Super Bowl LVII prop bets
Proposition wagers are a Super Bowl tradition that really started in 1986 with Chicago Bears defensive lineman William “Refrigerator” Perry scoring a TD at odds of 20-1 here in Las Vegas in the Bears’ 46-10 rout of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.
They’ve grown to the point where they account for more than 50% of some sportsbooks’ overall handle and have exploded even more with the expansion of states offering legalized sports betting since 2017.
The assignment here was to come up with the 10 most interesting prop bets decided during the Kansas City Chiefs’ 38-35 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. Similar to ESPN’s Chris Berman running over in his “Two-Minute Warning” segments at halftime of Monday Night Football games, we go well over our limit here in the telling of these stories.
Player to score first TD: Jalen Hurts (+700)
This is always one of the most-bet proposition wagers every Super Bowl and this year was no different. The Eagles moved right down the field on the opening possession of the game with a mixture of runs and short passes. On 3rd-and-goal, RB Kenneth Gainwell apparently scored on a 4-yard TD run to thrill his backers at around 25-1. However, the automatic review of scoring plays ended up overturning the call as the replay showed Gainwell being down just short of the goal line. On the very next play, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts took a 1-yard QB sneak into the end zone to officially score the first TD at around +700. Hurts was either the co-favorite or second choice behind Chiefs TE Travis Kelce at most sportsbooks, plus he also cashed at +350 to score the Eagles’ first TD.
Shortest TD Under 1.5 yards
Hurts’ TD less than five minutes into the game (10:09 mark of first quarter) also cashed Shortest TD of the Game Under 1.5 yards (-160), whereas it wouldn’t have cashed so early if Gainwell’s TD hadn’t been overturned. This cashed for the ninth time in the last 10 years.
Game Tied after 0-0 -110
This was my personal Best Bet among the props at VSiN.com as I expected a close, back-and-forth game. After the Eagles scored the opening TD, the Chiefs responded with an 18-yard TD pass from Patrick Mahomes to Kelce. As noted above, Kelce never had a chance to score the first TD of the game, though he did score the Chiefs’ first TD at +300 and his own Anytime TD at -135 (plus +210 to score a TD in the first half).
Longest TD Over 40.5 yards
On the Eagles’ second TD of the game, the Longest TD Over 40.5 yards prop was also clinched on the first play of the second quarter when Hurts hit A.J. Brown with a 45-yard TD bomb for a 14-7 lead.
Kick to hit upright or crossbar +450
This is one of the new age of crazy prop bets that we’ve seen in recent years since legalized sports betting expanded beyond Nevada. The Chiefs were tied with the Eagles at 7-7 with just under 2.5 minutes left in the first quarter and lined up for a 42-yard, go-ahead field goal by K Harrison Butker. Butker’s kick appeared to be heading wide-left from the start and then doinked off the left upright to make a lot of bettors happy. At DraftKings, 96% of the bets and 78% of the money was on the “yes.”
Chiefs to score defensive TD +600
With the Eagles leading 14-7 in the second quarter and facing 3rd-and-5 at their own 49-yard after a false start penalty, Hurts fumbled while being pursued by Chiefs LB Nick Bolton, who scooped up the ball and returned it 36 yards for the TD. There were different variations of this prop as SuperBook Sports had “defensive or special teams TD” at +270 while some books separated “defense” and “special teams” (PointsBet had defensive TD at +500) and others had the bettor specify which team as Chiefs were +600 to be the team to score on defense. Bolton’s Anytime TD prop was also 75-1 at Circa Sports.
Successful two-point conversion +240
The Chiefs took a 35-27 lead with 9:22 left in regulation and brought a possible two-point conversion into play (actually, many felt KC coach Andy Reid should have gone for two himself to try to make it a two-score game with a nine-point lead). Anyway, Hurts rallied the Eagles by scoring his third TD of the game with 5:15 to play to set up the potential tying two-point attempt (It was also +110 for any two-point conversion to be attempted) and then ran around left end himself for the two-point conversion. This also resulted in another new-age prop called the "Octopus" – when a player scores all 8 points on the same possession with the TD and 2-point conversion – cashing at 14-1 at DraftKings.
Travis Kelce Under 6.5 receptions +130
The whole world seemed to be betting the Over on all of Kelce’s props, and the way he and Mahome hooked up on their opening drive with a 20-yard completion and the 18-yard TD, it looked like everyone would easily cash all their Kelce props. But even though he cashed the TD props listed above, he actually finished with just six catches to stay Under his reception prop, though he did squeak Over most of his yardage props with a team-high 81 receiving yards.
Game decided by exactly 3 points +450
This prop looked in serious doubt when the Chiefs trailed 27-21 but then the Mahomes-to-Toney TD put them ahead 28-27 with 12:04 left in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs then went up by eight points at 35-27 on the Mahomes-to-Skyy Moore TD pass with 9:22 to play. However, it got back on track with the Eagles’ TD and 2-point conversion with 5:15 left to set up the Chiefs’ game-winning drive. Bettors holding this ticket also received a scare when Jerick McKinnon had an easy TD (which would have put the Chiefs ahead by 6 or 7 points) but slid down at the Eagles’ 2-yard line to ensure that the Chiefs could run out most of the clock before kicking the go-ahead field goal.
Patrick Mahomes win MVP +120
It’s a popular option to bet the QB of the team you think is going to win the Super Bowl to also win the MVP as it always pays better than betting the team on the money line. The Chiefs were mostly around +105 or even money to win straight-up, and some books were even charging -105. It didn’t work last year as WR Cooper Kupp won MVP at +600, but it worked again this year as Mahomes only threw for 182 yards but tossed 3 TD passes and no interceptions. The biggest scare for Chiefs fans and backers was when he limped off the field late in the first half as clearly the “most valuable” player on the field. As if there was any doubt, his gutty 26-yard run pretty much sealed the victory.