Super Bowl Prop Bets - Team to Score First
Will Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs score first at Super Bowl LVIII?

Beyond crowning champions, Super Bowls produce iconic moments engraved into NFL lore. Often these pivotal plays transpire early, as teams striking first exert outsized influence securing victory. This significance of scoring initial points manifests in unique proposition wagers picking which club tallies first. And over Super Bowl betting history, wagering outcomes closely track eventual winners.

But does scoring first provide actual tactical edge or merely reflect existing matchup imbalances? How might probabilities evolve given the recent offensive explosion? Exploring results and theories around this phenomenon provides intriguing insights into Super Bowl dynamics with practical implications for gamblers.

Why Scoring First Matters

Scoring first in ANY football contest is statistically advantageous, giving teams lead control and immediate psychological boosts. But opening drives ending in points prove especially impactful during Super Bowls when magnification of stakes compounds significance. Several factors enhance the edge of scoring first in championship settings:

Will the San Francisco 49ers score first?Momentum - Early leads allow play calling, staying aggressive, while trailing teams grow desperate. Offenses confidently leverage possessions to widen gaps as opponents press unsuccessfully.

Confidence - With entire seasons on the line, goal line stands or quick lead changes swell morale while unconverted red zone trips crush confidence booming or dooming prospects.

Adjustments - Strategic plans for both sides get dictated by who leads. The scoreboard forces the opponent's hand to adjust while leaders strategically milk clocks.

Scoring first shifts dynamics in the winner's favor. And in the highest pressure cooker environments like Super Bowls, those momentum swings carry exponentially heightened importance. This sets the stage historically for fascinating wagering possibilities.

Pre-1980s: Primitive Beginnings

During early Super Bowl eras marked by run-dominated offenses and stingier scoring norms, opening salvos produced by both teams proved rarer. First quarter points happened but lacked complexity for deeper analysis.

Yet certainly the few cases where teams did score first presaged victory. Good examples came from Super Bowl III when the Jets struck opening blood against Baltimore and lasted to shock the world. Or two years later when the Baltimore Colts kicked early field goals routing Dallas in Super Bowl V.

But with data limited given fewer big games annually relative today, no definitive correlations yet existed between scoring first and ultimate outcomes to help make informed decisions to bet on the Super Bowl. The oddsmaker art for this prop bet remained unsophisticated. This gradually evolved in later decades however.

1980s - Data Refinement

As the Super Bowl matured into a centerpiece television event annually, deeper statistical scrutiny became feasible parsing early scoring marks. And clearer patterns began emerging on the value of scoring first.

In the 10 championship games played during the 1980s, 7 ultimately ended with the club that scored first also hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

The probability conversion rate of 70% greatly exceeded coin flip odds. It suggests meaningful tactical advantage conferred to teams able to strike fastest out the gates. Whether by early field goals or initial touchdown drives, teams moving the scoreboard first consistently position better towards deeper game control.

Yet still the wagering metrics around this phenomenon lacked substantial predictive nuance. That changed dramatically however into the 1990s as scoring ramped up league-wide.

1990s - Correlations Climb

As NFL rule tweaks eased passing and defense restrictions benefitting offenses, scoring league-wide increased during the 1990s. And the Super Bowl started experiencing higher points as well.

With more touchdowns occurring each game on average, the team to score first becomes a more compelling wagering proposition. Sure enough over the 1990s the conversion rate of first scorers winning championship games reached astonishing 90% across the entire decade.

The effect appears so pronounced books started crafting special parlay bets around combined early scoring outcomes further doubling down expected payouts. Gamblers correctly selecting which team scores first AND eventual winner means exponentially increasing returns. When both align as heavily historically, the combo wager grows compelling for risk takers.

This particular wager peaked famously around Super Bowl XXXII when hot favorite Packers struck first against Denver. Yet the underdog Broncos controlled the rest of the way for massive upset earning savvy bettors fortunes.

Due to such unforgettable moments and the consistent edge scoring first deliveries, hopes ran high predictive ability would sustain next decades.

Modern Era Volatility

If the 1990s made scoring first correlations with victory appear almost inevitable, football's modern offensive era starting in the 2000s proved way less clean cut. As league rules grew still more pass friendly benefitting receivers and quarterbacks, parity emerged with seismic scoring shifts minimizing guaranteed outcomes. Super Bowl games themselves reflected the volatility.

Will the Kansas City Chiefs score first?The early 2000s showed still 60% chance of first scorers taking ultimate crowns. But shocking cases emerged like 2002 Tampa Bay dismantling Oakland after falling behind early. And greatest upset ever delivered by New York Giants dethroning undefeated Patriots in 2008 despite conceding first score.

By the 2010s multiple Super Bowls flipped script on early scoring predictive power entirely. Falcons infamously blowing 28-3 lead to Patriots after steamrolling opening quarters. And just this year 2022, Rams rallied behind to edge Bengals after getting dominated most of the game.

Today despite higher overall Super Bowl scoring, the power of scoring first ironically regressed significantly thanks to modern offensive flexibility allowing teams to overcome early deficits more readily. This leaves gamblers again grasping to anticipate how critical early scoring remains towards final outcomes.

Looking Ahead

What does the near future hold for wagering relevance behind teams scoring first in championship games?

If recent volatility proves anything, applying universal models too rigidly fails given small single game samples and increasing variability between opponents strengths. Scoring first guarantees nothing alone.

Yet the tactical advantage remains hugely beneficial, converting at roughly 50% historical probability over 56 big games. Savvy gamblers observe early game models working well or faltering can size up appropriate bets. Minor tweaks adjusting odds valuations scoring first versus match specifics may unlock new profitable opportunities.

In particular close matchups seen increasingly frequent during NFL parity, the first scorer Super Bowl prop bet takes greater advantage given more likelihood such incremental edges decide nail-biting finishes. So long as football remains fiercely competitive, the openings remain confidently wagering on seizing early momentum promising returns.

Could scoring first prove a decisive factor yet again at Super Bowl LVIII?