2017 Super Bowl Free Betting Picks and Predictions: First Touchdown Scorer Props
by Chris Vasile - 2/2/2017
So far, this week I've covered the basic and most important aspects of betting the Super Bowl. I gave advice on how to bet the total , which key matchups could have the biggest impact on the outcome of the game, and everyone's favorite - the MVP award. Now comes the fun and "outside-of-the-box" type prop bets that have become almost, if not more, fun to wager on than the actual game itself. There are now hundreds of prop bets available covering things like Gatorade color, length of the National Anthem, what color hair Lady Gaga will have, and several cross-sport bets involving the NBA and NHL. Those are all fun and dandy, but typically they are a losing proposition. Here at Doc's Sports we focus on finding value and giving our readers the best and most realistic chance at winning their bet.
With that said, the prop bet I will be focusing on in this article is a public favorite - First Touchdown Scorer. This prop bet might seem impossible to hit. However, I can assure you, with a little research and knowledge of the combatants it's very possible to cash this bet.
Super Bowl LI features several enticing options when looking at who the first touchdown scorer will be. Let's take a closer look at the players and odds, and figure out the best way to make some money.
Odds are courtesy of our friends at Bovada
First Touchdown Prop Odds
Julio Jones (+600)
LeGarrette Blount (+700)
Devonta Freeman (+850)
Julian Edelman (+900)
Chris Hogan (+900)
Mohamed Sanu (+900)
Martellus Bennett (+1200)
Dion Lewis (+1400)
Tevin Coleman (+1400)
Danny Amendola (+2200)
Tom Brady (+2200)
Matt Ryan (+2800)
The first touchdown prop bets are awarded to the receivers, tight ends, running backs or any defensive players that return a fumble or interception for six. The only way a quarterback can cash this ticket is if they run the ball into the end zone themselves. Tom Brady has zero rushing touchdowns this year, while Matt Ryan has one.
First touchdown odds are usually quite inflated, and even the "favorite," Julio Jones, is getting 6/1 odds. This bet figures to be settled early in the first quarter as both these teams have put up plenty of first-quarter points all season long. My gut tells me that with these two QBs calling the shots that a receiver is the likeliest of winners, and we just have to come up with a plan on how to focus in one or two guys.
The only surprise to me on this odds board is that Tom Brady has lower odds than Matt Ryan. Ryan just ran for a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game, while Brady hasn't run for a touchdown yet this year.
If this game is as high-scoring as everyone thinks it's going to be then this prop should be settled within the first couple of drives for either team. And even before we do that, I believe the outcome relies on the outcome of the dreaded Coin Flip prop bet.
Time for a history lesson. The NFC representative in the Super Bowl has won a staggering 17 of the last 19 coin flips. More so, in the six Super Bowls New England has played in under Belichick and Brady, they have won the coin toss just one time. With history on the side of the Falcons and the Patriots' typical decision to defer to the second half, I think it's best we focus on a Falcons' player to find the end zone first.
The Falcons are 9-1 this season when scoring first and have scored an average of 8.7 points in the first quarter over the course of the season. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is a master at putting together opening drive scripts, and Matt Ryan has been executing them to perfection.
If we go by just the stats alone, over the course of the last 50 Super Bowls, 23 times the first touchdown was courtesy a wide receiver, with the running back accounting for 14, defensive/special teams accounting for five, four from the tight end, two from the quarterback and two from the fullback. These numbers further the case to lean toward a Falcons wide receiver.
That leaves us with Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel or Austin Hooper. If you read my MVP article, you would already know I am laying it down with Jones to take the MVP honor, and what better way to cash that ticket than to watch him score the first touchdown. Six-to-one odds are a solid bet to make. However, if you are looking for a little more value, I would go with Mohamed Sanu at (+900). Sanu has caught a touchdown pass in each of his last three games. And with all the attention being focused around Jones, Sanu might just be able to sneak under the radar and pop open in the end zone for an early score.
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