Bettors who took Florida Atlantic -6.5 were feeling quite good when the Owls had the ball up seven points with 2:30 left and Marshall stuck without a timeout. Instead, it all went horribly wrong.
Betting on college football is not for the faint of heart. Bad beats happen every week, where seemingly surefire wins turn into last-second nightmares.
But the term bad beat doesn’t properly give the poor souls that took Florida Atlantic -6.5 justice.
Let’s set the scene: FAU led Marshall 30-23, and the Thundering Herd had the ball on fourth-and-6 on their own 23-yard line. Marshall QB Chase Litton threw a desperation 35-yard heave that was intercepted by Jalen Young and returned for one yard to FAU’s 43.
Young would’ve been better served batting the ball down to gain all of that field position, but that’s neither here nor there. FAU -6.5 bettors are now feeling supremely confident with the Owls having the ball up seven points with 2:30 left, boosted by the fact that Marshall had zero timeouts left.
One first down, the bet cashes. Except Lane Kiffin opts to kneel the ball. Yet, after three kneels, the Owls are forced to take a timeout with 14 ticks remaining, because Kiffin inexplicably didn’t realize that the victory formation wouldn’t run out the entire 150 seconds in a one-possession game.
So, the Owls face fourth-and-29 on their own 24-yard line. What does Kiffin decide to do? Much to the dismay and sanity of FAU -6.5 bettors, the Owls line up for a punt… only for the punter to take a safety to make it a 30-25 score. And since it lasted only six seconds, that safety didn’t even end the game!
While Marshall receiving the pigskin back with eight seconds remaining didn’t end up affecting the final result of the contest, the damage was already done in the betting world. Thoughts and prayers to those who took FAU -6.5 and likely had their weekends completely ruined… until the next wager at least.
Kiffin later offered this explanation for how that ending unfolded.