Beating The Book: Math On Super Bowl 55 Touchdown Distance Prop

  • There are +125 odds on the first touchdown being 1-7 yards long.
  • The Bucs and the Chiefs have scored 50% of their touchdowns on plays that are 1-7 yards long.
  • The two teams combined have scored 11.2% of their touchdowns on plays of over 40 yards.

LAS VEGAS - The Super Bowl between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs pits two of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL against each other.

There are a lot of prop betting opportunities for bettors to take advantage of how good these offenses have been over the course of the season.

One of the most intriguing wagers sees betting odds on how long the first touchdown in the game will be.

Odds For Super Bowl 55: Length of First TD

  • 1 to 7 Yard Touchdown +125
  • 8 to 15 Yard Touchdown +180
  • 16 to 25 Yard Touchdown +350
  • 26 to 39 Yard Touchdown +600
  • 40 to 59 Yard Touchdown +1000
  • 60 to 79 Yard Touchdown +1400
  • 80 to 95 Yard Touchdown +3300
  • 96 or More Yard Touchdown +4000
  • 0 Yard Touchdown +5000
  • No Touchdown in the Game +10000

It’s important to understand that this is not merely an offensive stat - one cannot simply look at Mahomes and Brady’s passing prowess to judge this wager.

This bet includes, for example, interception touchdowns and kickoff return touchdowns as well.

Given that, let’s take a look at the total touchdown yardage for each team, using information from Pro-Football-Reference’s Touchdown Log. When looking at each team’s total touchdowns and categorizing each of them by yardage, the results look like this:

Chiefs Touchdown Yardage

  • 1 to 7 Yard Touchdown: 25
  • 8 to 15 Yard Touchdown: 11
  • 16 to 25 Yard Touchdown: 6
  • 26 to 39 Yard Touchdown: 6
  • 40+ Yard Touchdown: 9

Bucs Touchdown Yardage

  • 1 to 7 Yard Touchdown: 33
  • 8 to 15 Yard Touchdown: 8
  • 16 to 25 Yard Touchdown: 5
  • 26 to 39 Yard Touchdown: 9
  • 40+ Yard Touchdown: 4

The Chiefs are less proficient at scoring short touchdowns than the Bucs are, but this is mostly due to their large amount of touchdowns scored outside of the 1-7 yard range.

The only category outside of 1-7 yards that the Bucs outstrip the Chiefs in is, oddly, 26-39 yard touchdowns, which looks to be a statistical quirk. For example, if we broke the numbers down differently and just used the category “26+ Yard Touchdowns”, the Chiefs would have 15 to the Buccaneers 13.

Our work is not done here, however, as the wager in question is about the first touchdown scored overall.

Both Teams Combined (Total And Percentage Of Total)

  • 1 to 7 Yard Touchdown: 58 (50%)
  • 8 to 15 Yard Touchdown: 19 (16.4%)
  • 16 to 25 Yard Touchdown: 11 (9.5%)
  • 26 to 39 Yard Touchdown: 15 (12.9%)
  • 40+ Yard Touchdown: 13 (11.2%)

When looking at both teams combined, one thing sticks out - 1-7 yard touchdown should be more favored than it is.

Out of every touchdown these teams scored in the regular season, 50% of them were from 1-7 yards out - 58 of 116.

Despite this, the odds at Super Bowl betting sites for the wager have a 1-7 yard touchdown at +125. These are the shortest odds, but perhaps they should be shorter.

Similarly, what these numbers demonstrate is that the relationship of touchdown yardage to percentage of touchdowns scored is not linear.

The two teams combined have only four more 8-15 yard touchdowns than they do 26-39 yard touchdowns.

Despite this, 8-15 has +180 odds while 26-39 has +600 odds.

Given this, it's clear that 8-15 is a bad bet, but is 26-39 a good one? At +600 odds, it gives about a 14% implied chance of occurring, which is actually higher than the real chance of it occurring.

This means that even though 26-39 is a much better bet than 8-15, it's not actually at the value it should be at - a fair price on an event with a 12.9% chance of occurring would be around +675.

With just a little math, Super Bowl 55 betting sharps can get a genuine advantage over the sportsbooks with this wager.

Overall conclusions suggest that 1-7 might be undervalued in terms of the actual chances vs. the odds. Either way, make sure to do the due diligence before betting money on Super Bowl LV.

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