- Travis Kelce and George Kittle are the co-favorites (+600) to record the first reception of Super Bowl 54
- Each player also has +300 odds to record their team’s first reception of the game
- The two tight ends combined to catch the first ball of the game in just four games in 2019
Super Bowl 54 is now under a week away, and as always, countless props are available on this year’s edition of the game. From Barstool to “butt cleavage”, there’s no shortage of action on the biggest sporting event of the year.
One of those props centers around how the contest will open up. The odds on who will record the game’s first reception favor tight ends Travis Kelce and George Kittle, who both currently sit at +600.
Odds on Who Makes First Reception in Super Bowl 54
|Player (Team)||Odds to Record Game’s First Reception||Odds to Record KC’s First Reception||Odds to Record SF’s First Reception|
|George Kittle (SF)||+600||—||+300|
|Travis Kelce (KC)||+600||+300||—|
|Tyreek Hill (KC)||+700||+300||—|
|Damien Williams (KC)||+800||+500||—|
|Deebo Samuel (SF)||+800||—||+300|
|Emmanuel Sanders (SF)||+800||—||+400|
|Sammy Watkins (KC)||+800||+500||—|
|Darwin Thompson (KC)||+1000||+600||—|
|Raheem Mostert (SF)||+1000||—||+525|
|Kendrick Bourne (SF)||+1200||—||+800|
|Mecole Hardman (KC)||+1200||+1000||—|
|Matt Breida (SF)||+1400||—||+800|
|Tevin Coleman (SF)||+1400||—||+800|
|Demarcus Robinson (KC)||+1600||+1000||—|
|LeSean McCoy (KC)||+2000||+1000||—|
|Anthony Sherman (KC)||+2500||+1600||—|
|Jeff Wilson (SF)||+2500||—||+1600|
|Kyle Juszczyk (SF)||+2800||—||+1600|
|Deon Yelder (KC)||+3300||+2000||—|
|Ross Dwelley (SF)||+3300||—||+2200|
Odds taken Jan 27
This is certainly a prop with plenty of variables that go along with it. One of those big variables is who will win the coin toss, and what decision that team will make if they do win. The 49ers are a defensive-minded team, and the typical strategy of those kinds of teams is to defer and get the ball to begin the second half. Kansas City, meanwhile, is an offensive juggernaut, and more likely to take the ball to open up the game.
Leading up to this game, however, the numbers tell a different story. 49ers’ receivers have caught the first ball of the game on eight occasions this season, while Chiefs’ wideouts did so in just seven games in 2019.
Like so many Super Bowl props, there is a ton of unpredictability here. The one thing that is certain is that the tight ends are the undeniable favorites here.
Players That Have Recorded their Team’s First Reception
|Player (Team)||Times Recording Game’s First Reception||Times Recording Team’s First Reception|
|George Kittle (SF)||3||5|
|Sammy Watkins (KC)||2||6|
|Travis Kelce (KC)||1||4|
|Deebo Samuel (SF)||1||4|
|LeSean McCoy (KC)||2||3|
|Emmanuel Sanders (SF)||2||3|
|Kendrick Bourne (SF)||2||2|
|Tyreek Hill (KC)||1||1|
|Damien Williams (KC)||—||2|
|Mecole Hardman (KC)||—||1|
|Kyle Juszczyk (SF)||—||3|
|Ross Dwelley (SF)||—||1|
Kittle and Kelce combined to catch their team’s first pass of the game on nine different occasions this year. Kittle caught five, while Kelce accounted for four. Only Chiefs’ wideout Sammy Watkins has been better, catching the first Kansas City ball of the game six times in 2019.
What’s the Best Bet?
There is a strong case to be made for both tight ends here. They’ve combined to open up so many games with a reception this season, and each has been more prolific and productive than the typical tight end in an NFL offense.
Additionally, neither quarterback has made it to the Super Bowl, and neither has ever been on a stage this massive. A quick, short, easy throw to a tight end to open up the game seems like the logical way to open the game and ease the young passers’ nerves on such a huge stage, and with such a massive amount of pressure.
Two players that provide a ton of value, however, are 49ers’ receiver Deebo Samuel, as well as Chiefs’ wideout Sammy Watkins. Between Samuel’s four and Watkins’ six, these two wideouts have combined to catch ten of their teams’ opening receptions. Each receiver, while not the number one option, has been a big part of the game plan for their respective teams.
On both the Chiefs and 49ers, weapons abound, including names like Tyreek Hill, Emmanuel Sanders, Kelce, and Kittle, who have all been some of the biggest playmakers in the league this season. Additionally, each teams’ running game, especially San Francisco’s, has been extremely potent in 2019.
With all of those threats and weapons for a defense to worry about, it’s easy for Samuel and Watkins to get open and find holes. These two wideouts have been huge factors early in games all season, and that should continue into Super Bowl Sunday.
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