Saturday, February 4, 2012

2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46) Prop Bet: The Opening Kickoff Touchback

Leading up to the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46) between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, we'll be taking a look at Super Bowl proposition betting, or more specifically, the fun or hilarious Super Bowl 46 (XLVI) prop bets that you hear so much about. That includes props on the Super Bowl coin toss, Super Bowl halftime show (Madonna), the Super Bowl National Anthem (Kelly Clarkson), the Super Bowl Gatorade Shower dump and much more. Follow along on the Super Bowl sidebar to the right and follow us on twitter @stocklemonblog!

We've covered props that will occur immediately prior to or immediately after 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (46), but we haven't covered the prop that literally kicks off this year's game: the opening kickoff prop bet.

Will the opening kickoff result in a touchback?
Yes (Opening Kickoff Touchback) -190
No (Opening Kickoff Touchback) +155

The NFL moved kickoffs from the 30 to the 35 yard line this season to prevent the damaging head and neck injuries that so often occur on kickoffs. This resulted, predictably and purposefully, in many more touchbacks this season, much to the chagrin of the general public.

And you know the rule change made it big time when it's resulted in a prop bet on the subject.

Granted, this has been a prop before, but the odds on "No" are not frequently this good (+155). Because of that, and because public perception has driven the odds to that point, we're picking the opening kickoff to not result in a touchback.

The Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski has seen 42.7 percent of his kicks (including playoffs) result in touchbacks this season.

The Giants' Lawrence Tynes has kicked 40.0 percent of his kickoffs (including playoffs) into the back of the end zone.

So why are the odds so heavily weighted toward a touchback when both kickers combine for a touchback ratio of barely over 40 percent?

Well, the game is indoors, in a building where a whopping 75 percent of the Colts' opponent kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. But the Colts are terrible! Downing the ball even one yard into the end zone is the most positive play they could muster this season.

Shouldn't these odds be closer to -120 each? We're not guaranteeing a touchback, but we like to take advantage of any openings we see in which the odds might not be correctly set. This is one of them.

Add to this the fact that, you know, it's the Super Bowl, and if the ball is returnable--even nine yards deep--the returner is going to want to make a play right off the bat.

At +155, the "No" bet is too good to pass up.

We hope you touchback here at Stock Lemon throughout today and tomorrow, even if the percentages aren't in our favor.