NFL - Betting

Super Bowl Opening Kickoff Return Touchdown Prop Bet History and Stats

Super Bowl prop bet for opening kickoff return touchdown has a promising history, but what do the stats say about it in 2021?
Super Bowl prop bet for opening kickoff return touchdown has a promising history, but what do the stats say about it in 2021? | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Super Bowl LV is approaching, and that means we've got one of the biggest betting events of the year coming up. Even if you're not interested in the Tapa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chiefs point spread or moneyline odds, there are a ton of other prop bets available on FanDuel Sportsbook.

One of these prop bets is "Opening kickoff returned for a touchdown?", with the odds of a "Yes" bet sitting at +7000.

Let's take a deeper look at that prop bet.

Super Bowl Opening Kickoff Return for a Touchdown

There has only been one player in Super Bowl history to returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown — Devin Hester in Super Bowl XLI against the Indianapolis Colts.

With 54 Super Bowls having been played so far, that means it's happened in 1.9% of the Super Bowls. At +7000 odds, it only needs to happen 1.4% of the time to break even.

But the NFL today is a different animal than it was at Super Bowl XLI, and making comparisons that date back to the 1970s doesn't really tell us much about what will happen this week.

Kickoff returns in the NFL are at an all-time low, with touchbacks reigning supreme.

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has recorded touchbacks on 72 of his 95 opening kickoffs this season — a rate of 75.8%. Bucs punter Bradley Pinion, who handles kickoff duties, has 85 touchbacks on 100 kickoffs (85.0%).

That means at best there's only about a 1-in-4 chance that the opening kickoff even gets returned.

As a team the Buccaneers' longest kickoff return of the season is just 34 yards, though the Chiefs do have one return touchdown.

But that's a combined 1 score on 50 kickoff returns between these teams on the season.

If we want to get really deep on the numbers, that's a 2% chance for a touchdown if the kick is returned. Remembering that's only about a 25% chance itself, rough back-of-the-napkin math would leave us with a 0.5% chance of an opening kickoff return TD here.

There are going to be a ton of fun prop bets to target for Super Bowl LV, but this is one you may be better off avoiding.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!

Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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