Brock Purdy captivated sports bettors for two months with a rags-to-riches ascent from Mr. Irrelevant to starting quarterback in the NFC Championship Game.
Selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy entered the title game undefeated in eight starts after replacing an injured Jimmy Garoppolo in December. On Mojo Markets, a sports betting platform that allows users to trade athletes like stocks, Purdy’s value skyrocketed an astounding 580% over the period.
Then, suddenly, it all came crashing down.
On a second-and-6 near midfield in the first quarter, Purdy faked a handoff to Christian McCaffrey and targeted Brandon Aiyuk on a crossing route deep downfield. On the strong side, however, Eagles defensive end Haason Reddick defeated a backup tight end with a bull rush and decked Purdy as he released the throw. Once he returned to the sidelines, the rookie quarterback writhed in pain, clutching his elbow.
Experiencing shocks from his elbow to his wrist, Purdy informed the coaching staff that he had trouble throwing any pass beyond five yards. When Purdy was forced to return to the game after fourth-string QB Josh Johnson suffered a concussion in the third quarter, he only attempted two more passes for a total of four yards. Dulled by the unforeseeable injuries at quarterback, the Niners’ season ended in a stinging 31-7 defeat.
Evoking comparisons to the rapid descent of GameStop in January 2021, Purdy’s Mojo stock crashed 32% in less than an hour.
49ers QB Brock Purdy is currently -33% after his injury.
Will he return to the game? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/ZBgz9wD8UP
— Mojo Markets (@mojo) January 29, 2023
Had the Niners made the Super Bowl, Purdy’s stock may have continued on an upward trajectory similar to the path of Jalen Hurts. The Eagles signal-caller, who set the all-time NFL record in 2022 for most running touchdowns in a season by a quarterback, opened the regular season with a price of $31.52 on Mojo. Since then, Hurts’ stock has soared 86%, trading Friday around $59.
Investors who take a long position in Hurts might view him as a growth stock that could eventually surpass $100 a share. On the contrary, investors who take a short position may bet on a one-day crash similar to the one that befell Purdy. The dynamic creates a vibrant trading environment that brings market forces to the gridiron.
Beyond basic trades, Mojo is rolling out a new product for the Super Bowl.
The product, which Mojo dubs “Liquid Props,” allows bettors to engage in day trading over the course of a game. Unlike traditional props, Liquid Props have unlimited upside, providing a customer with a chance to increase his bankroll with a strong player performance, according to Lax Chandra, who serves as vice president and general manager of Mojo’s football division.
Take Bills receiver Gabriel Davis’ dominant performance in last season’s playoff loss to the Chiefs. Prior to the game, the format allows users to take a position on a single-stat prop, such as if Davis will score a touchdown. Davis not only hit the over of one touchdown against Kansas City, he recorded a career-high of four TD grabs on the night.
The bets come with a “multiplier effect” that rewards bettors based on Davis’ performance. For the playoff game against the Chiefs, Davis’ backers would have received a payout of 4x on the original purchase price of the stock.
In addition, Liquid Props offer customers cash-outs at fair market value, allowing them to collect profits in real time or cash out of a bet that’s trending downward. If Davis is struggling against press coverage in the third quarter or dropping passes in the red zone, a cash-out might be the right play.
“Like all bets on Mojo, Liquid Props are not a binary win/loss proposition,” Chandra told Sports Handle. “Instead, customers have total control of the length and risk of their bet.”
Reverse engineering Mojo career values
Two weeks ago, Mojo conducted a beta test for the Liquid Props product on NFL Championship Weekend.
Mojo describes the product as “day trading meets sports betting,” with props that allow users to trade in and out of a position as an investor does with a stock. During the two championship games, roughly one-third of customers in the beta test traded in, out, and back into a single position throughout the games, Mojo told Sports Handle.
“The average customer trading Liquid Props spent an average of 90 minutes on the app during Championship Weekend, which is pretty incredible,” Chandra added. “We are excited to see how they perform during the Super Bowl, as they will be introduced broadly to all of our customers.”
🚨 LIQUID PROPS FOR THE BIG GAME 🚨
Unlimited upside. No spread. Fair cashouts.
Get $100 with 1st deposit 💰
Use code: PROPS
— Mojo Markets (@mojo) February 6, 2023
From a historical perspective, Mojo also has a tool that compares a player’s value to his predecessors’. Models that compute Mojo’s market value give a player one cent for every 10 yards, as well as a penny for every first down. Additionally, players are given two cents for every play of at least 40 yards and two pennies for every touchdown.
On the flip side, offensive players lose four cents for every turnover, while quarterbacks are docked one cent each time they are sacked. The models allow Mojo to reverse engineer the value of every offensive player who competed in the NFL dating back to 1980.
At his current level, Hurts trades in between former Eagles quarterbacks Michael Vick (Mojo value of $40.36) and Donovan McNabb, whose Mojo value is pegged at $61.66. Nick Foles, who won Super Bowl LII MVP with the Eagles in 2018, has a Mojo value of $25.32, while former Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham ended his career with a value of $49.68.
As expected, quarterbacks dominated the historical rankings with all 10 of the top spots. Warren Moon, who did not crack the Top 10 at the position, finished his career with a Mojo Market Value of $71.55. Moon’s value surpasses that of Jerry Rice, the top receiver, by more than $20. Emmitt Smith, the top running back on the list, placed ahead of Larry Fitzgerald, the second-ranked receiver, by more than $10. No tight ends cleared $30 in value.
|Player||Position||Mojo Market Value|
Other anecdotes leading to Super Bowl Sunday
- Just like Purdy, Chiefs rookie running back Isiah Pacheco entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick. Pacheco began the regular season at $1.48 a share but saw his stock rise after the Chiefs shelved Clyde Edwards-Helaire with an ankle injury. Trading at $6 a share on Friday, Pacheco has surged upward of 308% on the season, the largest gain by any NFL player on the Mojo market.
- On the back of a productive AFC playoffs, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is expected to have a stellar Super Bowl Sunday. Kelce, who trades at $27.45, has jumped more than 20% on the season. Mojo projects that Kelce will finish his career as the most productive tight end of all-time. Tony Gonzalez, a Hall of Fame tight end who spent 12 seasons with the Chiefs, has the highest value of retired tight ends at $26.42.
- Following Tom Brady’s ($170.66) retirement, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will become the highest-priced player trading on the Mojo market once Brady officially comes off the market at the start of the 2023 season. Mahomes, who traded Friday around $140 a share, is up more than 20% this season. Over the past two weeks, approximately 89% of the career positions opened on Mahomes went long leading up to the Super Bowl, Mojo told Sports Handle.
Mojo, which went live in New Jersey last September, is offering trading on the Super Bowl for the first time in company history. While Mojo is only available at the moment in the Garden State, it is targeting expansion to more states by the end of 2023, a company spokesman told Sports Handle.