Sports Illustrated writer Mitch Goldich first originated the term “Octopus” in 2019. The term refers to a football player scoring a touchdown and subsequently converting a two-point play. This occurrence will now always be known as the octopus, and it has happened 175 times since 1994.
This statistical novelty has gotten popular, unsurprisingly, with bettors, leading sportsbooks to introduce octopus football betting options as part of their usual prop offerings.
What’s a Two-Point Conversion?
The two-point conversion rule plays a crucial role in understanding octopus football bets. After scoring a touchdown, the scoring team can opt for a one-point conversion by kicking through the uprights or attempt a two-point conversion by advancing the ball across the goal line from the two-yard line.
To clarify, quarterbacks cannot throw the ball for both the touchdown and the two-point conversion in an octopus prop bet. The player must secure the ball in the end zone for both instances. While an octopus bet may include a quarterback, they must personally run the ball in for both the touchdown and the conversion.
Patrick Mahomes did this in week nine of the 2021/22 season when he ran a 14-yard touchdown against the Titans then followed up by running the ball in himself to convert the two-point play.
NFL Octopus Bet Examples
In the world of sports betting, the octopus market typically falls under the “novelty prop” section for NFL games, and will often show up in both Player Props and Game Props. It will look something like this:
The odds of the octopus happening in the game above are priced at +1400. That means that if you were to place a $20 bet on the YES, and a single player scored a touchdown and the subsequent two-point conversion, you’d walk away with a $300 win.
Another example of an octopus football bet could be framed as a novelty prop for the Super Bowl:
As these are the same odds as above, the same math applies – your winning $20 bet would earn $300. Fun fact? There’s never been an octopus in a Super Bowl. Yet.
History of the NFL Octopus
The term became relevant only after 1994 when the two-point conversion was introduced to the NFL, having originated in college football in the late 1950s and later adopted by the American Football League.