The Super Bowl LIV matchup lived up to the hype on Sunday, as the Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers for their first title in 50 years.
It was also a big night for those who hit the under (a late sharp play) and a few long-shot touchdown scorers. But that doesn’t mean the game didn’t come with heartbreak – especially for those who saw a surefire prop bet go up in flames in the final seconds.
Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s betting action.
Mahomes stars with MVP, first score
Patrick Mahomes, the most popular bet to win MVP (+110), was also the public’s choice to score the game’s first touchdown (20-1). He did both on Sunday to become the youngest Super Bowl MVP in history.
The third-year quarterback fell short of his passing-yards (308.5) and rushing-yards (29.5) props – more on that later – but he helped engineer a late comeback after getting as high as 4-1 odds to win on the live line. The effort was enough to earn him MVP honors, which came with a bit of controversy thanks to his two interceptions.
The decision was a tough pill to swallow for those who bet on Damien Williams, who was anywhere from 12-1 to 32-1 to win MVP. Williams turned 21 touches into 133 yards and the final two touchdowns of the game, including the winning score, but it wasn’t enough to claim the honor.
Deebo Samuel (18-1) and Jimmy Garoppolo (7-2) each had a shot to win the award before San Francisco’s offense collapsed down the stretch. The Niners’ defense ultimately fell short, too, helping Mahomes’ case.
Which props hit?
Mahomes scoring the first touchdown was one of the biggest bets on Sunday, but it wasn’t the only long shot to cash.
Late in the second quarter, 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk ended his team’s lethargic start with a 15-yard score, cashing his 20-1 odds to record San Francisco’s first touchdown. Juszczyk ultimately went over on nearly all of his props – one of the few players to do so in Sunday’s under affair.
As for the entertainment props? Demi Lovato went way under on the national anthem, even cashing under 1:55 at +275 odds, which we highlighted as a massive value early in the week. Tails won again, as our friend Angelo foresaw, and a splash of orange Gatorade spoiled rumors of purple or red.
A fan ran onto the field, perhaps to cash their own 8-1 betting slip, and the announcers did say Patriots (did you hear it?). To cap it all off, Williams scored two touchdowns (+350), including the last one (+650), to reward bettors who believed in the 27-year-old journeyman.
But again, the night wasn’t without heartbreak …
Late score leads to all-time bad beat
Those who bet on Williams’ TD props were thrilled to see him sprinting down the sideline for a 38-yard score with 1:12 left, adding an exclamation point to the Chiefs’ already secure win. But one man’s gain is another man’s overwhelming, inexplicable pain.
For one, the touchdown devastated bettors (including yours truly) who had the Chiefs to win by exactly four points (25-1), and it busted up all sorts of 49ers teasers, second-half unders, and alternate game unders. Finally, the true bad beat came on Kansas City’s next possession with the game completely locked up.
If Williams had gone down before the end zone, the 49ers would likely have called a timeout, and the Chiefs could have run the ball three times before kicking a field goal to seal the deal. Instead, up 11, Mahomes had to milk 1:08 with four plays, so he backpedaled on the first three downs to kill some extra time before throwing it away on fourth down.
It was an unconscionable bad beat for anyone who bet high on Mahomes’ rushing-yards prop, which opened at 29.5 and moved to 36.5 thanks to heavy action on the over. Because Mahomes was trying to bleed every last second, those first three downs cost him 15 yards … leaving him with 29 for the contest. And, fittingly, his final throw slighted anyone who bet on the game to end with a QB run.