On a night when the NBA saw its highest total in four decades and the NFL its lowest over/under in nearly 20 years, the unthinkable happened. Double bad beat. While the unwritten rule may be to bet the highest over on the board to go even higher and the lowest total to go under, the gambling gods had other ideas on this night.
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The Thursday Nighter featured a pair of poor offenses, coupled with backup quarterbacks as the New England Patriots visited the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game total opened at 31.5, the lowest over/under of the season and the smallest since 2008. It dropped even further, to 30 points before kickoff, the lowest number since 2005.
Somebody forgot to tell Bailey Zappe and Mitch Trubisky the under was the play because the teams combined for 31 points by the time the halftime whistle blew. Coming in with five career touchdown passes and zero this season, Zappe tossed three in the first 30 minutes, while Trubisky tossed just his third score of the year.
A few hours earlier, in Game 1 of the In-Season Tournament Semifinals doubleheader, the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks took the court in Vegas with a consensus number that reached 257.5. It was the highest since 1991 and just the seventh time a total has exceeded 250 since. Five of those occurrences have come during this wildly high-scoring season of hoops.
Forget that the underdog Pacers beat the mighty Bucks by nine as a five-point dog to reach the Finals, but the score logged in at 128-119, well below the number. Indiana is the highest-scoring team in the NBA, putting up 128.4 points per game. At the same time, Milwaukee’s 122.1 a night is good for third in the Association. But on this night.