It’s the final game of the year, and you want to celebrate. You’re aware of how sharp the standard markets are, so you want to take a look at some fun Super Bowl prop bets to make the game that much more interesting.
I get it. I’m no different than you, and that’s why I’m here — to try to offer a little bit of insight into those unique options so that you feel good about where your hard-earned dollars are going.
There are many people betting on these props, which is why they are there, but if you can enter with a leg up information-wise, then your expected value of each wager puts you ahead of most. Let’s get to it!
Top Fun Super Bowl 58 Prop Bets To Target
Jersey Number of the First TD Scorer Under 22.5 (-105 at DraftKings)
For whatever reason, the listed odds are a little more favorable for the “under” in the first TD scorer version of this bet than the last TD scorer version, but the same math applies to both.
I’m a fan of knowing the odds and using all available information when making a decision. This is why I support going for two when scoring a touchdown to cut the deficit from 14 to eight points, and it’s why I prefer to look at a menu prior to going out to dinner.
With time and information, I increase my odds of making a call that I am satisfied with. Does it always work? Of course not. The two-pointer is missed essentially half the time, and I’ve ordered my fair share of bad chicken parms over the years, but as long as the process is sound, I’m content with my final answer.
In that vein, sportsbooks list their odds for first player to score a touchdown, and we know the jersey number attached to that player, so why not use that information to help build a foundation for this prop?
These sorts of props tend to skew toward the “under” simply because many of the offensive playmakers wear low numbers. This year, however, the number is conveniently set at 22.5, giving the “over” access to the touchdown scoring savant that is Christan McCaffrey.
If you’re unfamiliar with jersey numbers, here are the eight favorites on the DraftKings board to score the game’s first touchdown:
- #4 Rashee Rice
- #10 Isiah Pacheco
- #11 Brandon Aiyuk
- #15 Patrick Mahomes
- #19 Deebo Samuel
- #23 Christian McCaffrey
- #81 Travis Kelce
- #85 George Kittle
As you can see, the “under 22.5” crowd gets access to five of the top eight but not to the favorite in the market and the social media darling in Kelce. The majority is nice, but it’s not that simple as all of these players have different levels of scoring equity, so let’s dig a little deeper.
By converting those eight player’s listed first touchdown scorer odds to implied probabilities and summing them for each side, here is the result:
- Under 22.5: 45.0%
- Over 22.5: 41.2%
Among the players with a jersey number “under” the listed line that is not accounted for are Brock Purdy and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. On the “over” side, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Kyle Juszczyk do not have their potential to score included.
The expectation at the top of the board slightly leans to favor the “under,” and I’d argue that in comparing the next two options for both sides, the “under” also carries the edge.
Of course, a defensive or special teams score could mess all of this up, but those odds are slim, especially in a game with two quarterbacks that largely take care of the ball. The edge is minor, but I do believe the name value of McCaffrey has made the wrong side of this bet the slight favorite.
Opening Drive Result: Punt (+130 for Both Teams at DraftKings)
We are in the business of trying to project what is most likely to occur. While it’s easy to look at two very productive offenses and think that the scoreboard is going to be lit up, I’m more inclined to fade the public’s optimism in that regard.
We know that Super Bowls tend to start slower, but every Super Bowl is its own entity, so let’s take a look at these two specific teams. This season…
- Percentage of offensive drives resulting in a score: 42.8%
- Percentage of defensive drives resulting in a score: 31.3%
In the first 10 minutes of games:
- Percentage of offensive drives resulting in a score: 37.7%
- Percentage of defensive drives resulting in a score: 19.4%
The beauty in betting on both sides of this is that you allow yourself to profit if only one hits. If both hit due to conservative opening scripts against an elite defense, well then you have some money to play with as the game progresses!
More FGM than Passing TDs (+130 at DraftKings)
This is another quirky prop that you might, at first glance, assume heavily favors the other side, and the ability to get it at plus money is as good a reason as any to make a trip to the bank.
While it is true that the rules skew toward touchdowns over field goals, this game does feature two kickers who are a combined 9 of 10 from 50+ yards, a range that could come in handy given the perfect kicking conditions and the need to walk away from most drives with points.
But beyond that, neither of these offenses project as well as you’d assume in the red zone.
- Chiefs red-zone offense: 19th best in the NFL
- 49ers red-zone defense: 14th best in the NFL
- 49ers red-zone offense: Best in the NFL
- Chiefs red-zone defense: 8th best in the NFL
The two rankings that jump out at you are opposing one another, while the other situation is little more than the NFL average when it comes to turning red zone trips into touchdowns. It might surprise you to know that these two kickers (Harrison Butker and Jake Moody) have more combined games with at least three FGM this season (eight) than Patrick Mahomes and Brock Purdy have combined (seven).
Interesting, right? Here is another trend that might surprise you in terms of Super Bowls.
- Past 20 Super Bowls: 1.31 pass TDs per FGM
- Past 10 Super Bowls: 1.17 pass TDs per FGM
- Past 5 Super Bowls: 0.94 pass TDs per FGM
- Past 10 Super Bowls: 1.17 pass TDs per FGM
Add in the fact that both of these teams have running backs who are more than capable (if not likely based on the odds) of punching in a score and quarterbacks with enough mobility to cross the goal line — this isn’t as cut-and-dry as you assume, and I’m fine with supporting the underdog.
For the record, +500 for a tied total is also interesting. I’m just not confident enough in my ability to forecast play-calling and aggressive at that level.
Brandon Aiyuk Length of First Reception Under 14.5 Yards (-140 at DraftKings)
There have been whispers of fading Aiyuk props for this game due to a projected shadow from L’Jarius Sneed, and while I think there is some merit to that, it’s not why I think his first grab on Sunday will come up short.
During a breakout season, Aiyuk has been a consistent downfield option game-over-game, but not so much on a quarterly basis.
Percentage of receptions gaining 15+ yards for Aiyuk this season:
- Quarter 1: 29.2%
- Quarter 2: 45.8%
- Quarter 3: 75%
- Quarter 4: 70.6%
What is the cause of this? Simple, he’s not used the same way early on. Aiyuk’s aDOT is 19.1% lower in first halves than second halves this season and shorter opportunities naturally lead to shorter gains.
And guess what? That aligns perfectly with how the Chiefs defend. Against Kansas City, opponents have an aDOT that is 35% lower in the first quarter than the rest of the game. With Kansas City ranking 12th in yards per catch allowed after the reception this season, the odds of Aiyuk taking a shorter pass 15 yards aren’t great — I’m happy to lay the juice here.
Credit to you for reading to this point — you just finished my favorite play on the prop board!
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