Super Bowl 57 Unique Prop Bets: Touchbacks, Return Touchdowns, Sacks, More

Super Bowl 57 Unique Prop Bets: Touchbacks, Return Touchdowns, Sacks, More article feature image

Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Jones

It's Super Bowl season, which means sportsbooks are offering a variety of prop bets for Chiefs vs. Eagles that don't pop up during any other game. Most of these are accurately priced, but with some digging, we'll be able to find off lines.

Even with the ones that aren't a value to bettors, we'll break down the likely chances of them happening as an informative way for how to think about these bets.

As more props become available — and we're able to analyze them — we'll add to this document throughout the days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday.

Super Bowl Player Props

Click on pick below to skip to that section.
Opening Kickoff Touchback
Points Scored in First Minute of Play
Any Punt or Kick Return TD
Any Punt Return TD
Team to Punt First or Last
Total Sacks in Game
Total Kick Returns
Defensive/Special Teams Touchdown
Will There Be a Safety?
Total Interceptions
The ultimate NFL betting cheat code

Best bets for every game

Our NFL model's biggest weekly edges

Profitable data-driven system picks

Will the Opening Kickoff Be a Touchback: Yes -164 | No +126 (FanDuel)

Based on all NFL games over the past two seasons, I have the odds of any given kick to be a touchback at a fair price of -143. With that smack in the middle of the two lines here, that's not much of a value.

Unless, of course, there's something different about either team involved, the stadium at play or some other factor that makes this game different.

The Eagles and Chiefs ranked 11th and 12th, respectively, in touchback percentage this season. Both came in right around 65%, with the "yes" at -164 implying 62%. However, both teams returned kicks at a slightly higher than average rate this season relative to their total points allowed, which I'm using as a proxy for kickoff return chances.

However, games played on grass saw the touchback rate drop to an implied -122. That's a significant change, particularly if the roof is open at State Farm Stadium. With most teams choosing to kick first, the receiving team gets to pick which end zone to start (and finish) the game from. They're likely to pick the end with the wind in their favor.

All things considered, that makes the "no" side of this bet the sharper side. While it's not plus-EV in and of itself, we aren't sacrificing much in terms of expectation. It's a reasonable choice if you just want to get some action on the first play of the game — or qualify for a certain field goal kicking promotion from FanDuel.

Pick: Opening Kickoff Touchback — No (+126).

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

» Return to the table of contents «

Points to Be Scored in First Minute of Play: +3000 (FanDuel)

This one is a fairly easy bet to handicap. Using the same dataset of the past two seasons, roughly 2.5% of over games had a score in the opening minute. At +3000 odds, we need a bit over three percent to make this a good bet.

Of course, these are the two most explosive offenses in the NFL, tying for first in scoring. They came in fourth and 15th in defense, so overall this should be higher scoring than the average game.

Still, that's not enough to make this a positive EV bet in a one-way market. Unfortunately, FanDuel won't allow us to parlay this with any potential correlated options, so this one will be a pass.

If you can find a shop willing to accept this bet parlayed with any kick or punt returned for a touchdown, or the opening kickoff to not be a touchback (both at very long odds), it could be slightly positive EV.

» Return to the table of contents «

Any Punt/Kick Return Touchdown: +1400 (DraftKings)

Based on a slightly generous assumption of the total number of kicks and punts, I've got the fair odds here at a bit under five percent. The high total means more kickoffs and less punts, with the latter being more likely to lead to return touchdowns.

Additionally, the Eagles are the most aggressive team in terms of fourth-down decision making, further cutting down on the number of punts likely to take place.

This bet would be interesting as a two-way market, but the odds aren't quite good enough to take the affirmative side. I'd take "yes" at +2000 or better in the unlikely situation it's available anywhere.

On the flip side, "no" would be a positive bet at -1900 or better. That's with a reasonable amount of safety as well since it doesn't factor in the Eagles' reticence to punt.

The must-have app for NFL bettors

The best NFL betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

» Return to the table of contents «

Any Punt Return TD: Yes +900 | No -2000 (BetMGM)

BetMGM offers a version of the above prop as a two-way market, but with kickoffs and punts separately. The "no" on punt returns is -2000. That's roughly the fair odds for any return touchdown (including kickoffs) in the game.

This one is a solid bet just based on that, and gets even stronger when considering how infrequently both teams actually punt.

While it's no fun to lay -2000 and hope something doesn't happen, it's a plus-EV bet.

The Pick: No (-2000).

» Return to the table of contents «

Team to Punt First/Last: Chiefs -110 | Eagles -110 (BetMGM)

This bet is offered in a variety of permutations, with every combination of first and last as well as first vs. second half offered.

Philadelphia actually punted slightly more than the Chiefs overall this season, 3.3 to 3.2. However, when you remove the games played by backup Gardner Minshew (one of which saw the most Eagles punts of any games), they fall below the Chiefs total.

Additionally, with the Eagles slightly favored, they're implied for a bit more scoring. Now we factor in Dr Nick's aggressiveness ratings, and we just might have something.

Philadelphia also played much more conservatively later in games, and lead the Chiefs in time of possession spent while leading and overall time spent leading. That likely led to more punting than we'd see in a neutral game script.

Therefore, I'll take the Chiefs to have the first punt of the game at -110 at BetMGM.

The Pick: Chiefs Punt First (-110).

» Return to the table of contents «

Total Sacks 5.5: Over +104 | Under -132 (FanDuel)

For the Super Bowl – and occasionally other games – books are offering an over/under bet on the total number of sacks between the two teams. I prefer this market over betting on sacks for either team individually. It’s far more resilient to game flow, as a team with a big lead will attempt far fewer passes and vice versa.

While game flow matters a bit here, the impact is far less. Theoretically, a reduction in one team’s passing rate would be balanced out by an increase for the other team. In practice, unless we’re projecting an identical sack rate per dropback for each team, a big lead either way shifts the math a bit.

Fortunately, this game is expected to be close, with a spread holding in the 1.5-point range. Additionally, both teams should have very similar sack rates. The Chiefs allow far less sacks, but the Eagles' defensive front forces more than their counterpart.

Based on comparing each team’s sack rates to the league average, then multiplying by their opposing sacks allowed, I came up with a rough estimate for the expected sack percentage from each team. Then, adjusting for each quarterback's expected pass attempts in Sean Koerner's projections, I was able to come up with a median total.

That number works out to just over 6.2, making the over a clear value at plus-money on FanDuel.

» Return to the table of contents «

Total Kick Returns 4.5: Over +135 | Under -165 (DraftKings)

Building off the analysis we’ve already done on kickoffs – including the first kick to be a touchback, and any kick return for a touchdown – we have a good foundation for this prop. I’ve got the odds of any kick to be returned at slightly over 40% overall.

Now, all we need is to figure out the expected number of kickoffs. Two are guaranteed from the start of each half, with one more for each scoring play. A total of 51 implies a minimum of seven scoring plays, assuming they’re all touchdowns with a pair of two-point conversions.

Clearly, the actual number we can expect should be a bit above that, even with both teams being on the aggressive side. Both kickers have field goal over/unders of 1.5, with Harrison Butker juiced to the over and Jake Elliott the under.

Let’s assume those roughly balance out, giving us three field goals expected. With 42 remaining points to account for (the 51 total minus nine from field goals), that’s six more touchdowns. That gives us a total of nine scoring drives, plus the two kickoffs to open the half.

Even at a conservative 40% return rate, that makes the median kickoff return number right around the 4.5 line. However, given the solid odds on the over, that’s a solidly plus-EV bet.

Pick: Over 4.5 kick returns (+135).

» Return to the table of contents «

Defensive/Special Teams TD: Yes +300 | No -400 (FanDuel)

In 2022, there were 78 total return touchdowns (kick/punt/defense) across 272 games played. Based only on that information, the fair odds of a D/ST touchdown should be around +250.

However, it’s not that easy. First, that doesn’t mean 78 games saw a defensive or special teams touchdown. Some of those 78 touchdowns happened during the same game, making the true odds lower. It’s hard to find an exact number without sorting through all the game logs, but I was able to identify seven games where one team scored multiple D/ST touchdowns using DFS scoring logs.

That brings it down to 71 games with a D/ST score. While I’d guess the true number is higher, let’s go with a conservative estimate of five games where both teams scored without their offense. With that, we’ll go with a final base rate of 24%, or +316 odds.

Both Philadelphia and Kansas City rank in the top half of the league in ball security, with the Eagles coming in third. Philly would be first if you remove Gardner Minshews’ starts – he had three interceptions in two games, compared to six in the other 17 (counting postseason) for Jalen Hurts.

Additionally, a higher total means less punts, and punts are more likely to result in touchdowns than kickoffs. All things considered, I’d make a very rough estimate of a 15% chance we see a D/ST touchdown – and the -400 for no implies 20% odds.

As is often the case, betting on something not to happen is the sharper side here. The only way I’d take the “yes” is if I’m able to parlay it with something else – like the opening kick to be returned for a touchdown. That’s not currently available on FanDuel.

The Pick: No (-400).

» Return to the table of contents «

Will There Be a Safety? Yes +750 | No -2000 (DraftKings/BetMGM)

This one is a Super Bowl classic.

Most people know that the “no” side of this bet is almost always the sharper side, but because nobody wants to lay -2000 and hope something doesn’t happen, the yes gets most of the action.

Based on 2022 data, fair odds here are roughly -2900 for the no. Even with some slight adjustments either way, there’s still a pretty clear value at -2000. If you’re brave enough to play this one, check out all of your available books to see who has the best line – and wait until right before kickoff.

The Pick: No (-2000).

» Return to the table of contents «

Total Interceptions 1.5: Over +138 | Under -170 (FanDuel)

The -170 odds to the under “feels” like a pretty big juice to lay, but it converts to just under 63% implied chances. These two quarterbacks have combined for just 18 interceptions in 36 games played (counting playoffs), and just three multi-interception games.

Obviously, each of them throwing one would take this one over though, so it’s not that simple. Let’s look at the percentage of games from each team with an interception thrown compared to forced.

Combining team thrown and opponent forced against the league average, it works out to roughly a 45% chance of Hurts throwing a pick and 55% chance for Mahomes. (Since this was based on team stats, it also includes both Gardner Minshew games for the Eagles. Philadelphia's percentage thrown with Hurts is lower.) This also assumes an equal weight between quarterback and defense for what causes an interception – it probably lies more heavily on the quarterback.

Assuming these events are independent, that gives us a roughly 25% chance that both teams throw an interception. If anything, it’s likely that they’re negatively correlated – a big lead for one team raises the odds of an opponent interception while lowering the odds of theirs.

Even if we add in the odds of either QB throwing multiple interceptions (based on their 2022 game logs), that gives us a 33% chance (-200) of multiple picks being thrown. We could continue to get more precise here, but it’s pretty clear where the value is.

Pick: Under 1.5 Interceptions (-170)

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

» Return to the table of contents «

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.