Why Betting On A Safety In The Super Bowl Is Probably Bad Value

Written By Nicole Russo on February 9, 2022 - Last Updated on February 10, 2022
super bowl safety odds

One of the more popular prop bets you can make on Super Bowl 56 is whether or not there will be a safety in the game. Super Bowl safety odds might be even more popular this year with a seemingly huge defensive mismatch on paper between the Bengals and the Rams.

There’s no doubt the Rams’ defensive trio of Leonard Floyd, Von Miller and Aaron Donald will bring the pressure. But will that result in two defensive points during the game? We’ll break down the odds and value for betting on this Super Bowl prop.

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Super Bowl Safety Odds

Many online sportsbooks have posted early odds for this defensive prop market. When it comes to a simple “Yes” or “No” on whether or not there will be a safety in the game, the odds are as follows:

Safety "Yes"
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Safety "No"
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Is There Value On A Yes Bet?

So far this season, neither of these teams have recorded a safety during a game. Overall, safeties have been few and far between this year.

Out of the 32 NFL teams, there were a total of eight safeties during the 2021 NFL season. That’s about 3% of games. In addition to this, no team had more than one safety.

Nine of the past 55 Super Bowls have had a safety (16%), but it’s probably smarter to look at the larger sample of all NFL games.

The most recent article done on how many NFL games have had a safety was back in 2011 in the New York Times. To that point, the author found every 14.24 NFL games had a safety (around 7% of games).

Therefore, the odds on “yes” do not represent great value for the consumer, considering +800 odds imply an 11% chance of a safety.

How Popular Is The Safety Super Bowl Prop Bet?

Just how popular is this prop wager amongst bettors across the country? TheLines talked with BetMGM Sports Trader Christian Cipollini about whether or not this bet cracked the top five in terms of overall handle.

“It wasn’t in the top five. It definitely takes bets. There are nine different ways to bet around it, nine different safety outcomes, so it does get bet around in different ways. But we do take a lot of safety money now after the Brocos Seahawks Super Bowl. The odds are juicy at +750.”

In Super Bowl XLVIII, a bad snap went over Peyton Manning’s head and was recovered by Bronco’s running back Knowshon Moreno in the end zone to limit the damage to two points.

It was the first time in Super Bowl history that the game started with a safety, and now the bet’s popularity has skyrocketed ever since.

Variations of this bet include first scoring play five ways for both teams, the outcome of the Bengals’ first drive, and the outcome of the Rams’ first drive. All of these markets include safety as one of the options.

When it comes to calculating odds for this specific market, Cipollini takes the probability of a safety happening in a game and keeps the odds standard across each game during the season.

While it may not have cracked the top-five for BetMGM this year in terms of handle, this prop bet is one of the sportsbook’s biggest liabilities.

“For first scoring play, field goal is taking the most money but safety is the biggest liability and taking the second-most money. After safety was the first scoring play a few years ago we will always see action on it from here on out.”

Super Bowl 56 Prop Finder

Photo by Associated Press
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Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for TheLines.com. Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for PlayTenn.com and PlayIndiana.com. She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

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