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by Ben Burns - 09/30/2008
I had some big wins this week but I also suffered some tough losses. I've recapped a couple of the most painful ones.
Minnesota at Ohio State
My Saturday "bad beat" came early. My ticket was on (-17) Ohio State, in its Big 10 opener vs. Minnesota. The Buckeyes got running back Chris "Beanie" Wells back in the lineup and he ran for more than 100 yards. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor ran for another 97 while adding two rushing touchdowns. Overall, the Buckeyes had a 278-88 advantage on the ground. They led 20-3 at the half and had a commanding 34-6 advantage in the fourth quarter. Cue the dagger.
The Gophers outscored the Buckeyes 15-0 over the final seven minutes. That brought the final score to 34-20. Note that the line climbed during the week and closed at -20 or -20.5. Therefore, those who played the Buckeyes late in the week were affected by the first Minnesota touchdown, while it took both Gopher scores to defeat those who played earlier. Either way, it made for a tough way to start Saturday afternoon!
San Diego at Oakland
This was an extremely tough loss for both those who had tickets on Oakland and also for those who bet the 'under.' I fell into the latter category. San Diego was favored by eight points and the over/under line was 45.5. The Raiders jumped on top early and led the entire way. In fact, it was 15-0 entering the second half and was still just 15-3 in the fourth quarter. That's when things fell apart.
With two minutes remaining, San Diego had rallied all the way back and the score was tied 18-18. Next, the Chargers got a long kick return from Darren Sproles which set them up for a 47 yard field goal to take a 21-18 lead with 1.51 remaining. The Raiders couldn't do anything and turned the ball over on downs at the 1:14 mark. It appeared that the Chargers would run the clock out and the final score would be 21-18.
Cue the dagger. LaDanian Tomlinson breaks free for a 41 yard touchdown, getting the cash for those who bet the Chargers and the 'over,' while breaking the hearts of those of us on the opposite side. Even with LT's big run to end the game, the Chargers finished the game with a mere 295 total yards. They had combined for more than 800 yards in their previous two games. I'll let the readers decide which was a worse "bad beat," the 'under' or the Raiders!