Definition of Bad Beat

What does the term "bad beat" mean in the world of sports betting? What is the definition of the term "bad beat"?

In sports betting, a "bad beat" occurs when you lose a bet after seemingly being guaranteed a victory.

For instance - let's say that you decided to bet on the Houston Oilers/Buffalo Bills NFL game that took place on January 3rd, 1993.

Definition of Bad Beat - Sports Betting DictionaryLet's say that you took the Houston Oilers to win straight up.

As you may know, the Buffalo Bills overcame a 32-point deficit to beat the Oilers 41-38 in overtime. This remains the largest comeback in the history of the NFL.

If you had wagered on the Oilers to win, you definitely would have suffered a "bad beat", as the Oilers were as close to a lock as you can possibly get. Overcoming a 30+ point deficit in the NFL is practically unheard of, and the odds of it happening are incredibly slim.

To equate this to a game of soccer, it would be similar to a team coming back from a 5-0 deficit at halftime to win 6-5.


Another example of a bad beat? How about if you had a 5-team parlay that included four underdogs and one favourite. You end up guessing the four underdogs correctly, but the favourite ends up losing at home to botch your parlay.

That would be considered a "bad beat" as well.