Raise your hand if you think the 49ers are the best team in the NFL. A few weeks ago, not many people would have asked that question, but it could very well be true as Week 9 of the NFL kicks off Thursday night in the desert.
San Francisco (7-0) is coming off their most impressive win of the season, a 51-13 drubbing of the Panthers. Jimmy Garoppolo looks healthy and the Niners D leads the NFL in total defense, allowing just 224.4 yards per game. The acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders is huge for an offense that lacked a proven playmaker at wide receiver. Sanders caught four passes for 25 yards and a touchdown in his debut last Sunday. RB Tevin Coleman is coming off a four-touchdown game against Carolina.
Arizona (3-4-1) played New Orleans tough for 2.5 quarters but eventually, the wheels fell off in a 31-9 loss to the Saints. The Cardinals will be without RB Chase Edmonds on Thursday who continues to battle a hamstring injury. Fellow RB David Johnson is officially questionable with an ankle injury. Arizona acquired RB Kenyan Drake this week in a trade with the Dolphins to solidify depth at the position.
Here’s are the best prop bets and non-spread picks for the Thursday night matchup between the 49ers and Cardinals. All odds are courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook
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1st Quarter Under 9.5 (-144)
San Francisco and Arizona are ranked sixth and seventh in the NFL, respectively, allowing just 3.3 and 3.4 points per game in the first quarter this season. The primetime trend this year has been games staying under the total, especially in the first half and first quarter. I expect San Francisco’s offense to come back to down to earth a bit after their 51-point outburst last Sunday. Feel free to play the first half under in this game as well, currently sitting at 22.5 and -110 odds.
49ers Team Total Under 27 Points (-118)
This is strictly a value bet based on the overreaction to San Francisco’s blowout win over Carolina. One lesson I’ve learned betting the NFL, you’re never as good or as bad as you look on any given week. Yes, the 49ers appeared unstoppable against the Panthers, but the contrarian approach has been profitable this season. There is also some data to back up this trend. Since 2014, the under is 8-2 when an away favorite has scored at least 50 points in their previous game.
Kyler Murray Over 0.5 Interceptions (-192)
You’re swallowing a lot of juice with this bet, but it feels like a winner. Murray hasn’t thrown a pick in his last four games, but he did throw four in his first three starts and is facing a 49ers team that is second in the NFL with 10 picks this season. I expect the game flow to work in favor of this bet, as Arizona will most likely be behind and forced to throw the ball in the second half.
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith