The favorites to score the first touchdown in Super Bowl LVIII aren’t much of a surprise.
One of the most popular prop bets ahead of every Super Bowl is who will be the first player to find the end zone. And the players with the shortest odds at BetMGM are the players who have scored first the most for their teams this season.
San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey is the favorite to score the first TD on Sunday at +350. McCaffrey has scored first eight times for the 49ers this season; no other 49ers player has scored first more than three times.
McCaffrey’s odds to score a TD at any point of the game are also the lowest of all players. McCaffrey is just -225 to score a TD in the Super Bowl; a $10 bet would net you just $4.44. His odds are so low because he scored a league-high 21 TDs over the 16 regular season games he played and has scored two touchdowns in each of the 49ers’ playoff wins so far this season.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco is the No. 2 favorite to score first at +550. Pacheco led the Chiefs by scoring first six times during the 2023 season, but he hasn’t been the Chiefs’ first scorer at all in the playoffs. The Chiefs have gotten their first TDs in the last two games from Travis Kelce. He’s the No. 3 favorite to score the first TD at +600. Kelce scored the Chiefs’ first TD in the Super Bowl a season ago, but the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts was the game’s first scorer.
Here’s everything you need to know if you’re looking to bet the Super Bowl’s first TD scorer.
San Francisco 49ers
Overall record (including playoffs): 14-5
Record when scoring the first TD: 9-2
Record when opponent scores first TD: 5-3
Players with multiple first TDs: Christian McCaffrey (8), Brandon Aiyuk (3), Deebo Samuel (3), George Kittle (2)
McCaffrey and Kittle have the 49ers’ first TDs in each of their postseason games, though McCaffrey’s TD against the Lions came after Detroit had taken an early 14-0 lead.
The 49ers are 4-4 in games where McCaffrey has scored the team’s first TD and he’s been the game’s first TD scorer just four of those times. The 49ers are 3-1 when McCaffrey is the first player to score a TD; the only loss came to the Browns in Week 6.
San Francisco is 3-0 when either Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel is the first player to score a TD and 2-0 when Kittle scores first. The only other 49ers player not named McCaffrey who has been the first TD scorer in a loss is Elijah Mitchell. He scored the game’s first TD in Week 18 as both the Los Angeles Rams and 49ers played their backups.
Kansas City Chiefs
Overall record (including playoffs): 14-6
Record when scoring the first TD: 12-2
Record when opponent scores first TD: 2-4
Players with multiple first TDs: Isiah Pacheco (6), Rashee Rice (4), Jerick McKinnon (2), Travis Kelce (2)
As you can see from the stats above, it may be crucial for the Chiefs to score the first TD of the game. Kansas City has scored the first TD of the game in two of its three playoff games. Rice opened the scoring against the Miami Dolphins before Kelce scored second against the Bills and then scored the first TD of the game against the Ravens.
Those two playoff games have been the only times this season that Kelce has scored the Chiefs’ first touchdown.
The Chiefs are 4-2 in games where Pacheco is the team’s first TD scorer and 4-1 when he scores the first TD of the game. The only time he opened the scoring for the Chiefs in a win where the opponent scored the first TD came in Kansas City’s trip to Las Vegas earlier this season when the Chiefs erased an early 14-0 deficit on the way to a comfortable 31-17 win. That was the only regular season game KC won without reaching the end zone first.
Given McKinnon’s multiple opening scores this year for the Chiefs, it’s worth keeping an eye on his status. The veteran rusher was designated to return from injured reserve this week and could be activated for the Super Bowl. Since he’s not on the active roster right now, he’s not currently listed at BetMGM, but that could change if he’s activated.
First TD scorer favorites
Christian McCaffrey (+350)
Isiah Pacheco (+550)
Travis Kelce (+600)
Rashee Rice (+800)
Deebo Samuel (+900)
George Kittle (+900)
Brandon Aiyuk (+1000)
Patrick Mahomes (+2200)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, (+3000)
49ers defense or special teams (+3000)