There are plenty of Super Bowl odds to sift through, but very few bets are settled as quickly as the opening kickoff of Super Bowl 57 — which bettors can wager on whether it will be returned or not.
Just a year ago, this was a market that closed at -112 for both "Yes" and "No" at FanDuel thanks to a ton of attention after Pat McAfee mentioned the rough kicking conditions of the new ball used for the opening kickoff.
Despite the trends and attention favoring the "No", the market is heavily favored to the "Yes,".
We continue to explore the Super Bowl prop bet market for you here and break down the opening kickoff.
Super Bowl 57 opening kickoff odds
|Touchback - Yes||Touchback - No|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on February 7, 2023.
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Opening kickoff prop analysis
In the 2022 season, there were 2,698 kickoffs with 1,612 of them resulting in a touchback for a 60% touchback rate. This number was 61% a season ago.
Looking at the game’s two kickers, Harrison Butker had a 64.7% touchback rate this season while Jake Elliott had a 69% rate. Those are two of the highest rates in the league and the reason we’re seeing -160 for the touchback "Yes" at FanDuel.
If we take the league average rate of 60% and convert it to American odds, we get -150 for the "Yes" which lines up well with the current odds that moved from -172 to -160 on Tuesday. If we take the average of the two kickers, we get a 66.85% touchback rate which implies odds of -202 for the "Yes".
So, why has "No" been such a popular pick? There are a few possible reasons.
Last season on his podcast, Pat McAfee shed some light on the actual ball the league uses for the opening kickoff and how stiff and new it is. The league uses a commemorative ball for opening kickoffs of the Super Bowl. It is heavier and harder than the standard kicking balls used around the league, and because of the difference, kickers have a more difficult time achieving full distance.
Popularity of trends
The betting public loves a good trend and those that have looked back at previous Super Bowl kickoffs are loving the plus money on the "No". In the last 31 Super Bowls, just three kickoffs have resulted in a touchback. Evan McPherson’s opening kickoff touchback last year was just the third of its kind over the last 31 NFL finals. The 28-3 (90%) trend will certainly make its rounds on social media this week.
How I bet it
We’re starting to see some steam to the "No" and it’s warranted — with the commemorative ball being used and the only three Super Bowl touchbacks since the rule change all coming indoors. As the public becomes more aware of the McAfee points from last season and the trend, this market will become more balanced.
Shopping around will also help bettors as books move this market based on risk, which should leave bettors with some longer numbers if they look around.