MIAMI — Betting on the final score of the game isn’t enough for the Super Bowl.
Sure, you can join the crowd and place a wager on the Kansas City Chiefs as 1-point favorites against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, but then you’d be missing out on the real action: Prop bets.
It’s impossible to have a conversation about Super Bowl betting without discussing the prop bets. That’s where you can bet how many penalties there will be in the game, or if the Toronto Raptors will score 38.5 more points than Travis Kelce has receiving yards.
MGM released 13 pages of prop bets for Super Bowl LIV, but every year, bettors focus most of their attention on the same one.
The most popular prop bet for the Super Bowl
Each year, the most popular prop bet is a simple one: Who will score the game’s first touchdown?
There are also odds on which player will score the last touchdown, but MGM Resorts International director of trading operations Jeff Stoneback said the first touchdown prop does about 10 times more action.
It makes sense. Once your player scores, it’s a sure winner. And, as long as the Super Bowl isn’t an offensive snoozer like last year, you don’t have to wait long for the result.
MGM offers the first touchdown prop for prime-time games during the regular season and that’s popular among bettors too, but nothing like the Super Bowl.
“In the Super Bowl it gets magnified,” Stoneback said.
There’s always a trend within that prop bet too. The quarterbacks typically end up being the most popular plays among bettors.
That has held so far with this Super Bowl. Stoneback said the only change in the odds for the first touchdown prop was with 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who dropped from 50-to-1 to 40-to-1 based on the amount of bets on him. Stoneback said MGM has written about the same amount of tickets for Garoppolo and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes on that prop and they lead the field. Mahomes is 22-to-1 to score the first touchdown.
Neither Super Bowl LIV QB scores often
While betting the quarterbacks to score first is annually a popular play, there’s a reason the odds are usually long.
While both quarterbacks in Super Bowl LIV are fairly athletic, they don’t score often. In six seasons, Garoppolo has 116 yards on 94 carries and only two touchdowns. While Mahomes had an instant classic of a touchdown run in the AFC championship game, Mahomes has just four rushing touchdowns in 31 regular-season games.
And yet, bettors will take their chances on the quarterbacks, as always.
“No matter what, the quarterback will have his hands on the ball,” Stoneback said. “It doesn’t have to be a called play for him to score.”
Here are the full odds for the first touchdown of Super Bowl LIV prop bet (“no touchdown scored” comes in at 100-to-1):
Raheem Mostert 6-to-1
George Kittle 17-to-2
Matt Breida 11-to-1
Tevin Coleman 11-to-1
Deebo Samuel 13-to-1
Emmanuel Sanders 13-to-1
Kendrick Bourne 18-to-1
Any other 49er 21-to-1
Jimmy Garoppolo 40-to-1
Damien Williams 6-to-1
Travis Kelce 15-to-2
Tyreek Hill 8-to-1
Sammy Watkins 15-to-1
Patrick Mahomes 21-to-1
Mecole Hardman 22-to-1
Any other Chief 22-to-1
Demarcus Robinson 27-to-1
LeSean McCoy 40-to-1
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