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Super Bowl 1st TD scorer odds: Why the favorite might be worth it

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

We try to be responsible bettors, but darn it if we don't want to try for a big score as part of our otherwise prudent portfolio each week. That's why our round-robin underdog moneyline and round-robin touchdown parlays exist: to satiate our human urge for a big payout so that we can be responsible with our other single-event wagers.

First touchdown scorer is a market best described as silly. Are any Eagles or Chiefs players more likely to score the first touchdown than they are any other touchdown in the game? If they are, that's a player who might have value because this market is priced based on how likely one is to score at any time. Since it's the Super Bowl, and we're here for a good time, let's take a quick look at a popular market.

1st TD scorer odds

Travis Kelce +700
Isiah Pacheco +800
Jalen Hurts +800
Miles Sanders +800
AJ Brown +900
DeVonta Smith +1100
Jerick McKinnon +1100
JuJu Smith-Schuster +1100
Dallas Goedert +1300
Marquez Valdes-Scantling +1300
Kadarius Toney +1500
Kenneth Gainwell +1500
Boston Scott +2500
Skyy Moore +2500
Patrick Mahomes +3000
KC Chiefs D/ST +3000
PHI Eagles D/ST +3500
Noah Gray +3500
Quez Watkins +4000
Jody Fortson +5000
Justin Watson +5000
Blake Bell +6000
Jack Stoll +6000
Michael Burton +6000
Ronald Jones II +6000
Zach Pascal +8000

*Other players available at 100-1 or longer

During the first 12 games of the playoffs, it's been a long list of favorites scoring the first touchdown, with Dalton Schultz (+1500) being the longest shot when he found the end zone first in San Francisco. Oddly, that was his second first touchdown of the playoffs. As the Cowboys were favored in the wild-card round, he was around 12-1 when he scored in Tampa Bay. That shows how the odds change relative to whether a player is on the favored team or not.

Travis Kelce is the favorite for the first touchdown of Super Bowl LVII, as - like Schultz - he was the initial touchdown scorer in both of his playoff games this season. Let's look at his odds over the course of the playoffs - as the Chiefs' win probability has increased by opponent.

Jaguars +600 KC -9
Bengals +700 KC -2
Eagles +700 PHI -1.5

Kelce scored first three times in 17 regular-season games - a 17.6% rate that was profitable since his odds were longer than +476 each week, according to BestOdds.

How often has he scored first in a game where the Chiefs weren't the favorite, though? The Chiefs played in three games where the point spread was pick'em, or they were short underdogs. Kelce scored first at Tampa Bay in Week 4, making him a profitable bet in that sample size, too.

Add in Dawson Knox and Dallas Goedert finding the end zone first earlier in the playoffs, and exactly half of the first touchdowns this postseason have come from tight ends, and both Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts love looking to their stars at the position in the red zone.

Best bets

Generally, we'd love to downplay the favorite, but over and over, Kelce's proved valuable relative to his price. Meanwhile, his tight end counterpart - Goedert - scored first in just one of his 12 regular-season games, which is why he's priced 13-1. But he's frequently had plays drawn up to target him, only to have Hurts keep it for a score. After two weeks of preparation, the Chiefs should have stopping Hurts near the goal line as a top priority.

Mahomes has been priced to score first as short as +1700 against the Jaguars - a situation with Kansas City a strong favorite and Mahomes in full health. While the Chiefs won't be significant favorites in the Super Bowl, Mahomes may be closer to full mobility, and if that's the case, 30-1 is worth putting a portion of the budget allocated for this type of bet.

Lastly, we're already on record with our favorite long shot anytime touchdown scorer, so let's make some room in the portfolio for Jody Fortson in case the secret weapon gets out early, breaking down a single-unit bet across four players.

Travis Kelce +700 .5 unit 3.5 units +3 units
Dallas Goedert +1300 .25 unit 3.25 units +2.5 units
Patrick Mahomes +3000 .15 unit 4.5 units +3.65 units
Jody Fortson +5000 .1 unit 5 units +4.1 units

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

Super Bowl 1st TD scorer odds: Why the favorite might be worth it
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