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GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs kicks the opening kickoff against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter of in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

We're looking at the Super Bowl opening kickoff touchback history and prop bets with NFL odds from our best Super Bowl betting sites.

For over a half-century, the Super Bowl opening kickoff almost always resulted in a return. We've seen a dramatic shift from that in recent years after yet another early touchback in Super Bowl 58 between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

Just as he did last year, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker boomed one into the end zone for a touchback, extending that streak to three consecutive Super Bowls - the longest run in the history of the Big Game. The Super Bowl odds projected that outcome, with "Yes" dealing as the heavy favorite for an opening touchback.

Here's a look at the Super Bowl betting history for the opening kickoff and a recap of this year's NFL picks from our best best sports betting sites.

Super Bowl opening kickoff props

Will the opening kickoff result in a touchback?

(odds updated Feb. 11)

Touchback?DraftKingsBetMGMbet365Implied probability (best odds)
Yes-285 🔥-300-320 ❄️ 75.61%
No+230 +220 ❄️ +235 🔥28.57%

Entering Super Bowl 58, we had seen the opening kickoff result in a touchback just eight times in the 57-year history of the Super Bowl. However, two of those instances had come in the previous two years, and sportsbooks wisely offered "Yes" as a heavy favorite ahead of Chiefs-49ers.

Sure enough, Butker sent it flying through the back of the end zone with ease, cashing "Yes" for the third straight season and second straight off his foot.

Why did that change so dramatically after just four touchbacks in 30 years? It has everything to do with the recent NFL rule changes to the kickoff.

In the 2023 NFL regular season, the Green Bay Packers led the league with 31 kickoff returns across 17 games - a nearly 35% drop from their league-leading 47 returns a year earlier. The Packers posted fewer than half the returns of the league lead a decade ago (70) when there were only 16 games.

As a result, these odds were much shorter than what we saw in 2023 ahead of Super Bowl 57, when Butker booted the kickoff for a touchback. "Yes" was dealing as low as -143 in 2023, while "No" could be found as high as +140.

Which team will receive the opening kickoff?

TeamFanDuelImplied probability

This bet was essentially the same as betting on the Super Bowl coin toss odds - both teams have roughly 50% odds to win this bet - but with a slightly worse price.

The Chiefs won the coin toss and elected to defer, which gave the 49ers the ball to open Super Bowl 58. Ironically, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan later elected to receive the opening kickoff of overtime, which contributed to their eventual defeat at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and Co.

Will the opening kickoff be returned for a touchdown?

This has happened only once in Super Bowl history, when Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in Super Bowl 41 - scoring one of the Chicago Bears' two touchdowns in a blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The odds were against another happening in Super Bowl 58, as just four of 587 kickoffs (0.68%) were returned for a touchdown during the 2023 NFL regular season. That's for kickoffs in general, let alone the game's first kickoff.

Sure enough, the opening kickoff wasn't even returned, despite the long-shot prices trying to compel bettors to make this wager ahead of Chiefs-49ers:

Opening kickoff returned for TDYesImplied probability

Using our odds converter, we can calculate the implied probability of that bet as 1.96% at DraftKings— nearly three times the rate of touchdown returns for all kickoffs across the regular season.

It was also slightly higher than the rate of opening kickoff touchdown returns (1.75%) over the previous 57-year history of the Super Bowl. bet365 and FanDuel's numbers more closely aligned with the reality of the situation, offering a 1.23% and 0.99% implied probability, respectively.

Regardless, this bet didn't cash in 2024, and don't expect it to cash anytime soon if ever again.

Super Bowl opening kickoff touchback history

Here's a look at some of the most significant historical trends surrounding the Super Bowl opening kickoff after the 58th edition of the Big Game:

  • A whopping 49 of the 58 Super Bowl opening kickoffs have been returned, including 26 of the last 31. But we've now seen three straight kickoffs result in a touchback, with the change in NFL rules no doubt an influence.
  • The only five to result in a touchback over the last three decades were kicked indoors, as was the case with the 2024 Super Bowl.
  • All five opening kickoff touchbacks listed above also took place after the 2010 NFL rule change that moved the kickoff spot from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line.
  • No team has ever opened the Super Bowl with an onside kick attempt, though we have seen some notable onside kick attempts later in the game.

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