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NCAA March Madness bad beat: Last second Oregon State 3-pointer sinks $306K bet on Houston

Sam Cooper
·3-min read

Oregon State’s remarkable postseason run came to an end in the Elite Eight vs. Houston on Monday night, but OSU managed to close out the season doing what it did about as well as anybody in the country: cover the spread.

Houston won the game, 67-61, to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1984. It was a dramatic outcome for bettors and extremely heartbreaking for one bettor in particular.

The No. 12 seed Beavers were eight-point underdogs and trailed by double digits for much of the game. Houston, the Midwest region’s No. 2 seed, is known for its swarming defense and aggression on the offensive glass. Both of those were on display, but Oregon State kept fighting.

A 10-0 run got Oregon State to within four, 52-48, with 6:29 to play. The Beavers later tied the score at 55 apiece at the 3:48 mark, but Houston pulled away down the stretch.

The only drama remaining was from a betting perspective — with both the point spread and the total.

With 11 seconds remaining, Houston’s Justin Gorham hit two free throws to put his team up 67-58. Houston was covering the eight-point spread, but only momentarily. Oregon State backers needed a late bucket and that’s what they got thanks to Maurice Calloo, who drilled a 3-pointer with five seconds to play.

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Bad beat for Houston backers, including a $300,000 bet

With that shot, the score was 67-61 with five seconds to play. It seemed like it would be the way the game would end, but Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle called timeout to set up his defense.

The Beavers pressured the inbounder and tried to trap Houston in the corner. If an OSU player committed a foul, Houston would have gone back to the free-throw line with the chance to move a ton of money. That included the money of the BetMGM customer who wagered a whopping $306,000 on Houston.

Instead, there was no foul, the clock ran out and the Beavers covered the spread once again. It was a brutal turn of events for that bettor, who bought a half-point and took UH -7 at -120 odds. A Houston cover would have won $255,000 for the bettor.

But Oregon State covered again and finished the season with a sparkling 23-9-1 record against the spread. On top of that, Monday night’s effort gave the Beavers a 17-5 ATS mark as an underdog.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 29: Fabian White Jr. #35 of the Houston Cougars defends against Maurice Calloo #1 of the Oregon State Beavers in the Elite Eight round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball Tournament held at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 29: Fabian White Jr. #35 of the Houston Cougars defends against Maurice Calloo #1 of the Oregon State Beavers in the Elite Eight round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball Tournament held at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Over/under drama, too

The drama went beyond the point spread. The total hovered between 129 and 130.5 throughout the day at BetMGM.

The teams combined for just 51 points in the first half, so the under was in great shape. But it ended up going all the way down to the wire.

Calloo’s 3-pointer put the combined points scored at 128. Luckily for under bettors, that’s where it stayed. The two teams missing a combined 17 free throws helped the under cause, too.

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