Super Bowl prop bets 2014: Over/under on the jersey number of the first player to score a TD

Will the player who scores the first touchdown in the Super Bowl be wearing a jersey number higher or lower than 79.5? That depends whether you think the score will be a run or pass, and whether No. 11 Percy Harvin will make a big impact.

SB Nation 2014 NFL Playoff Coverage

Prop bets are an excellent way to make Super Bowl viewing even more fun. Some are dumb luck propositions, like betting heads or tails on the coin flip, or over/under on the length of the national anthem. Others have room for a little strategy. For example, Vegas is giving even odds that the jersey number of the player who scores the first touchdown in Sunday's game will be over/under 79.5, according to USA Today's For The Win. That's a bet ripe for over-analysis.

At a basic level, this bet boils down to whether you believe the first touchdown will be scored on the ground or through the air. On both offenses, the primary potential touchdown scorers wearing No. 80 or higher are pass catchers. Players wearing No. 79 or below include running backs and quarterbacks, who are more likely to end up in the end zone on running plays. For the purposes of the bet, touchdown passes are not considered, otherwise the under would be the clear play.

Considering Peyton Manning's prolific passing stats, a bet of OVER would seem like the better play at even odds. Indeed, based on season numbers, it bears out that a player wearing the No. 80 or higher is most likely to score first in this game. However, because the Seahawks are so powerful on the ground and opportunistic on defense, the odds against UNDER are not as bad as one might think.

Let's look at some charts!

Total touchdowns by Broncos players wearing No. 80 or higher

Player Jersey No. Touchdowns
Demaryius Thomas 88 14
Julius Thomas 80 12
Eric Decker 87 11
Wes Welker 83 10
Jacob Tamme 84 1
Joel Dreessen 81 1
Total TDs: 49

Total touchdowns by Broncos players wearing No. 79 or lower

Player Jersey No. Touchdowns
Knowshon Moreno 27 13
Montee Ball 28 4
Andre Caldwell 12 3
Trindon Holliday 11 2
Peyton Manning 18 1
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 45 1
Von Miller 58 1
Ronnie Hillman 21 1
Steven Johnson 53 1
Total TDs: 27

Total touchdowns by Seahawks players wearing No. 80 or higher

Player Jersey No. Touchdowns
Zach Miller 86 5
Golden Tate 81 5
Doug Baldwin 89 5
Kellen Davis 87 1
Luke Willson 82 1
Total TDs: 17

Total touchdowns by Seahawks players wearing No. 79 or lower

Player Jersey No. Touchdowns
Marshawn Lynch 24 14
Jermaine Kearse 15 4
Sidney Rice 18 3
Tarvaris Jackson 7 1
Michael Bennett 72 1
Walter Thurmond 28 1
Richard Sherman 25 1
Malcolm Smith 53 1
Russell Wilson 3 1
Derrick Coleman 40 1
Total TDs: 28

Total touchdowns scored by players wearing No. 80 or higher: 66

Total touchdowns scored by players wearing No. 79 or lower: 55

So there's a 54.5 percent chance that the OVER will win based on season numbers. Those are pretty good odds at even money. Bettors looking to get in on the action may want to be wary of the return of Percy Harvin, however. The multi-dimensional, uber-athletic wideout wears No. 11 and should be fully healthy after appearing in just two games this season. He may be the best pure athlete playing in this year's Super Bowl, and could be a big part of the Seahawks' gameplan as a kick returner, pass catcher and ball carrier.

SB Nation's Super Bowl coverage

Spencer Hall: The 23 people at every Super Bowl party

Breaking Madden: The machine is bleeding to death

Steven Godfrey: FBI agents explain Super Bowl security

Stephen White: Breaking down the game's most important matchup

Ufford: Seahawks will win | Rubenstein: Nope, Broncos will

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.