LAS VEGAS — Christian McCaffrey scoring the first touchdown of the Super Bowl was expected. Receiver Jauan Jennings throwing the first touchdown came totally out of the blue.
The San Francisco 49ers got tricky in scoring the first touchdown of the Super Bowl. There was a pass back to Jennings, who planted and threw back across the field to McCaffrey. It was set up perfectly, and McCaffrey ran into the end zone for a 21-yard score and a 10-0 49ers lead.
McCaffrey was the heavy favorite to score the first touchdown, at +375 odds at BetMGM. No other player had shorter than +600 odds after McCaffrey led the NFL in total touchdowns this season.
But Jennings throwing it shocked everyone, including the Chiefs. He had never attempted a pass in an NFL game, although he had thrown a touchdown on a similar play while in college at Tennessee. His first came in the Super Bowl.
It took a while to get to that first touchdown. Betting on the first touchdown scorer of a game is popular in part because it's usually over quickly. Make the bet, and within a few drives, there's usually a winner.
But first touchdown bettors for Super Bowl LVIII had to wait a long time for the tickets to cash. McCaffrey's touchdown came with 4:23 left in the second quarter. For many bettors, it was worth the wait.
The Chiefs went onto win the game 25-22 in overtime.
Bettors cheer the coin toss, too
Through the windows of Allegiant Stadium, just past the Al Davis memorial torch, fans could see the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. With Las Vegas hosting, there was plenty of betting on Super Bowl LVIII.
There was a loud cheer when heads was the result of the coin toss, since that was a popular prop bet. Before that, Reba McEntire’s national anthem was somewhat controversial with an over/under of 90.5 seconds, and BetMGM eventually wound up paying both sides of the popular novelty prop bet.
First-touchdown bettors had to wait a while. The 49ers had a promising first drive, but McCaffrey fumbled in Chiefs territory. Then the Chiefs couldn’t move the ball and had two quick punts on their first two possessions.
The 49ers put together another long drive late in the first quarter, but Brock Purdy missed Brandon Aiyuk on a deep throw to the end zone. The first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie, which was a good sign for those who bet under 47 points for the game.
Purdy had a pass to Deebo Samuel in the end zone knocked away to start the second quarter, and the 49ers settled for a field goal.
Those who had a Chiefs player for first touchdown perked up when Kansas City hit a 52-yard pass to Mecole Hardman. But on the next play, Isiah Pacheco fumbled and lost it. First TD bettors continued to wait.
With both offenses struggling to score, the 49ers decided to go deep in their bag for the first score. It ended in a familiar place, with McCaffrey crossing the goal line.