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Overtime brings Super Bowl blues for sportsbooks

In Sin City’s sportsbooks, bookmakers were rallying behind the San Francisco 49ers, praying for anything but an overtime.

But the Super Bowl gods had other plans, and as the clock ticked down, the Kansas City Chiefs played spoiler with a high dose of drama.

In what could only be described as a bettor’s fairy tale, the underdog Chiefs staged a fourth-quarter comeback that sent shockwaves through the books.

The game, destined for a quiet end, instead roared into overtime, turning the tables in favour of the bettors. ESPN’s David Purdum covered the big swing in a Monday column.

Chiefs wizard Patrick Mahomes conjured up a Super Bowl MVP performance, sealing a 25-22 victory.

This outcome aligned perfectly with the public’s wish, which had foretold a rain of points surpassing the 46.5 over/under total.

Bookies watched on in horror as prop bets became payouts. “Overtime was bad,” lamented Caesars Sportsbook’s Craig Mucklow, echoing the sentiment across Vegas as the 11-1 longshot of extra play became a reality.

While sportsbooks dodged the bullet on a touchdown from Chiefs’ man of the moment Travis Kelce, they couldn’t escape the rush on San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey finding the end zone.

Betting slips bearing McCaffrey’s name outnumbered those for the 49ers’ spread and money line combined.

“It was a bad Super Bowl for the sportsbook,” admitted BetMGM’s Tristan Davis to ESPN.

The touchdown that clinched Kansas City’s win was the final nail in the coffin, sparing bookmakers the extra-point agony but leaving them to mourn what could’ve been.

“The Chiefs force OT and then win… there is nothing that could’ve been worse,” texted a despairing John Murray from Las Vegas outfit SuperBook.

In the end, the house didn’t win, and Mahomes reigned supreme as MVP, a fitting end to a Super Bowl that will be remembered by punters for its overtime upset.

Super Bowl ads fumble as social media steals the show

The buzz for this year’s Super Bowl wasn’t just about touchdowns or halftime shows; it was about Taylor Swift’s potential tears and the correct colour of Gatorade showers.

Advertisers, in their quest for viral fame, were upstaged by online betting antics and social media stunts, primarily focused on Swift, who is of course dating the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce.

Bloomberg columnist Lionel Laurent paints a picture of the global gambling frenzy, as tech-savvy bettors—mostly young men—took full advantage of the markets on offer.

He wryly notes how governments, hungry for tax revenue, find it hard to resist the gambling industry’s siren call. In New York, betting has brought in a hefty $1.6bn over two years.

But after seeing others profit on predicting Swift’s Super Bowl wardrobe palette, Laurent reflected on the absurdity of Super Bowl prop bets that trivialise the game, in his eyes.

Then there’s the scramble for ad time, where companies dump millions into 30-second spots, hoping to strike cultural gold à la Ridley Scott’s 1984 Macintosh ad.

Bloomberg’s Kyla Scanlon weighs in on the ad madness, highlighting a trend where traditional commercials have lost ground to social media engagement.

Last year, State Farm ditched the costly game-day spots in favour of TikTok’s virality, netting 245 million views with their “cool Jake” campaign.

As Kyla suggests, social engagement is the new battleground for the attention economy, where commercials must vie with an entire internet’s worth of distractions.

This year’s Swift-Kelce Super Bowl proves that when it comes to winning over audiences, sometimes the best play is outside of the TV screen.

Drake defies notorious betting curse

The legendary ‘Drake curse’ seems to have been lifted after the rapper’s colossal wager on the Kansas City Chiefs paid off, with a little help from fellow pop icon Taylor Swift.

The Stake brand ambassador cashed in a cool $1.15m bet after the Chiefs clinched a thrilling 25-22 victory in overtime, the Daily Star reports.

The Canadian artist, notorious for his unfortunate betting history, shared his bet slip online, attributing the decision to Swift’s unwavering fans, the so-called ‘Swifties’.

And it seems that Swift’s romantic ties to Chiefs’ Travis Kelce may just have tipped the scales in Drake’s favour on this occasion.

Before kick-off, the internet buzzed with trepidation, citing the ‘Drake curse’—a superstition that teams associated with Drake’s betting habits always lose.

“Drake bet on the Chiefs???? LMAOOO we all know what that means,” one fan tweeted in anticipation of a jinx.

The Chiefs won despite the widespread jitters from X users. One wrote: “Drake bet on the Chiefs. Go heavy on the 49ers. Dude is the ultimate mush.”

From Conor McGregor’s 2018 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov to Jake Paul’s defeat by Tommy Fury, the curse has had its fair share of victims over the years.

Even Sean Strickland couldn’t escape it, losing his UFC middleweight championship last month after Drake went all in on a win.

But as the confetti settled on the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win, Drake, and Swifties all over, can breathe a sigh of relief. The stars aligned, and the curse was lifted. Maybe all it took was a bit of pop star magic.

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