Iowa State’s 75-74 win over Oklahoma provided us with one of the worst bad beats in recent memory on Monday night.
After two Marial Shayok free throws with 3.5 seconds left on the clock clinched the win for the Cyclones, Oklahoma’s Jamal Bieniemy hit a running three-pointer as time expired that had no impact on the game and meant the world to anyone that had money on this game:
The line closed at Iowa State (-2.5) or (-3), depending on where you got it. That shot covered the spread for Oklahoma. The total also closed at 146.5, so that three-ball going in meant the over hit and the under was a loss. The shot also impacted the second half line (Iowa State (-3) when they were down 36-35) and total.
What sets this apart from your typical bad beat is this:
Bieniemy did not get the shot off in time.
It should not have counted.
So not only did Iowa State backers and people that bet the under walk away with a bad beat, it was a bad beat that that wasn’t actually a beat.
Now, this shot was never going to be reviewed. It had no impact on the outcome of the game, and the impact that those three points would have on efficiency margins, NET ratings or any computer generated statistical model is marginal at best. For everyone involved in the actual game — the players, the coaches, the officials, the scoreboard operator — the shot did not matter at all.
But it did for the bettors.
And with everyone — from the television networks to the media companies to the leagues themselves — looking to mine ways to get a piece of the gambling gold rush that is going to hit in the coming years, a decision is going to have to be made about results like this.
To be clear, I did not have any action on this game — which was lucky, because I would have been on Iowa State — but plenty of people did, and they are justified in feeling as if they were wronged. As we enter a new world where sports gambling is legal in more and more places in our country, the leagues that profit off of bettors are going to have to make a decision on how to handle a situation like this as soon as possible.
In the future, how are they going to handle an easily identifiable mistake that can legally be reviewed and changed but does not impact the outcome of the game, only the outcome of a bet?