Super Bowl 54 Prop Bets and Odds: Will There Be A Safety in the Big Game?


Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Safety scored in Super Bowl XLVIII

The safety may only be get you two points, but for prop bettors it can be worth so much more. In Super Bowl history, the scoring play has occurred nine total times, including four times since 2008 (Super Bowl 43).

History of the Safety

The first safety in a Super Bowl happened in Super Bowl 9 between the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers. Not only was it the first safety in Super Bowl history, but it was the first scoring play of that game, too.

Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton tried to pitch the ball to his tailback, when it got deflected backwards into the end zone before Tarkenton fell on top of it to give the Steelers a 2-0. Steelers ended up winning the game 16-6, to capture their first Super Bowl in franchise history.

Oddly enough, only one of the nine safeties in Super Bowl history had the play start inside the 5-yard line. That occurred when offensive holding was called on the Steelers in Super Bowl 43 after Ben Roethlisberger completed a 19-yard pass to Santonio Holmes downfield.

The Odds Behind the Safety

The odds for there to be a safety in Super Bowl 54 at DraftKings sportsbook is +900 for “yes” and -1430 for “no.” If you wagered $100 on there to be a safety in Super Bowl 54, you would win $900 and return $1,000 in total.

With 9-1 odds on there to be a safety, that equates to a 9.7% chance, compared to the -1430 odds on there not to be a safety, which nets out to 90.3% chance in Super Bowl 54.

In previous years, the safety payout was closer to +600 and +700, with an even smaller payout than this season — but does that mean there is actual value and you should bet there will be a safety in the Super Bowl?

The Math Behind the Safety

In 53 total Super Bowl’s, the safety has occurred nine times, or 17% of games.

Many bettors will look at that 17% figure or the fact that four safeties have occurred relatively recently in the big game and assume it’s a good bet to take. Not so fast.

Over the past decade of regular season games, which has totaled 2,560 games, 166 total safeties have occurred. That equates to 6.5% of regular season games to have a safety since 2010-11.

Over the past two seasons, 27 total safeties have been scored in 512 regular season games, which equates to only 5.3% of games, which even more displays the gap between the true odds and the probability of the event occurring, especially with two high-powered offenses most likely playing a majority of the game away from their own goal lines.

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