San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings NFL First Touchdown: Expert Picks & Predictions (10/23/23)
The San Francisco 49ers battle the Minnesota Vikings in Monday Night Football (10/23/23). Get 49ers vs. Vikings First Touchdown best bets, as well as a player prop search tool to optimize odds shopping for Sunday night’s game.
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San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings First Touchdown Picks
The goal of the First Touchdown prop is to identify which player will score the first touchdown of the game. Who will score first in the 49ers vs. Vikings game?
Brandon Aiyuk First TD (+800 BMGM)
San Francisco has scored the first touchdown every game, and they own an astonishing 83.3 first drive touchdown percentage, which leads the NFL. Minnesota sans Justin Jefferson can still put up points, but backing the 49ers based on both offenses and defenses involved is the wise move.
Brandon Aiyuk paces San Francisco in target share, receptions, and yards while being one receiving touchdown behind tight end George Kittle. From a global perspective, he ranks 3rd across the NFL in yards per route run and 2nd in overall receiving grade (per PFF, min. 20 targets). The ascending star is clearly Brock Purdy’s top target, and his matchup is excellent.
The Vikings rank 19th in percentage of opposing drives ending in an offensive score. Minnesota’s secondary has allowed the 8th most receiving touchdowns and 2nd most receptions. Opposing passing offenses are feasting against the Vikings, and this 49ers offense should roll right through them. With Deebo Samuel out, Aiyuk’s competition is slashed too.
Based on the odds, Aiyuk must score the first touchdown about 11 percent of the time for the bet to have a positive expected value.
Christian McCaffrey First TD (+410 BetRivers)
As long as McCaffrey is on the field, he’s a massive first touchdown threat regardless of matchup. Entering the week, he led the NFL in red zone carries, and that’s not even including his prolific red zone receiving usage. “CMC” owns nine touchdowns through six games and is tied for the most first touchdowns at three.
Minnesota has only allowed two touchdowns to running backs all year, and McCaffrey is dealing with an oblique injury. However, he’s simply a must play at +410 odds given his usage and knack for finding the end zone. At those odds, he must score first about 19 percent of the time.
Kyle Juszczyk First TD (+4000 DK)
Let’s get a little funky. It’s reasonable that Kyle Shanahan won’t be eager to send the injured McCaffrey into the scrum to pick up a one or two-yard touchdown. He’s too important to their team’s success, so San Francisco must keep him healthy for the playoffs. Backup running back Elijah Mitchell is still shaking off the injury rust too – he only saw two carries last week.
Meanwhile, a Brock Purdy quarterback sneak seems unlikely given his frame. That leaves Jordan Mason and Kyle Juszczyk as the two likely options to punch it into the end zone. Based on the choices, Juszczyk would be the optimal player because the 236 pound fullback can drive his way through the pile.
Shanahan is known to spread the ball around, reward his non-glamorous players, and score via creative plays. Juszczyk certainly qualifies, and it’s worth noting that he’s the only 49er besides McCaffrey to have an inside the five yard line carry.
He must score first about 2 percent of the time.
Jordan Addison First Vikings TD (+500 FD)
With Justin Jefferson on injured reserve, rookie Jordan Addison is Kirk Cousins’ top target. He leads Minnesota in red zone targets over the past two weeks (since Jefferson’s injury), and Addison also paces the Vikings at four receiving touchdowns.
Minnesota ranks 3rd in passing attempts per game, 2nd in passing touchdowns per game, and has not scored a single rushing touchdown. It’s extremely likely that they score through the air rather than on the ground via Alexander Mattison.
San Francisco hasn’t allowed a slot receiver to score all season, and opposing tight ends own a combined one touchdown against them. When their defense does break, it’s outside receivers that are responsible. Therefore, this matchup doesn’t bode well for KJ Osborn or TJ Hockenson.
Addison needs to score Minnesota’s first touchdown about 16 percent of the time.