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Super Bowl Bad Beats: Brock Purdy's kneel-down costly for bettors

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Stephen A. watches on as Shannon and Orlovsky argue over Purdy (3:08)

Stephen A. Smith is a silent observer as Dan Orlovsky and Shannon Sharpe get heated over Brock Purdy's Super Bowl performance. (3:08)

The heavily backed Kansas City Chiefs winning on Sunday was already a bad result for sportsbooks, but the addition of the Super Bowl's second-ever overtime made it even worse.

"Overtime was bad," Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Caesars Sportsbook told ESPN. "It was our biggest loser of the prop bets."

Indeed, several popular props cashed only because of the extra period, among them:

  • Patrick Mahomes over 1.5 touchdown passes, which hit on the final play of the game.

  • Christian McCaffrey over 129.5 scrimmage yards. The 2023 Offensive Player of the Year had eight touches in overtime to get over this total.

  • Brock Purdy over 20.5 completions and over 246.5 passing yards.

However, Purdy was also at the center of the biggest bad beat of the night. With that in mind, here are the bets that caused the most agony for bettors and the only relief for the sportsbooks.

Brock Purdy over 12.5 rush yards

On the 49ers' first drive of the second half, Purdy scrambled to the left side to pick up 4 yards on the ground. That run pushed him to 13 rushing yards on the evening, a sliver over his consensus total, which stood at 12.5.

The 24-year-old did not attempt another rush in regulation until the last play of the fourth quarter, when Purdy took a knee to wind down the clock and send the Super Bowl to overtime. It would technically go down as a -1 yard run to bring Purdy's rushing total to 12. The 2022 Mr. Irrelevant would not attempt a rush in overtime.

The books likely breathed a sigh of relief, as that prop was one of the most popular across the market.

BetMGM reported that the over on that Purdy line was its most popular prop bet by ticket volume; it had 90% of the tickets and 87% of the handle, compared with the under. Similarly, at DraftKings, Purdy's over on rushing yards accumulated 92% of the bets and 89% of the handle.

While the number was at 12.5 for most of the week, it actually came down to 11.5 just before the game, meaning the few that grabbed the over at the lower number escaped with the win.

Under 46.5 and Over 47.5

This is a rare case in which the over and the under can both be bad beats in the same game, and it all has to do with the total landing in the perfect spot.

Let's start with the under. For much of the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the total stayed remarkably stable at 47.5. That is, until the hours before kickoff, when late sharp action led sportsbooks across the market to drop the total to a new consensus number of 46.5.

Anyone who followed the line movement and took the under at the lower price should have been feeling pretty good after three quarters: Only 23 points had been scored, so even if that somehow doubled in one quarter, this bet would still cash.

Then, the teams combined for 15 points in the fourth, owing partially to a blocked San Francisco PAT to send the contest to overtime. In overtime, another nine points went on the board to bring the total to 47, a crushing defeat for under bettors.

The consensus total leading up to Sunday was 47.5 and the public was all over it: ESPN BET reported that 67.6% of bets were on the over, with other national sportsbooks reporting similar figures.

Between the missed PAT and another one being unnecessary after Kansas City's game-winning touchdown, the final score also fell just short of topping 47.5, producing another heartbreaker for the public.

Jauan Jennings Super Bowl MVP +30000

This is less of a bad beat and more of a just-missed huge payday.

Before Sunday's game, Jauan Jennings was a 300-1 longshot to win Super Bowl MVP on ESPN BET, one of the longest prices on the board.

That all changed midgame when the wide receiver threw a touchdown on a trick play and caught another to give the 49ers the late lead. Those plays led to Jennings suddenly joining the MVP conversation and at one point he was the co-leader to win the honor with Purdy and Mahomes at +200.

There's no telling how the voting would have gone, but had San Francisco won, there could have been some very happy Jennings backers out there who were suddenly a lot richer.