There are hundreds of ways to bet on Super Bowl 58 at legal online sportsbooks. While dozens of those betting options are based on the overall outcome of the big game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, there were also some that had a result soon after the action started.
One of those wagers involved betting on the first play of the game. Bettors had a simple choice: Will there be a touchback on the opening kickoff? The Super Bowl 58 opening kickoff resulted in a touchback, giving bettors who took the favored position the win.
How to bet on the Super Bowl 58 opening kickoff
Here are the latest odds on the wager from BetMGM and FanDuel.
If you think that a touchback is on the way in the game’s opening kickoff, you simply select “yes.” If you think any other outcome will happen, choose “no.” Just seconds after the ball starts sailing through the air, you’ll have an answer. That’s one of the appeals of this bet. Rather than waiting for the entire game to play out, you’ll find out whether your bet has won or lost right away. If you win, funds will quickly arrive in your account.
49ers vs. Chiefs kickoff touchback results
The opening kickoff of Super Bowl 58 resulted in a touchback. That was the favorite in terms of results, and the result was never really in doubt as the ball sailed out of the end zone prior to the 49ers first possesion.
During the 2023-24 season, the Kansas City Chiefs were in the top 10 for the NFL’s highest rate of kickoffs for touchbacks. Of all the team’s kickoffs, 83.3% resulted in a touchback. That rate was up significantly from the 65.81% that it was during the 2022 season. Some of that change is likely attributable to changes the NFL made in kickoff rules this season.
The San Francisco 49ers were in the bottom half of the league for touchbacks, at 62.39% of kickoffs this season. That put the team 25th in the league and made it one of only 10 teams to have a touchback rate below 65% this season. That mark was also much higher than the team’s rate of 44.35% in 2022.
Other Super Bowl prop bets
Looking for other options when it comes to your Super Bowl props? Check our guides for some of the options at top Super Bowl betting sites.
Super Bowl opening kickoff stats
During the 2023 NFL season, touchbacks on kickoffs were quite common. All but two teams — the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers — had touchback rates of over 50%. Twelve teams finished the season with touchback rates of 80% or higher. This is likely due primarily to recent rule changes in the NFL, which have resulted in higher touchback rates across the league.
Beginning in the 2023 season, the NFL’s competition committee instituted a rule that spots the ball at the 25-yard line when kick returners signal for a fair catch on any ball inside the 25. This has had the intended effect of decreasing the rate of kickoff returns, which the league concluded were more likely to result in injuries and concussions. In the 2022 season, 37.5% of kickoffs were returned. During the 2023 season, that rate was almost half what it was the year before.
Historically, the Super Bowl’s opening kickoff has not resulted in many touchbacks. While the last two Super Bowls had the opening kickoff result in a touchback, overall that’s happened in only four of the 32 most recent Super Bowls. Of course, that was before this season’s rule change. All four of those opening kickoff touchbacks came in indoor games. Super Bowl 58 will also be indoors, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Has the opening kickoff ever been returned for a TD at the Super Bowl?
At Super Bowl XLI in 2007, Devin Hester of the Bears took the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown versus the Colts. That was the first and only time that it has happened to date. All told, just 10 kickoffs have been returned for TDs at the Super Bowl. No team has ever attempted an onside kick to begin the Super Bowl.