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Odds to Score the First Touchdown in Super Bowl 54: Damien Williams & Raheem Mostert Favored

Raheem Mostert running in the open field
On the strength of a four-TD, 200+ yard rushing performance in the NFC Championship Game, Raheem Mostert is one of the betting favorites to score the opening touchdown in Super Bowl 54. Photo from @ESPNStatsInfo (Twitter).
  • Damien Williams and Raheem Mostert favorites to score Super Bowl 54’s first TD
  • Mostert ran wild in the NFC Championship, tallying four touchdowns
  • Read below to find our pick for the first player to score a TD in Super Bowl 54

It’s the first of many prop bets you will see over the next two weeks as we count down to Super Bowl 54. Fitting, then, that we’re looking at who will score the first TD in Miami. Not surprisingly, the two players leading the postseason in visits to paydirt headline the odds board.

Super Bowl 54 First TD Scored Odds

Player Odds
Damien Williams (KC) +700
Raheem Mostert (SF) +700
Travis Kelce (KC) +800
Tyreek Hill (KC) +800
George Kittle (SF) +1000
Deebo Samuel (SF) +1200
Emmanuel Sanders (SF) +1200
Sammy Watkins (KC) +1600
Tevin Coleman (SF) +1600
Matt Breida (SF) +1800
Darwin Thompson (KC) +2000
Kendrick Bourne (SF) +2000
Patrick Mahomes (KC) +2000
Mecole Hardman (KC) +2200
San Francisco 49ers D/ST +2200
Demarcus Robinson (KC) +2500
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST +2500
LeSean McCoy (KC) +3300
Jeffrey Wilson (SF) +4000
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) +4000
Kyle Juszczyk (SF) +4000
Anthony Sherman (KC) +5000
Blake Bell (KC) +5000
Byron Pringle (KC) +5000
Dante Pettis (SF) +5000
Deon Yelder (KC) +5000
Jordan Matthews (SF) +5000
Richie James (SF) +5000
Ross Dwelley (SF) +5000
Daniel Helm (SF) +6600
Levine Toilolo (SF) +6600
No Touchdown Scorer +8000

*Odds from January 20

Is it going to be one of the usual suspects this playoff season that will get the major scoring started? Let’s break down some of the candidates.

49ers Grounding and Pounding the Opposition

You can’t blame Kyle Shanahan for going with the flow. After Jimmy Garoppolo got off to a shaky first half start in the NFC Divisional Round, which included an interception, Shanahan was likely trying to just get the inexperienced playoff pivot comfortable with a few runs to settle him down. Instead, he’s unlocked the most devastating running game in the NFL, and nearly abandoned the pass.

The even play-call distribution (17 runs, 15 passes) turned wildly lopsided after Jimmy G’s pick. Since that turnover, the 49ers have run the ball a whopping 71 times, to just 17 pass attempts.

Targeting Mostert to break through isn’t a bad choice, but there’s plenty to consider. The 49ers rotate their backs regularly, though that triple threat with Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman is compromised with Coleman’s shoulder injury — quite literally the only bad news ‘Frisco has faced so far in these playoffs.

As well, the Chiefs have just watched the Niners disintegrate the last two defenses they’ve faced. With a defense that ranks 29th in run DVOA, perhaps Kansas City goes all-out to stop the demoralizing avalanche. Emmanuel Sanders and Kendrick Bourne have each found the endzone on short goal-to-go opportunities, including Bourne surprising everyone when he opened the scoring against the Vikings.

49ers vs Chiefs First Touchdown Scored 2019-20

49ers
VS
Chiefs

Vernon Hargreaves, TB (DB) Week 1 Sammy Watkins, KC (WR)
Marquise Goodwin, SF (WR) Week 2 Tyrell Williams, OAK (WR)
Jeffrey Wilson, SF (RB) Week 3 Mark Ingram, BAL (RB)
BYE Week 4 TJ Hockenson, DET (TE)
Matt Breida, SF (RB) Week 5 Jacoby Brissett, IND (QB)
Robert Woods, LAR (WR) Week 6 Tyreek Hill, KC (WR)
NO TOUCHDOWN SCORER Week 7 Royce Freeman, DEN (RB)
Emmanuel Sanders, SF (WR) Week 8 Aaron Jones, GB (RB)
Kenyan Drake, AZ (RB) Week 9 Tyreek Hill, KC (WR)
Kendrick Bourne, SF (WR) Week 10 Travis Kelce, KC (TE)
Larry Fitzgerald, AZ (WR) Week 11 LeSean McCoy, KC (RB)
Tevin Coleman, SF (RB) Week 12 BYE
Deebo Samuel, SF (WR) Week 13 Damien Williams, KC (RB)
Jared Cook, NO (TE) Week 14 Julian Edelman, NE (WR)
Raheem Mostert, SF (RB) Week 15 Tyreek Hill, KC (WR)
Brandin Cooks, LAR (WR) Week 16 Patrick Mahomes, KC (QB)
Deebo Samuel, SF (WR) Week 17 Keenan Allen, LAC (WR)
Kendrick Bourne, SF (WR) Divisional Round Kenny Stills, HOU (WR)
Raheem Mostert, SF (RB) Conference Championship Derrick Henry, TEN (RB)

Pick Your Poison with Mahomes’ Weapons

While the 49ers have been 4x4ing the opposition, the Chiefs have been showcasing the most complete and explosive fast-break passing game in the NFL. It’s an equal opportunity endeavor, with Patrick Mahomes picking apart defenses by simply finding the mismatch and exploiting it.

Williams is high on the betting radar as the recipient of very short goal line runs, thanks to big chunk plays the Chiefs are gaining all over the field. With the defense trying to figure out how they plan to contain Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill, among others, Mahomes lets Williams find whichever seam he chooses against a stretched-out defense.

But Hill is a worthy pick here, on the strength of his regular season, and propensity to bust things up open early. His three opening TD scores is the most of any player left in these playoffs, with Deebo Samuel and Mostert racking up two apiece.

Another player that you might want to target is Sammy Watkins. After a 198-yard, three-TD evisceration of the Jaguars in Week 1, Watkins had gone radio silent the rest of the season. How that’s changed this postseason. His 190 yards receiving is second only to the departed DeAndre Hopkins, as he’s the beneficiary of  defenses focussed on Hill’s explosiveness and Kelce being a mismatch nightmare.

What’s the Best Bet?

If you look at the recent history of the Super Bowl, it’s the wide receivers that have dominated, scoring the first TD six times in the last 10 years. However, Alshon Jeffrey’s TD catch in SB 52 is the only WR TD in the last four big games. Two of the previous three Super Bowl’s have had a running back break through first.

First Super Bowl TD Scored History

Super Bowl Player Position Team
53 Sony Michel RB Patriots
52 Alshon Jeffrey WR Eagles
51 Devonta Freeman RB Falcons
50 Malik Jackson DL Broncos
49 Brandon LaFell WR Patriots
48 Marshawn Lynch RB Seahawks
47 Anquan Boldin WR Cardinals
46 Victor Cruz WR Giants
45 Jordy Nelson WR Packers
44 Pierre Garcon WR Colts

If the Niners receive the opening kickoff, I think that it’s either Mostert (+700) or George Kittle (+1000) — who’s been particularly dormant in the playoffs, coming off a one-catch, 19-yard outing — that are good bets. Depending on your preference, Sanders (+1200) or Bourne (+2000) aren’t bad looks either.

Because the Chiefs have had a habit of falling behind in these playoffs, if they get possession first, look for a much sharper start. The Niners rarely give up a big play, so I’ll hold off on a Hill bomb to open things up. I also see Frisco’s front seven limiting Williams. Instead, look for Kelce (+800) or Watkins (+1600) as your targets.

Pick: Mostert (+700)

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