Bettors beware. There’s plenty of money to be lost betting on the Super Bowl, as the NFL’s biggest game can provide the highest levels of unpredictability.
As the 2024 Super Bowl approaches with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs preparing for a clash in the big game, it’s a good time to look back at some of those wild moments. In just the last couple of decades, the Super Bowl has seen some awful bad beats for bettors.
From player props suddenly failing late in the game to surprise point spread covers in the game’s closing moments, these are the five worst bad beats in Super Bowl history.
Super Bowl 58 betting: What is the Super Bowl spread? Latest point spread for 49ers vs. Chiefs
Worst bad beats in Super Bowl history
5. Seahawks (+1) in Super Bowl 49
With two minutes left in the game, the Seahawks trailed the Patriots by four points after a Julian Edelman touchdown. A 31-yard Russell Wilson pass to Marshawn Lynch then a 33-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse helped Seattle reach New England’s 5-yard line. Lynch ran the ball down to the 1-yard line with one minute remaining. The Seahawks were one yard from a Super Bowl win (and cover).
What happened next is history: Seattle inexplicably decided to pass the ball, and Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted it in the end zone. New England held on to win, 28-24.
4. Cardinals 1H (+3) in Super Bowl 43
With 18 seconds left in the first half, the Cardinals trailed the Steelers, 10-7, and had the ball on Pittsburgh’s 1-yard line on first-and-goal. Even if Arizona failed to score a touchdown or kick a field goal before time expired, the first-half spread would be a push.
In reality, the first half ended with the worst possible outcome for Cardinals bettors: a 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Steelers linebacker James Harrison to put Pittsburgh ahead by 10.
3. O/U 46 in Super Bowl 43
Super Bowl 43 was evidently a game of bad beats.
With just over three minutes remaining, the Steelers led, 20-14, and had the ball. The Cardinals scored a safety when Pittsburgh got flagged for holding in the end zone, creeping the score closer to the over. For under bettors, the score was still 10 points from a push and 11 from a loss.
Then Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner hit Larry Fitzgerald for a 67-yard touchdown two plays later, pushing the score to 23-20 with two and a half minutes remaining. To end the game, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led his team on a Super Bowl-winning touchdown drive, taking a 27-23 lead and cashing the over.
2. Patrick Mahomes O/U rushing yards in Super Bowl 54
The line for the Chiefs quarterback’s rushing yards prop opened at 29.5 and got as high as 36.5 ahead of Kansas City’s first Super Bowl clash with the 49ers four years ago. With 57 seconds remaining in regulation, the Chiefs had the ball with an 11-point lead. Mahomes had 44 rushing yards. A few kneels might cut into that total slightly, but over bettors looked safe.
That was true until the Texas Tech product backed up a few extra yards before each kneel to kill more time off of the clock. In his three kneels on consecutive plays to all but end the game, Mahomes lost 15 rushing yards, bringing his total to 25 and cashing the under.
1. Falcons (+3) in Super Bowl 51
It doesn’t get worse than the 28-3 game. The Falcons led the Patriots by that score with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. Even after New England scored a touchdown to cut their deficit, a PAT miss from Stephen Gostkowski meant the Falcons still led by 19 by the start of the fourth quarter.
Then the Patriots kicked a field goal, cutting the lead to 16. Then they scored a touchdown and converted the two-point try, trimming their deficit to one score. With just under one minute remaining in regulation, New England tied the game with another touchdown and two-point conversion. Even then, a Falcons field goal drive to win the game in the final minute would cash Atlanta’s spread.
Atlanta did not score again in regulation, and after the Patriots won the coin toss to begin overtime, they drove down and scored a touchdown on their first possession. New England won by six; the Falcons failed to cover.
How to watch Super Bowl 2024: TV, streaming and schedule for 49ers vs. Chiefs
When: Sunday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada
Cable TV: CBS
How to watch: Catch all Super Bowl action with a Fubo subscription
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