What is an Octopus in Football Betting – Learn About Octopus in Betting

What is an octopus in football betting? It’s a type of prop bet where you back a single player to score a touchdown and subsequent two-point conversion in the same drive.

This guide discusses octopus football betting, exploring its origin, what it entails, and how often it occurs in the NFL. Our experts also provide tips for wagering on an octopus bet. Read on to find out everything about this high-risk, high-reward prop bet.

NFL octopus betting

What is a Football Betting Octopus?

For those looking to learn how to bet on sports, Octopus betting is a simple market to understand. It’s a term coined by Sports Illustrated’s Mitch Goldich in 2018. In football betting, an octopus refers to when a player scores a touchdown and the subsequent two-point conversion. So, essentially, the player scores a total of eight points on the same drive. Hence the name ‘Octus’ – a sea creature with eight tentacles.

The concept of the “Octopus” in betting came about in 1994 with the introduction of the two-point conversion. Since then, this bet type has occurred only 188 times in NFL history, indicating its rarity. Considering how uncommon an octopus is in football betting, the prop wager often commands high odds on the top US sports betting apps.

Note that for an octopus bet to be complete, the same player must score the touchdown and the following two-point conversion. Passing touchdowns don’t count for the rushing/receiving player scoring the two-point conversion.

What is a 2-point Conversion in the NFL?

To understand ‘what is an octopus in football betting, an NFL bettor must know the meaning of a 2-point conversion. The 2-point conversion rule has been used in college football since the 1950s and was later adopted by the American Football League (AFL). However, the scoring rule only became active in the NFL in 1994.

Basically, a 2-point conversion, also known as a two-point attempt or two-point play, is a scoring option a team chooses after scoring a touchdown. And it carries more risk and reward than the traditional one-point conversion. For a 2-point conversion, the team attempts a play from the 2-yard line, hoping to get the ball into the endzone, just like scoring another touchdown.

To win a football-betting octopus wager, the same player must score both a touchdown and a 2-point attempt on a single drive. That is, the quarterback who throws the touchdown pass cannot score an octopus even if he runs for the two-point play.

A Brief History of NFL Octopus in Betting

Having understood octopus betting meaning, you may be wondering how the term ‘octopus’ came about. On one fine football Sunday sometime in 2018, during an NFL game between the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Commanders, Torry Smith pulled off a spectacular feat.

With the Panthers trailing 20-9 with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Torrey Smith received a pass from Cam Newton and scored a touchdown. Subsequently, Carolina opted for the two-point-play rather than the usual one-point, as Smith and Newton connected once again, bringing the scores to 20-17 in a few minutes.

This outstanding play prompted Mitch Goldich, a sports writer, to tweet about the game, acknowledging the play and asking his followers to suggest names for it. Mike Wallace, Goldich’s friend, proposed the name ‘Octopus.’ And this is how the sports betting octopus wager was born.

Now, NFL betting octopus is a popular term for prop bettors when wagering on the regular season, playoffs, or the Super Bowl.

How Often Does an NFL Betting Octopus Occur

As of May 2024, the octopus has been scored 188 times in a period spanning 30 decades, indicating its rareness. Seattle Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett registered the latest octopus on January 7th, 2024, in a game against the Arizona Cardinals. Coincidentally, Breece Hall helped the New York Jets score an octopus on the same day.

We’ll examine the last three NFL seasons and discuss how often octopus football betting has occurred in each campaign.

2021/22 Football Betting Octopus

Only three days after the commencement of the 2021/22 NFL season, Quintez Cephus of the Detroit Lions achieved an octopus in betting by scoring a touchdown and a two-point conversion on the same drive.

Throughout the season, a total of seven octopuses were scored. The campaign ended on January 9th, with the Colt’s Michael Pittman Jr. and Houston Texas’ Danny Amendola achieving an octopus in separate matches.

2022/23 Football Betting Octopus

Again, seven octopuses were scored during the 2022/23 NFL season. Jalen Hurts achieved two octopuses, helping bettors who wagered on football betting octopuses to earn massive payouts.

Patrick Mahomes and Michael Pittman Jr. were other players who pulled off the touchdown and subsequent two-point play.

2023/24 Football Betting Octopus

This season saw more successful octopus bets than the previous two – 11! After a drab first week, week 2 produced two octopuses, with Jerome Ford of the Cleveland Browns and Adam Thielen of the Carolina Panthers completing the eight-point play. Breece Hall and Tyler Lockett scored the last octopuses of the campaign.

Which Players Have Scored An Octopus in the NFL

Over 190 players have scored an octopus in the NFL since introducing the two-point conversion in 1994. Below are three top players who recently achieved an eight-point play in football betting octopus.

Patrick Mahomes

It’s no surprise to see Patrick Mahomes on this list. With three Super Bowl titles and four Super Bowl appearances since 2018, the 28-year-old is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

Surprisingly, this legendary player only has one successful octopus in his name. This singular octopus came in a Week 9 clash between the Chiefs and the Titans during the 2022/23 NFL season.

Mahomes’ eight-point haul brought the game level, inspiring his side to a win in the end. The QB scored both the touchdown and two-point conversion by rushing the ball into the endzone, not throwing a pass.

Jalen Hurts

The 25-year-old quarterback burst onto the scene in 2022 after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their conference’s top seed. Jalen Hurts also led the Eagles to the Super Bowl LVII that season and achieved an octopus in the big game against the Chiefs. It was a monumental one, as the player became the first player to score an octopus in Super Bowl history.

With the Eagles trailing late in the fourth quarter, Jalen Hurts delivered a Super Bowl octopus to level the scores. Unfortunately, Philadelphia still lost the game to the Chiefs in the end.

Travis Etienne Jr

A running back for the Jackson Jaguars, Travis Etienne Jr is another player who has achieved the rare feat of an octopus in the NFL.

In Week 7 of the 2022/23 NFL season, Etienne Jr scored an octopus, giving his side a 1-point lead against the New York Giants. Unfortunately, his eight-point haul couldn’t inspire the Jaguars to a win, as they lost 17-23.

Top Tips for Wagering a Football Betting Octopus

Now that you know what an octopus is in football betting, we’ll expose you to three key tips for making a successful octopus in betting wagers.

Focus on Close Games

Octopus bets are more likely to win in close games where coaches opt for two-point conversions rather than an extra point. So, look for teams regularly involved in close contests before sports betting on Octopus.

Touchdown Leaders

Before octopus in betting, do your research and find out which teams have players who consistently lead the league in touchdowns. Such players are more likely to be in scoring situations and achieve an Octopus.

Back Teams With a High 2-Point Conversion Rate

NFL teams with high 2-point conversion rates are likelier to achieve the eight-point play. So, it’s a good idea to browse ESPN and PFF for teams with consistently high two-point conversion rates throughout the season and place an Octopus bet on them.

Pros & Cons of Octopus Betting

Octopus betting is fast becoming a popular prop bet for NFL bettors in the US. Let’s explore the perks and downsides of this type of bet below.


  • Octopus rarely happen, so the odds and payouts are high
  • Exciting occurrence to experience
  • It helps you develop a strategic approach to betting
  • It sharpens your analysis skills


  • The chances of winning an octopus bet are low
  • Usually offered in big games only, like the Super Bowl

Octopus Football Betting FAQs

What is an octopus in betting?

What is a college football betting octopus?

Can you wager “No” when octopus football betting?

What are the odds for an NFL betting octopus?

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