Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson earned acclaim with 12 of 12 field goals in the playoffs, including victories against Tennessee and Kansas City.
But Circa Sports is far more concerned about McPherson running into the end zone in Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams.
Circa offers odds on nearly every player to score the first touchdown on Sunday, including the unlikely like offensive linemen, long snappers and kickers.
Circa found a taker on McPherson at 3,000-1, and sports betting manager Chris Bennett said he will actually have to sweat that result on Sunday.
“No matter what happens with the money we write into this pool until the game starts, if he scores the first touchdown, we’re going to get beat up,” Bennett said. “The liability is much more than the amount of money we will take for the whole pool.”
Most bets on first touchdown score props will be on the obvious suspects. Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is the favorite in Circa at +475, followed by Bengals running back Joe Mixon at +650, Rams running back Cam Akers at 7-1, Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at 8-1 and Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chassez at +925.
Bennett said he reserved the prop knowing which players he wanted to win over and who he was comfortable losing against. He wants to win over the favorite, and Kupp’s low odds should prevent him from being a liability for Circa.
Bennett said he was comfortable losing to a player like Bengals backup Samaje Perine, who scored just two touchdowns in the regular season but swept for 41 yards against the Chicago Chiefs. Kansas City in the AFC title game.
“I opened it 60-1. I thought there was a good chance someone would want to bet on him at those odds. They did,” Bennett said.
Perine is 45-1 in Circa.
Westgate SuperBook sportsbook director John Murray says his biggest liabilities include Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (20-1), whose status is uncertain with a knee injury, and the Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (30-1).
“And as usual we would lose big if there were no TDs in the game, which we have at 200-1,” Murray said via text message. “It gave us a real scare the last time the Rams were in the Super Bowl three years ago.”
New England eventually scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 13-3 win over the Rams to prevent that result.
Bennett said bookmakers have to accept that a long-term result could beat them. If McPherson somehow scores on a fake basket, oh, well.
“I’m going to challenge any guy that’s 150-1 or better to score the first touchdown,” he said.
But there is no point in taking more responsibility. McPherson’s odds fell to 750-1.