Thursday Night Football Prop Bets & Picks: 3 Best Plays for 49ers vs. Cardinals
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Marquise Goodwin
- NFL Week 9 kicks off with a Thursday Night Football matchup between the undefeated San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals (8:20 p.m. ET on FOX/NFL Network).
- This piece cover 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin's receptions, Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake's receptions and QB Kyler Murray's passing touchdowns.
NFL player prop bets can offer some of the best betting value on the board in any given week. They typically feature smaller limits and take less action than traditional game bets, so the market can often be less efficient than NFL sides and totals.
This is where the FantasyLabs Player Props tool comes in handy.
We leverage prop bets against our player projections from Sean Koerner, the No. 1 in-season fantasy football ranker in three of the past four seasons.
Each prop bet then receives a Bet Quality grade between 1 and 10, with 10 being the biggest edge.
Note that unders have typically done the best in our tool. Last season unders were profitable even with grades below 10, with all hitting at a 59.0% rate. Don’t take our word for it, though: Our tool keeps track of its record at all times, so you can query performance of any time frame.
49ers vs. Cardinals Prop Bets
Let’s take a look at three props worth considering for the Thursday Night Football contest between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals.
49ers WR Marquise Goodwin
THE PICK: Under 2.5 receptions (-240)
This prop is already juiced up to -240, but it still represents one of the best betting values of the day.
Goodwin missed last week’s contest for personal reasons, which allowed newly-acquired Emmanuel Sanders to see the field for 82% of the 49ers’ snaps. It seems unlikely that goes down moving forward. Deebo Samuel also returned to the lineup after an injury absence, and played on 70% of the team’s snaps. Goodwin played on just seven total snaps in Week 7, so it appears that his role in the offense is dwindling.
The 49ers are also the most run-heavy teams in football. They’re currently rushing the ball on 57.51% of their offensive snaps, and only two other teams are above even 48.27%. Part of that is due to the fact that they’ve played with a lot of leads this season, but they still run the ball 53% of the time in one-score games. Only Sanders saw more than three targets among San Fran WRs last week, and Goodwin has seen three or fewer targets in five of six games this season.
These -240 odds translate to an implied probability of roughly 70%, and I think Goodwin’s chances of going under 2.5 receptions are much greater than that. I would play this prop up to -400.
Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake
THE PICK: Under 3.5 receptions (-125)
Drake will make his debut for the Cardinals, and he’s a pretty solid receiver out of the backfield. He’s caught at least three passes in each of his past five games despite playing an average of less than 60% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps.
That said, it’s unclear how much playing time he’ll see. He was acquired just three days ago, so he’s had very little time to get acclimated in a new offense. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that Drake will have a “manageable workload” vs. the 49ers, so it would be surprising to see him garner more than a handful of touches. The Cardinals also have Zach Zenner and Alfred Morris available, and David Johnson still has an outside shot of suiting up.
This is another line that seems way off given Drake’s projected role in his first game with his new team. I like the under up to -175.
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
THE PICK: Under 1.5 passing TDs (-220)
This matchup pits one team who really struggles to put the ball in the end zone vs. a team that’s awesome at keeping the opposing team out of it. The Cardinals offense has actually been pretty successful moving the ball, especially over the past few weeks, but their offense ranks dead last in red-zone TD percentage. They’ve struggled in particular to throw the ball into the end zone, with Murray throwing for zero TDs in five of eight games this season.
Meanwhile, the 49ers defense is an absolute juggernaut when it comes to shutting down opposing passing games. They rank first in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA thanks in part to a ferocious pass rush. The Cardinals’ offensive line is definitely a weakness, so this represents a huge mismatch in the trenches.
I like this prop at the current odds and would play it up to -250. I’d also be interested in investing in Murray under 0.5 TD passes for better odds if you can find an alternate line.