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Todd Gurley Favored to Score First Touchdown of Super Bowl 53

Eric Thompson

by Eric Thompson in NFL Football

Jan 27, 2019 · 6:00 AM PST

Todd Gurley Rams RB and Sean McVay Rams head coach celebrating
Todd Gurley is coming off the worst game of his career in the 2019 NFC Championship, where he only managed 10 yards on four carries and saw two passes go through his hands, one that resulted in an interception. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)
  • Todd Gurley is the favorite to score Super Bowl 53’s first touchdown
  • Sony Michel & CJ Anderson are right behind him on the odds board, despite running backs scoring first in just 3 of the last 10 big games
  • Who are some of the best players to back for this prop?

Oddsmakers think Todd Gurley will have a big impact on this game and why not? He’s well-rested.

A week after being stapled to the bench in the NFC Championship, he’s favored to put up the first six of Super Bowl 53.

Odds to Score First TD in Super Bowl 53

Player to Score the First Touchdown Odds
Todd Gurley (LA) +600
Sony Michel (NE) +800
CJ Anderson (LA) +1000
Julian Edelman (NE) +1000
Rob Gronkowski (NE) +1000
Brandin Cooks (LA) +1200
James White (NE) +1200
Robert Woods (LA) +1200
Rex Burkhead (NE) +1600
Chris Hogan (NE) +1600
Josh Reynolds (LA) +1600
Gerald Everett (LA) +2000
Tyler Higbee (LA) +2000
Phillip Dorsett (NE) +2500
Cordarelle Patterson (NE) +2500
Los Angeles Rams D/ST +2500
New England Patriots D/ST +2500
Tom Brady (NE) +2800
No Touchdown Scored +15000

*Odds taken 1/26.

This is always a prop you’re going to want to have a few longshots mixed in with a favorite.

Because while most years the first score goes to someone expected like Alshon Jeffery or Marshawn Lynch, every once in a while you get a real out of the blue one, like Malik Jackson or Gary Russell.

We’re going to offer a nice mix of lower and higher odds to play, and this year, my betting approach will focus on an overlooked position group in these offenses.

No, it’s not running back.

Just the Beginning for Tight Ends

Both these coaches know better than most: to win in the NFL Playoffs, teams need to be able to break tendencies they’ve relied on all year.

The Rams were famous for never breaking out of 11 personnel this season (1 back, 1 tight end, 3 receivers). But in the playoffs, they’ve been doing far more damage trading that extra receiver for a tight end and running 12 personnel.

With New England expecting a run from 12 personnel, what better way for the Rams to break from that tendency than to throw from it, especially around the goal line?

Both of LA’s tight ends are seldom-used in the passing game, but both could have a huge opening here. Tyler Higbee has already turned just three targets inside the ten this season into three touchdowns.

Gerald Everett hasn’t been as reliable around pay dirt, but with both going off at 20-to-1, I like that tandem for the Rams first points.

How Will The Patriots Attack?

It’s weird that this counts as an unexpected wrinkle, but I think the Pats will throw to Gronk in the redzone.

The big man has just nine targets inside the 20 all year, and even though he had a huge game last week, he only got one look in the endzone. It was a disaster.

But going back to breaking tendencies, the Pats have been riding their ground game through the second half of the season, aided by Gronk lining up as a blocker.

Last week, they tried to take advantage of him in the play-action game and it didn’t work. Perhaps this week, in what could be the final game of the big man’s career, they just throw it up to him like old times?

Getting Gronk at 10-to-1 would’ve been impossible yesteryear. Now, let’s hope he can recapture that old form for one last time.

The Play

Back Gronk, split a moderate amount between Everett and Higbee, and don’t forget that Dwayne Allen is technically on the Pats roster (50-to-1). I would also recommend James Develin if your book has him listed, but this particular one does not.

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