Rob Nelson of ESPN Stats & Information revisits the worst bad beats from the 2016 NFL season. The games are listed in chronological order.
Note: Closing lines are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and pick percentages are via Wunderdog sports.
Closing line: Redskins -7.5
Back in Week 4, the Redskins were still seeking their first cover as a favorite under quarterback Kirk Cousins. Washington was previously 0-6 ATS in those games, having lost outright four times. This game looked to be following that same script, as the Browns led 20-17 entering the final quarter.
Cleveland couldn't get out of its own way down the stretch and turned it over on three consecutive possessions after taking the lead. Washington took advantage and scored 14 points off those turnovers. The Browns, who led with less than 11 minutes left and outgained the Redskins for the game, still ended up losing by double-digits. Cleveland went on to finish the season 5-11 ATS, tied for the second-worst mark in the NFL.
Final score: Redskins 31, Browns 20 (Redskins cover)
Closing line: Cowboys -5
This would be the third straight Sunday Night Football game that went to overtime, with every game resulting in a bad beat for bettors. But none were worse than this one.
The Eagles took a 23-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, and those who took the underdog were feeling great. After all, if you factor in the spread, the Eagles were up 15. After forcing a three-and-out, Philadelphia had the ball but Wendell Smallwood fumbled on the first play of the drive to give it back to Dallas. It all went downhill for the Eagles after that. The Cowboys scored the next 10 points to send the game to overtime. Dallas won the toss and marched right down the field, capping off the drive with a Jason Witten 5-yard touchdown catch to win by six.
Final score: Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 in OT (Cowboys cover)
Closing line: Over/under 41.5
After opening at 47.5, the over/under for this game moved all the way down to 41.5 by kickoff. Heavy winds were expected at Metlife Stadium, and that turned out to be a huge factor in this one.
Playing without key offensive starters in Alshon Jeffery and Kyle Long, the Bears started strong, scoring on their first three possessions. Chicago led 16-9 at halftime with the total on pace to go over. In the second half, the Giants scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and took a 22-16 lead with 6:49 left in third quarter. But the game ended on a 21:49 scoring drought, with bettors who took the over falling 3.5 points short of cashing their tickets. A big reason was the kicking struggles -- Robbie Gould and Connor Barth combined to miss three extra points and a field goal.
Final score: Giants 22, Bears 16 (Total goes under)
Closing line: Over/under 53
This wasn't the greatest Thanksgiving for those who took the under.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Cowboys led 17-6 -- 30 points shy of the closing total of 53. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Kirk Cousins hooked up with Jordan Reed for a 5-yard touchdown, marking the start of a wild final 15 minutes. The teams continued to exchange touchdowns throughout the quarter, and those who bet the spread were also on the edge of their seats -- the Cowboys closed as a 5.5-point favorite. Trailing 31-19 at the two-minute warning, Cousins found Reed for another score to send the total over. The teams combined for five touchdowns in the final 15 minutes, as the 34 points ended up tied for fourth-highest scoring fourth quarter in 2016.
Final score: Cowboys 31, Redskins 26 (Total goes over)
Closing line: Falcons -7.5
The Falcons came into this game with plenty of motivation -- a win and they would lock up the NFC's No. 2 seed.
The eventual conference champions came out on fire and led 35-13 at halftime. That lead grew to 38-13 after three quarters, with those on Atlanta -7.5 looking like they had themselves a winning bet. But the Saints finished strong, scoring the game's final 19 points, capped off by a Drew Brees to Travaris Cadet 3-yard touchdown. With the backdoor cover, New Orleans finished with the second-best ATS mark in the NFL at 11-5. As for the Falcons, it wouldn't be the last time they were outscored 19-0 in a fourth quarter ...
Final score: Falcons 38, Saints 32 (Saints cover)
Super Bowl LI
Closing line: Patriots -3, Over/under 57
No game gets more action on it than the Super Bowl, and for most of the night, the winning sides appeared to be Atlanta and the under.
But that's why they play 60 minutes, or in this case, even more than that.
The Falcons led 28-3 with just over 17 minutes left and it looked like they would be the 12th Super Bowl underdog to cover in the last 16 years. But as everyone has seen by now, the Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit and forced the first overtime in Super Bowl history. As mentioned above, it marked the second time in four games that Atlanta was outscored exactly 19-0 in the fourth quarter. In overtime, New England won the toss and James White's third touchdown of the night ended the game. White's score gave those on the Falcons and/or the under a bad beat that will live with them all offseason.
Final score: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 (Patriots cover and game goes over)