Bad Beats: NFL 4-Team Parlay

by Wayne Root

Let’s discuss this crazy four team parlay over the weekend. You won’t believe this happening.

Here are the wagers:

Buffalo -1.5
Pittsburgh -3.5
Chicago + 2.5
KC/Balt Over 54.5 

Keep in mind that a four team parlay pays 10/1. Many call this type of wager a poor person's football lotto. Scraping up $200 to win $2000 is monthly bills-changing money. So off my friend went to Caesar's Sportsbook to purchase his piece of "game day hope." And he was sure to wear his "lucky" hat. 

Game 1)   Buffalo 

How great do you have to feel with Buffalo leading 21-3 at halftime against the LA Rams. You never know if a lead is safe in the NFL but the first score in the second half is a score by the Bills extending their lead to 28-3. With under 5:00 minutes left in the third quarter, the Rams are driving but who cares with this lead. The Rams score a touchdown making the score 28-10 and the partying continues. The Rams scored again within two minutes and quieting my friends happy expressions at 28-17. In the fourth quarter, the Rams scored another TD and a successful two point conversion having the score 28-25. OH NO!  On fourth and goal, the Rams went for it and scored another touchdown putting the Rams ahead 32-28. My friend was devastated and very quiet...And crushed. Josh Allen got the ball back with four minutes left and moved down the field and scored with .15 seconds left to win the game and cover the point spread. The smiles are back with this winner. The first game is a winner but meanwhile Chicago is getting blown out so it’s kind of all for naught. 

Game 2)   Chicago

It’s easy to hate Atlanta. They seem to always make a gambler’s life miserably lately. Always losing money on them. They are set to get a mention in pretty much every bad beat story. They have turned the Bad Beat into an art form, working their genius on the gridiron like other true masters work in clay or oils. This game started off slow. The Falcons led 6-3 after the first quarter. We both were prepared to see a close hard fought game. In the second quarter, Atlanta added a field goal and a touchdown to lead 16-3 as the game was getting away. But the Bears scored and at the end of the first half, the Falcons were leading 16-10. Not a problem. The second half start saw the Falcons add 10 quick points in the first five minutes now leading 26-10. The third quarter ended with no further scores. The last fifteen minutes began with the Bears and Nick Foles scoring a TD to cut the lead to 26-16 as the two point conversion failed. Two minutes later, Foles was back and threw a 37 yard touchdown pass to make it 26-23. He’s only getting plus +2.5 points and with under 4:00 minutes left and Atlanta having the ball, we needed to get the ball back and then a miracle score. Somehow, Atlanta didn’t do anything and our new Bears hero, Nick Foles, threw a 28 yard touchdown pass for a touchdown and let the confetti fly as the Bears won 30-26. I can only imagine the Atlanta Falcons can envision the horrid, soul crushing loss that lives inside of their heads. If others want to say that the Falcons blew another game, it’s probably true. At least two legs of the parlay are in. 

Game 3)   Pittsburgh 

The Steelers game was also an early game so it was difficult where to pay special attention with three games going at once. I had seen an early score while watching the Buffalo game where Houston was up 14-3 but Pittsburgh roared back to make it 17-14. All we knew for sure was the score at halftime was 21-17. The Steelers made the only score in the third quarter tying the game at 20-20. Now for the long 15 minute fourth quarter. We got in at the six minute mark and added a two point successful play to bring it to 28-20 which ended up as the final. We had purposely chosen these three games because the late games were difficult and we thought the extra time until Monday night would give us time to hedge our bets if lucky to go 3-0 with the early games.  Whoopee, Bravo, Presto. We are 3-0 and the best game is left. The perfect two teams to score a ton of points and we have (he does but by now I am truly involved) the over 54.5. 

The One Day Wait. 

Your mind starts to think of safe vacation spots for you, your spouse and your kids that wouldn’t be too crowded while the weather’s still warm. You know what would be great? A cabin. A nice one with a Jacuzzi right off some hiking trails. You can distance and if society continues to collapse, you’ll already be safely ensconced on a mountaintop watching the world burn from afar. Frankly, it’s my dream scenario. Or a quick trip to the beach knowing it would be prepaid with my $2000 win. What a life we live!!!


Kansas City/ Baltimore ov 54.5 

There was plenty of fire in the first half as the Chiefs took a 27-10 lead. There could have been more as we were on a tie on points needed  We figured 30 or 31 points would be scored that half so we were in a great position with 37. I was the one to advise my friend to bet the over for the obvious reasons of two great QBs. I liked the Baltimore side and it looked like a oddsmakers trap giving you Mahomes and +2.5 points so the over seemed like the best choice. NOTE: Only four times in history has the Regular Season MVP and the Super Bowl MVP met with the SB MVP winning all four contest. Now back to the game. Only 19 points were needed after the break to push the total over. Thinking back while watching the second half, I was wondering if Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s missed extra point and 42-yard field goal wouldn’t matter. 

4th Quarter Finale 

Those points mattered. Only three points were scored in the third quarter. My friends heart was sinking. The two teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter to leave the Chiefs ahead 34-20 with 8:14 to play. To win $2000, 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. This is starting to be a nightmare. My buddy and I had sweated they two days and three miracle games on Sunday. It’s our fate to win this. Certainly no Greater Power would take us this far and betray our magic ticket bought Sunday from the Church of the Holy Point Spread. Sweating the rest of the game with over eight minutes left was a true sweat thru your shirt moment with $2000 in your front right pocket. Neither of us said much not wanting to say an unlucky thing or being the blamed jinx. It was no longer tictock; it was tic-tic-tic-tic-tic as the minutes were vaporizing at nano speed on the clock. Under five minutes left, under four and three and the the two minute warning. Over bettors were in trouble. Make that big 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.

So Sad He Lost

That had to be the longest and most disheartening loss I have witnessed. I felt it was my money losing by the end. There were no words to say. He won three out of four games and lost money. It was not the right time to say parlays are difficult at best to win. He wins 75% and lost $200. The moral of the story is obvious. Don’t bet parlays. Be sure to read more Wayne Root articles if you enjoyed this one. 

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