Earlier in the week, we looked at a juicy Week 7 "teaser bet" involving the 49ers. Today, lets look at the most appealing prop bets in the 49ers-Patriots contest.
SF to score first (+104)
Since Week 1 of last year (including playoffs), the Patriots have scored first in 59 percent (13-9) of their games, while the 49ers have done so at a 72-percent (17-8) clip. Despite Bill Belichick's respected mind and scripted opening drives, the Patriots have surprisingly struggled on the first possession of games.
This season, the Patriots have scored on their first possession only once (1-4, 20 percent) while the Niners converted 67 percent (4-2). Since 2019 (including playoffs), New England cashed in on 36 percent (8-14) of opening drives, compared to San Francisco's 68-percent (17-8) rate. Belichick is notorious for choosing to kickoff to start games. If he wins the coin toss, Kyle Shanahan often scores on his first possession.
SF to make the longest field goal (-115)
When analyzing the longest field goal props, books tend to get lazy and set numbers based solely on which team is more likely to win. For instance, the Patriots and Niners are expected to be close, so both teams have a -115 price. In an expected blowout like the Bills/Jets game, the Bills cost -135 while the Jets are +105. Books don't give much thought to the value of each individual kicker. This is a weakness bettors can exploit.
When analyzing "longest field goal" props, consider which team is going to get more field goal attempts, which kicker is more accurate and which kicker has a more powerful leg. Simply put, 49ers' kicker Robbie Gould is better than Patriots kicker Nick Folk in every way. If Robbie is gold, Nick is aluminum.
Gould has a better career field goal percentage by 6.2 percent, but that difference nearly doubles when you examine field goal percentage from beyond 50 yards. In fact, Belichick may not even trust Folk on deep tries as he's 0-for-1 from 50-plus yards this season and his longest field goal is only 43 yards. Gould has hit 2-of-3 from 50-plus yards and has Shanahan's complete confidence.
Kendrick Bourne will score a TD (+330)
Last season when Kendrick Bourne dropped two passes against Seattle in Week 10, it seemed to motivate him in subsequent weeks as he caught 12-of-15 targets and three touchdowns during his next four games. Last week was another prime time game and another two-drop effort against a division opponent. Look for Bourne to respond in the red zone as Belichick focuses on stopping Deebo Samuel and George Kittle.
Bourne has caught only one touchdown pass in six games this season after averaging 4.5 touchdown catches the past two seasons. He is due to find the end zone.
Pizza money plays
Below are what I call, "Pizza money" plays. They're not official plays. They're for bettors who want to exchange a few dollars for a thrill.
JaMycal Hasty to score game's first TD (+1600)
Cam Newton scores Patriots first TD (+500)
Kendrick Bourne scores at least two TD (+3000)
JaMycal Hasty scores at least two TD (+2400)