Top 10 Worst “Bad Beats” of 2022

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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email

The year is coming to a close, so it’s time to “celebrate” by recapping the worst bad beats of 2022. There is certainly no cause for celebration when you are on the wrong end of a bad beat, but when you don’t have a dog in the fight they are wildly fun to talk about. That’s why SportsCenter’s “Bad Beats” segment hosted by Scott Van Pelt and Stanford Steve is so gosh darn entertaining!

With the turn of the calendar from 2022 to 2023 as New Year’s Day approaches, we are going to channel our inner SVP and reflect on the absolute WORST bad beats.

Here is a countdown of our Top 10 Worst Bad Beats of 2022. Enjoy the show! (Unless, of course, you were among the many victims!)

10) December 10, NCAAB: Cincinnati +2.5 vs Xavier

This is an interesting one because you could have been on either side and potentially had a terrible beat. The line on the recent Cincinnati vs Xavier college basketball game fluctuated between Xavier -3.5 and -2.5. The Bearcats mounted a furious charge from 11 points down with fewer than 3 minutes remaining. After tying it, they fouled the Musketeers near the buzzer. The first-throw was made and — knowing Xavier had no timeouts — the second free-throw was purposely missed. Unfortunately for Cincinnati backers, the Bearcats didn’t know they were without a timeout. A rogue TO with less than a second left resulted in a technical foul and led to 2 more Xavier free-throws led to a 3-point win and cover. But it was still a bad beat for Xavier -3.5 ticket holders, as Cincy’s late comeback at least got the home team within 3.

9) December 18, NFL: New England Patriots ML vs Las Vegas Raiders

Everyone remembers the Patriots vs Raiders game, because it just happened. If you were on the wrong side of the bet, you certainly won’t forget it. New England first should have won the game when it led by 7 late, only to give a touchdown that didn’t look like a touchdown. After video review upheld Las Vegas’ score, the Pats found themselves tied with the ball. But Jakobi Meyers’ seemed to think his team was losing; or perhaps he wasn’t thinking at all. Meyers’ desperation razzle-dazzle move fell into the arms of Chandler Jones, who returned it for a game-winning touchdown for the Raiders.

8) Season-long, PGA Tour: Will Zalatoris to win a major in 2022

Is Zalatoris the new Rickie Fowler of the PGA Tour? If you need a primer on that reference, it means coming close at major championships a whole bunch of times only to come up short. Time will tell, but right now that appears to be the case. Zalatoris finished in the top 6 in 3 of 4 majors during the 2022 campaign, including runner-up performances at both the PGA Championship (lost in a playoff to Justin Thomas) and U.S. Open (placed second behind Matthew Fitzpatrick by 1 stroke). The Wake Forest product went off at +1600 to win the PGA and +2400 at the U.S. Open. He finished 6th at the Masters, where he opened at +3300.

7) January 30, ATP Tour: Daniil Medvedev ML vs Rafael Nadal and to win the Australian Open outright

We’re sticking with the country club sports and turning our attention from golf to tennis. No, bad beats are not limited to the NFL, NBA and other more marquee events. If you had Medvedev beating Nadal in the Australian Open final (-200 ML), this was a horrific beat. If you also had an outright ticket on Medvedev placed before the tournament started (+275), well that would make it even worse. The Russian led 2 sets to 0 and had triple-break point with Nadal serving at 2-3, 0-40 in the 3rd. This match really was over. But then it wasn’t. The Spaniard came back from 0-40 down to hold for 3-3 and that started what was the biggest comeback of the entire tennis season on the biggest and brightest stage.

6) May 4, Champions League: Manchester City to advance vs Real Madrid

What would a 2022 recap be without some soccer? After all, the World Cup — especially the final between Argentina and France — was nothing short of epic. But the worst beat came in the UEFA Champions League. After taking the first leg of the semifinals 4-3 over Real Madrid, Manchester City built a 5-3 aggregate advantage with a goal in the 73rd minute of leg 2. The Premier League representatives still led 5-3 going into stoppage time, a seemingly insurmountable deficit for Real Madrid. Instead, Real scored 3 times in the span of 6 minutes to win the leg 3-1 and advance to the final 6-5 on aggregate. Ridiculous scenes.

5) September 18, NFL: Browns ML vs Jets

 The Browns had a 99.9 percent chance to win this Week 2 contest after they scored with 1:55 remaining to up 30-17. When the extra point was missed, it was hardly expected to matter — except maybe for Cleveland -6.5 bettors. Not only did those bettors end up losing, but even the ones holding Cleveland ML tickets wound up in the red. Yes, the Jets reeled off 14 points — aided by a successful onside kick — in the span of exactly 1 minute to prevail 31-30.

4) December 2, NCAAF: Caleb Williams Over 33.5 rushing yards

In the Pac-12 Championship between USC and Utah, Williams’ rushing yards quota was 33.5. Well, he went for 59 on 1 play alone. He also had 72 total rushing yards after the first quarter. He maxed out at 73. Despite all of that, Williams still didn’t finish over the number. That’s right; in college football sacks count as rushing yards lost. A hobbled Williams got sacked by the Utes so many times throughout the second half that he finished with only 21 yards on the ground. Just brutal.

3) December 26, NBA: Pistons +6 vs Clippers

It wasn’t a happy Christmas for Pistons supporters — or at least not a happy day after Christmas. A 6-point underdog, Detroit led the Clippers 126-112 with fewer than 3 minutes remaining. The only way the Pistons wouldn’t cover was overtime, and even that would require a massive late-game collapse. Well, that’s exactly what happened. Los Angeles outscored them 16-2 the rest of the way in regulation to force overtime and then dominated the extra frame to win by 11. It was an absolutely ridiculous win for the Clippers…and an even more shocking cover.

2) October 29, NCAAF: West Virginia + vs TCU

If you had West Virginia against the spread and the under, this was probably the worst bad beat of the year. With the Horned Frogs favored by 7.5 points and the total set at 67.5, they led 34-31 with less than a minute remaining. A sustained drive featuring all running plays had used up almost all of the clock, but TCU was finally stopped on 3rd down at WVU’s 29-yard line. Another 1st down would have ended the game for a West Virginia cover and the under. The Mountaineers jumped offsides on the 4th-down play, so TCU had a 1st down in its pocket to end the game. But instead of taking a knee, with a free play in hand QB Max Duggan decided what the heck. He lofted a 29-yard TD pass to Savion Williams for a 41-31 victory. Just like that, TCU covered and the game went over.

1) November 25, NCAAF: Utah State +16 vs Boise State

It doesn’t get any worse than this. Well, at least it didn’t in 2022. Utah State was getting 16 points and was trailing by only 5 with possession of the ball and with not much more than a minute remaining in the game. An outright win was very possible, and a cover was an absolute lock. Well, apparently there is no such thing as a lock if this turned out not to be one. Utah State turned the ball over on downs to seemingly all but end the game. But as Boise State was simply trying to run the clock out, Taylen Green broke loose for a 91-yard touchdown run. That gave the ball back to the Aggies, who were obviously in desperation mode. On their third play of the next drive, a pick-6 gave the Broncos an absurd cover in the form of a 42-23 victory. Two touchdowns — both meaningless for the sake of the actual game — in the final 1:09 to crush Utah State +16 bettors.

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