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Oklahoma State vs. Stanford is the reason you never bet on football

Posted by: Michael Rand under NCAA: football Updated: January 3, 2012 - 3:14 PM

Last night's Fiesta Bowl was nerve-wracking and often excruciating to watch even for someone like us -- someone with absolutely no vested interested in either team.

Several levels up from that, we would imagine, would be the nerves of someone watching that game who was a huge fan of either Stanford or Oklahoma State. Sure, any bowl other than the BCS Championship Game is pretty much meaningless, but you don't think about those things when it's close and late.

But still, there is a level above that. When you want to talk about a flop sweat-inducing game, you have to talk about anyone who had a significant amount of money riding on it. Because that was one of the most excruciating games for a gambler we can ever imagine.

Consider: Most betting lines we saw had Oklahoma State favored by 4 points. There were a few at 3.5, which is really the same thing in terms of how it played out.

Imagine that you had money on Stanford to win straight up: The team you bet on never trailed in regulation. You were at many times one play away from securing a victory -- none more infamous now than a dead-on 35-yard field goal at the end of regulation that was further left than (insert political joke here).

Imagine you had money on Oklahoma State -4: The entire game it pretty much looked like you were sunk. But somehow, some way, the Cowboys got the game into overtime. In the extra session, Stanford again misses a field goal. And on the ensuing possession, Oklahoma State scores what appears to be the winning touchdown! Six points! They covered! It's a Christmas miracle! But wait ... replays show the runner was down at the half-yard-line. OK, remain calm. They'll just punch it in on a QB keeper and all will be well. But wait ... what are they doing? Why are they running backwards? ARE THEY SETTING UP A FIELD GOAL? THEY ARE 18 INCHES AWAY. ARE YOU SERIOUS? [SERIES OF REDACTED WORDS].

OSU makes the field goal, winning by three points. Meaning ...

An OSU spread bet is a losing bet. The person who took Stanford and the points cashed a ticket after several times thinking it was a sure win and one particular time thinking it was a sure loss. And that, folks, is why you don't bet on football. It's not good for the heart.

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