Monday, March 4, 2024

Super Bowl Predictions: First Drive Odds, Analysis & Picks

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The Chiefs and 49ers both have deadly opening-drive offenses, and with an extra week to fine-tune the opening drives, our Super Bowl picks think each will convert on the first drive Sunday night.

Last Updated:
Feb 10, 2024 8:00 AM ET

Read Time: 4 min

Making Super Bowl predictions for the first drive is a great way to collect some early winnings from Sunday’s game. Both offenses have been going through the opening plays for two weeks and Super Bowl LVIII will feature arguably the two best opening-drive offenses in football. 

There are lots of ways to attack these markets and pricing on these Super Bowl odds can be all over, so shopping around is a must, but bettors should really try to maximize their returns with first-drive scoring for this year’s Big Game.

Here are my NFL picks for the first drive Super Bowl props. You can also check out our Chiefs vs. 49ers predictions for a full game analysis!

Chiefs first drive odds and results

First drive result DraftKings  AFC Champ. Game odds Chiefs offense 49ers defense
Punt +130 +110 40% (8/20) 37% (7/19)
FG attempt +320 +360 30% (6/20) 26% (5/19)
Touchdown +215 +255 24% (5/20) 26% (5/19)
Turnover +650 +550 5% (1/20) 11% (2/19)

The Chiefs cashed their first-drive touchdown vs. the Ravens and have shortened up substantially in that market moving from +255 to +215. They’ve reached the end zone on 26% of their first drives this season, which equates to a fair price of +285.

However, Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have had an extra week to game plan and the Chiefs’ scripted plays in the postseason have been nothing short of spectacular, as bettors witnessed in Baltimore on that 10-play 88-yard piece of art.

Kansas City’s offense has scored in eight straight playoff games, including six total TDs. Travis Kelce had an 18-yard TD reception on the Chiefs’ first drive in the last Super Bowl and the offense has TDs in two of three opening drives during this playoff run. 

The 49ers defense is also pretty malleable to begin games. This unit has allowed an opening TD in over 25% of its games this year and has allowed a TD/FGA in over 50% — 10 of 19. Detroit needed just four plays for a TD in the Championship game vs. San Fransisco and Green Bay had a field goal on their opening drive. The indoor setting and familiar field for the Chiefs benefit their offense.  

I have the Chiefs to score a point at around 50%. They’re currently +100 to score at DraftKings (+135 at bet365) and by getting a little creative, I can create better odds on a TD/FGA stack than the +100 offering to actually score.

If I only had the 4-way market to bet, I’d put a half-unit on the TD and another half-unit on a field-goal attempt. That would profit 1.075 units on the TD and 1.6 units on the field goal attempt. I don’t even need the field goal to be good, I just need the attempt. 

If the TD hits, it’s +1.15 units of profit, and if the FGA hits, it’s +2.2 units of profit. That’s right in there with the +135 to score market at bet365 with the potential for more on the FGA. 

Mahomes and Reid will move the ball early and there’s value in them scoring. 

Chiefs first-drive result best bet: Touchdown (+215 at DraftKings) and Field-goal attempt (+320 at DraftKings)

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49ers first drive odds and results

First drive result DraftKings  NFC Champ. Game odds 49ers offense Chiefs defense
Punt +130 +160 26% (5/19) 40% (8/20)
FG attempt +330 +370 11% (2/19) 10% (2/20)
Touchdown +220 +150 53% (10/19) 30% (6/20)
Turnover +650 +650 11% (2/19) 20% (4/20)

The 49ers were wildly short in the championship game to score a TD at +150, which has swung back to +220 implying around a 33% chance of happening. This is an offense that is one of the best scripted units in football and Kyle Shanahan now gets an extra week to scheme up another successful opening drive. 

The 49ers have scored or attempted a field goal in 64% of all their games this year. Now, they get an indoor setting vs. a poor rush defense that could keep Brock Purdy and this offense facing short third downs. 

This handicap is very similar to the KC one, but I do think there’s more value in the KC bets, as the 49ers’ defense might be the worse of the two units and the price is better. 

However, that isn’t stopping me from doing the same thing here with the TD and FGA stack and spreading a unit over both plays, considering DraftKings has the Niners to score an offensive point on the 1D at +100 odds, with bet365 at +125.

If I spread out a full unit on TD (+220) and FGA (+330) and one of them hits, the worst odds I’ve created are +120, and that’s for a field-goal attempt and not a made field goal. If the FGA cashes, I’ve basically won +230 odds.  

I really expect at least one of these offenses to get points on the opening drive, and would not be surprised at all if each team walked away with a TD after drive No.1. 

FanDuel is paying +1,500 for both teams to score TDs on their opening drives and I have that closer to +1,000. Shop around, you may be able to find these 4-way markets at longer prices. 

49ers first-drive result best bet: Touchdown (+220 at DraftKings) and Field-goal attempt (+330 at DraftKings)

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