While trying to determine where exactly the Georgia Tech/NC State game ranked in terms of bad gambling beats in recent years I struggled to find a situation that tops this.
With thirty seconds on the clock and Georgia Tech up 45 to 28, Paul Johnson chose to run a play versus taking a knee with his backup quarterback in the game. Now, before we get to the outcome – which you can all but predict at this point – GT was a 10.5-point favorite in this game, although some books had them pegged at 10. Either way, it impacted both lines. Add into the equation that Georgia Tech was up 42 to 14 with only ten minutes left, and you can really see where we’re going with this.
Anyway, Paul Johnson called your typical Tech-esque offensive play and the following happened. Not in slow-mo like the video below, although it probably felt that way for those holding a Georgia Tech ticket.
This play cut Georgia Tech’s lead to eleven and the extra point cut it to ten. This gave those who bet Georgia Tech either a push or a loss. When the game went off, 91% of the bets coming into Sportsbook were on Tech so you know that books around the country were more than pleased with this surprise result. Different story for the majority of the public that bet the game.
With this play, Paul Johnson picked up plenty of new friends and even more enemies. As a gambler, this is the kind of loss that sticks with you. You joke about it with your buddies, you talk about it when a game comes up in the future that has the team involved. You may avoid betting on this team in the future (me with Clemson) and it can alter what games you decide to bet.
As for the play itself, I don’t know what exactly Paul Johnson was thinking when trying to run the play. His bizarre call, however, impacted thousands of people and millions of dollars.
For those of you that lost on this one, well, it happens. Hopefully you won’t have another one like that in 2011, so shake it off. As for the select few that backed NC State? You might as well buy the first flight out to Vegas and test your luck.