If you've ever had a good run gambling on sports, you know it can be an exhilarating feeling. Deep down though, part of you also knows it can't last. It's that massive piano hanging over your head ready to come crashing down with great force.
These two backdoor covers from Wednesday night in college basketball perfectly represent that feeling. These are the games that send you into a tailspin. Games you already cashed in your brain only for someone to rip the money out of your hands. Games that cause you to triple your bet size on the next game only to get buried deeper into the grave. Games that cause you ... yeah, you get the point.
First up we have Xavier at Butler. The No. 19 ranked Bulldogs were a 5.5 point favorite at home, and were firmly in the cover zone with 18.7 seconds to go, having just hit a free throw to go up 66-58. Now, anyone with Butler -5.5 had to know that Xavier was going to shoot a three, but the hope was that they'd hit a quick one, then foul Butler to give them a chance to still cover with two free throws. What actually happened was even better. Xavier went for the quick layup. That's where it all went wrong:
This was the absolute worst thing that could have happened (thank you Captain Obvious). If the first layup falls, Butler is up six and likely headed to the free throw line after an intentional foul. If the first three falls, there's still five seconds left and Xavier more than likely still fouls them. The worst part is, all of this is avoided if Butler just grabs a damn rebound. Who else is hearing their CYO coach scream "BOX OUT" at the top of his lungs in their head right now? By the way, you think this dude in the gray sweater had Butler -5.5?
That's a dead man, folks.
Up next we have South Florida vs. Houston. This time the road team was favored, as the 20th-ranked Cougars were -6. With 3.9 seconds to go, the Cougs hit a free throw to go up six, which would earn Houston bettors a push. As someone who just returned from a four-day trip in Las Vegas, I'm now firmly in the camp that A PUSH IS A WIN. So good job to Houston backers. You got your money back. Take the small victory.
Just kidding ...
This is legitimately vomit-inducing. You know how many times underdogs in this exact situation just dribble the ball out? All of the times. Credit to this guy for having some respect for the gambling community, except for the people with Houston -6, of course.
If you had Houston and Butler last night, it might be time to hang up the cleats. You had a good run.