bet. Michigan had dominated the first half and yet, here we were, up by one with time running out in the first half. The Wolverines responded with a half-closing field goal but…16-14 with seven points was a lead at halftime. Why was this not feeling so great?

The second half started and the Nittany Lions drove down and punched in a field goal. It was now 17-16 with 7 points. Ok, maybe that locker room speech worked, Penn State was ready to go and, heck, we might even be looking at a road upset-win. Then every Penn State backer heard a strange rumbling. What was that noise? Oh wait, oh I can see it now, the wheels are completely falling off this Penn State play. A 67-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion and it's 24-17. Penn State goes for it on 4th and six, no bueno. Ok, defense, settle this thing down. Whoops, a 61-yard Wolverine touchdown later and the Penn State bandwagon tips completely over. 25-straight Wolverine points and the dream wasn’t just over, it was a full-on nightmare.

Final Score: Michigan 41 Penn State 17 Spread -7: Loss

So what did we learn this week? The BIG XII is the most exciting and agonizing conference to place a bet in and, sometimes, if it's too good to be true, it really is.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
Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW