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The best bets to score the first touchdown in the Super Bowl

Miles Sanders scored the first touchdown of January's NFC championship game. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
5 min

The betting market for the first touchdown scorer of the Super Bowl is a tough one to crack, simply because it’s so dependent on the randomness of the coin toss. Things are much clearer after the coin is flipped, because NFL teams that correctly call heads or tails now defer to the second half in nearly every instance. During the 2022 regular season, teams that won the coin toss elected to receive the opening kickoff only 22 times out of 272 opportunities.

This applies to both teams that are playing Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles won the coin toss an NFL-high 13 times during the regular season but deferred to the second half in every single instance. The Kansas City Chiefs weren’t quite as lucky with their coin-toss luck, winning it only eight times in 17 games, but they deferred seven times. Chances are, whichever team loses the coin toss on Sunday will be getting the ball first.

Picks, props and best bets for Super Bowl 57

If I were betting into this market — which has had some movement during the week — I would probably lean toward an Eagles player. Per Sharp Football Analysis, Philadelphia has scored on 63.2 percent of its opening drives this season, including the playoffs — only one team, the Chicago Bears, had a higher percentage — and scored a touchdown on 52.6 percent of them, the best rate in the league.

The Minnesota Vikings were the only other NFL team to reach a 50 percent touchdown percentage on their opening drives, and the average touchdown percentage on opening drives for the NFL as a whole was just 21.8 percent in the regular season, per TruMedia, the lowest since 2017. The Eagles also have gone for it on opening-drive fourth downs six times this season, tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for the NFL lead, and have converted five straight, including in the NFC championship game against the 49ers (on an opening drive that ended in a Miles Sanders touchdown).

Here’s a look at the players with the best odds to score the first touchdown in Super Bowl LVII. Odds via DraftKings as of Sunday morning. See also our printable Super Bowl props game, and this guide to some of our favorite prop bets. And don’t miss our guide to the best and worst Super Bowl squares.

Jalen Hurts (+700)

The Eagles quarterback scored the game’s first touchdown three times this season, according to The Lines, and only one NFL player (Lions running back Jamaal Williams) had more rushing attempts from inside an opponent’s 5-yard line. The Chiefs have allowed the second-most rushing yards to quarterbacks since their Week 8 bye.

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Travis Kelce (+700)

There’s a reason the Chiefs’ tight end is among the favorites in the first-touchdown market: He has scored the game’s first touchdown five times this season (tops among Super Bowl players), including in both of Kansas City’s playoff games, and was targeted in the red zone an NFL-high 30 times, according to, scoring 11 times off those targets to also lead the league. He also scored the Chiefs’ first touchdown eight times this season, the most of any Super Bowl player. But the Eagles allowed only three touchdowns to tight ends this season (only four teams allowed fewer).

On Tuesday, VSiN’s Ben Fawkes reported that the Kelce first-touchdown wager was the most-bet Super Bowl prop by ticket count at BetMGM.

Miles Sanders (+800)

Sanders scored the game’s first touchdown four times this season — second among Super Bowl players behind Kelce — including in the NFC championship game against the 49ers. The running back’s snap percentage hasn’t topped 40 percent over Philadelphia’s last four games, but those included two meaningless regular season games and two playoff blowouts, so it’s unclear whether the Eagles’ coaches are turning to others in the team’s crowded backfield or whether they were simply trying to keep Sanders fresh.

Isiah Pacheco (+900)

Pacheco has scored the game’s opening touchdown only once this season, but he’s been in the mix on opening drives of late. He had two carries and a reception on the Chiefs’ six-play opening drive in the AFC championship game against the Bengals (the drive ended in a field goal) and had three carries on Kansas City’s longer opening drive in the playoff opener against the Jaguars (the drive ended in a Kelce touchdown).

A.J. Brown (+1000)

Again per Sharp, while the Eagles have utilized a nearly 50-50 split between the run and pass overall, on their opening drives they’ve passed the ball on 63.6 percent of their snaps, including the playoffs. Brown ranked second among NFL pass-catchers in receiving yards and was tied for second in targets on opening drives this season (including the playoffs), according to TruMedia, and the Chiefs have struggled against No. 1 receivers.

Jerick McKinnon (+1100)

McKinnon is down the odds list even though he scored the game’s first touchdown three times this season, which is tied with Hurts. The main issue is that McKinnon has played less than 50 percent of the Chiefs’ offensive snaps in four of the past five games, though the running back has scored five touchdowns (all receiving) over that span.

Dallas Goedert (+1100)

Goedert, who scored the game’s opening touchdown twice this season, could test a Kansas City defense that according to The Lines ranked 31st in touchdowns allowed to the slot (wide receivers, tight ends and running backs running routes over the middle).

DeVonta Smith (+1300)

Considering the Eagles pass so much on opening drives, it figures that Smith would get some attention, too: He ranked fifth in both opening-drive yards and targets among NFL pass-catchers, according to TruMedia.