What Is an Octopus Bet? Explainer for Super Bowl LVII

Earlier this week, DraftKings and BetRivers released a novelty prop bet under the title of “Will There Be an Octopus? for Super Bowl LVII: Chiefs vs. Eagles.

No, it’s not some sort of distorted philosophical pontification. Nor is it a joke. An octopus is a real football stat invented in 2019 by Mitch Goldich, a writer from Sports Illustrated.

It occurs when the same player who scores a touchdown also scores the ensuing two-point conversion.

The two-point conversion was introduced to the league in 1994 and there have only been 175 recorded instances in NFL history.

Six players have converted octopuses (octopi?) this season — including the two quarterbacks set to compete in Super Bowl LVII, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes .

The fellow octopus holders include Browns running back Nick Chubb, Panthers running back D’Onta Foreman, Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. and Texans tight end Jordan Atkins.

Todd Gurley leads all players in NFL history with four octopuses during his tenure with the Rams. Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss is second-best all-time with three.

Will There Be An Octopus for Chiefs vs. Eagles?

Betting odds of +1400 imply a probability of 6.67%. That’s the break-even point — if you believe that there’s better than a 6.67% chance that an octopus will take place, then this bet offers value.

There have been roughly 7,800 NFL games since the two-point conversion was implemented in ’94. With 175 recorded octopuses — each occurring in different games — that means the raw odds of it taking place are around 2.24%.

So, you’re paying a roughly 4.4% premium just by inputting the wager on yes at 14-1 odds.

If you’re adamant it won’t happen, you’ll get some betting edge for your money, but you’ll need to risk a decent chunk of change to extract any of that value.

The market-best price is with BetRivers at -3335. That implies a probability of 97.1%. The probability that an octopus doesn’t occur is around 97.8%, which gives the a “no” wager about a 0.7% edge.

A bet of $100 on “yes” would net you a profit of $1,400. A $100 wager on “no” nets $3.

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