Admit it, Duke bettors. Tie game, Blue Devils ball inside the Cincinnati 5-yard line, fourth quarter, 1:20 left … that’s when you began counting your money.
The game was over. You weren’t sure if they’d score a touchdown or kick a field goal, but regardless, it was over. Duke was catching anywhere between 7.5 and 10 points, and there was no way—no possible way—that you could lose.
And then, in an instant, Duke running back Josh Snead fumbled at the goal line. This wasn’t a big deal to the Duke bettor. Only part of the process. Sure, it looked like the Blue Devils would win the game outright, which would have been neat. But that was never expected and wasn’t the Duke bettor’s mission. The goal was to cover the spread, and even though Cincinnati recovered the fumble, the Blue Devils still had a 100 percent chance of doing that.
Four plays later, Bearcats QB Brandon Kay delivered an 83-yard TD strike to Travis Kelce, and Cincinnati went ahead 41-34 with 44 seconds left.
This is when, despite still having a 99.9 percent chance of covering, the Duke bettor began to panic.
“My God, I bet on Duke football, what was I thinking, oh heck, what was I thinking?”
You know the rest. Sean Renfree dropped back to pass on 1st down near midfield, got hit as he threw, and the ball wound up in the hands of Cincinnati’s Nick Temple. The sophomore linebacker escaped a crowd of players at the 45-yard line, slipped past a Duke defender and then marched into the end zone as Blue Devils bettors watched in horror, their absolute worst-case scenario becoming a sick reality.
Cincinnati 48, Duke 34.
The most Duke football finish imaginable.