Bettors Were Stunned After Patrick Mahomes Did This

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Patrick Mahomes

The downside of the playoffs for football fans is that it doesn’t offer them enough of the sport they love. The month-long postseason consists of just 11 games, which is no match for a regular season consisting of 256 NFL contests.

It’s especially bad for bettors, who find themselves with precious few chances to either recoup losses from past weeks or add to bank accounts overflowing from regular-season wins engineered by the likes of Patrick Mahomes.

That contributes to the popularity of prop bets on the final Sunday of the season. Sports books across the country are only too happy to offer a variety of Super Bowl betting options beyond picking the winner and the over/under on points scored.

Patrick Mahomes turns a sure a win into a loss

The final possession of Super Bowl LIV was anti-climatic as far as the outcome was concerned, but it turned into a disaster for some prop bettors because of three very routine plays by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. With the Chiefs up by two scores over the San Francisco 49ers and lining up in victory formation on their way to a 31-20 final score, the quarterback kneeled down on three consecutive snaps.

The three kneel-downs resulted in losses of five yards on first down, three more on second down and then what proved to be a soul-crushing for bettors seven yards on the third snap. Under the policy for compiling statistics, the three losses were charged to Mahomes’ rushing yardage, lowering his total for the game from 44 to 29.

On the list of prop bets leading up to the game, the over/under for Mahomes' rushing yards was between 29.5 and 36.5 yards at various sports books. The losses turned a clear “over” into and “under” for fans betting that angle.

Patrick Mahomes' three kneel-downs were no small matter

Prop bets involving the starting quarterbacks are typically the most popular with both novice and experienced bettors since just about everything happening in the game runs through them. That gives the bettors something to track on nearly every play, hence the incentive to bet.

FanDuel reported late last week that it was taking heavy action on Mahomes’ yardage total, with most bettors taking the over. William Hill U.S. said the over bet on Mahomes was its most popular prop bet.

The effect of that final Chiefs possession was to swing losses into wins approaching $100,000 for some of the larger sports books.

There was a bit of good news for at least a few bettors the day after the game – assuming that they didn’t tear up their tickets in anguish right after the Super Bowl. That’s because PointsBet announced it was refunding all bets on Mahomes going over 30.5 rushing yards as a goodwill gesture.

More on Super Bowl LIV prop bets

Picking the Super Bowl MVP is usually something close to a 50/50 proposition since the winning quarterback is selected the majority of the time. If you had the Kansas City Chiefs winning, you probably also expected Patrick Mahomes to walk away with the honor. If you picked the San Francisco 49ers, then Jimmy Garoppolo was the logical choice.

Mahomes earned the MVP honor after throwing for 286 yards and two touchdowns, though betting action on him was so heavy that the payoff was minimal. On the other hand, the Caesars Sportsbook set the odds of Mahomes scoring the first touchdown of Super Bowl LIV at 14-1, making for a nice return for bettors taking that action when he ran in from the 1-yard-line late in the first quarter.

If bettors had confidence in the Chiefs winning and Mahomes earning the MVP honor, then it should follow that they also thought highly of Kansas City players at the skills positions.

Damien Williams rushed for 104 yards, easily crossing the 51.5 over/under line. Receivers Sammy Watkins and Hill also easily exceeded the over/under number.

Some of the prop bets crossed over into other professional sports. Maybe the most intriguing was Mahomes vs. NBA rookie Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans. Bettors had the chance to speculate on which would be higher, Mahomes’ TD passes total vs. San Francisco or Williamson’s assists total against the Houston Rockets the same day.

Mahomes won, 2-1.