This game might not matter a whole lot to the Arizona Cardinals as a franchise, in fact, a win could really damage their draft positioning. But individual players still have plenty to fight for as they look to prove that they should be part of Arizona’s future plans, or those of another franchise. Meanwhile, every game is crucial for the San Francisco 49ers, so their stars will be out in full force. Let’s get into some 49ers vs. Cardinals player prop picks and odds for the Sunday (12/17/23) matchup, including bets on stars like Christian McCaffrey and Kyler Murray.
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San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals Player Prop Picks
In a game where the Niners should maintain a major lead, expect San Francisco to keep it on the ground, while the trailing Cardinals will likely have to turn to the air early and often.
Christian McCaffrey Over 88.5 Rushing Yards (-115)
McCaffrey is well on the way to leading the NFL in rushing for the first time in his fantastic career. He’s over 250 yards beyond former 49er Raheem Mostert in second place. Much of his success is due to his unparalleled running ability, but you need opportunity as well.
The Niners have given him just that, as they seemingly refuse to remove him from games or lessen his workload even in blowouts, where any running back could be used to run out the clock. With Elijah Mitchell out, expect that trend to be even more prominent.
This game is one where you could see just that script play out. The Niners are favored by nearly two touchdowns, and could win by even more, as they won by a score of 35-16 in the two teams’ previous matchup in early October. McCaffrey had a tremendous game as he ran for over 100 yards on 20 carries.and scored a total of four touchdowns.
He could replicate that performance and then some against a Cardinals defense that ranks 28th in DVOA against the run and 32nd in adjusted line yards. McCaffrey has been over this number in four of his past five games, so it wouldn’t exactly be unfamiliar territory. Sometimes, it’s hard to know if the Stanford legend will do most of his damage on the ground or through the air. But in a game that could quickly turn into a blowout, with his backup injured, it’s fairly safe to assume that he’ll be carrying the ball all day long.
Kyler Murray Over 209.5 Passing Yards (-115)
This prop is the other side of the same coin. If the Cardinals are losing, Murray will be throwing. Sheer volume will be his friend in this one, as it could get out of hand quickly for Arizona. In the last game between these two teams, even Joshua Dobbs threw for 265 yards on 41 attempts. There’s no reason to expect any less of Murray, especially as his rushing volume is down this year as he makes his comeback from an ACL injury.
Since he’s been back, Murray has cracked this number in three of his four games, just not his most recent outing against a good Steelers defense in a surprising win. This time, he’s facing a solid defense again, but in a game where the Cardinals should be expecting to get blown out, he should throw the ball so many times that it doesn’t matter. Murray attempted 23 passes against Pittsburgh, his only game below 30 since coming back. There’s no way this week is a repeat of that figure, or anything closely resembling it.
Trey McBride Over 49.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Not many people would have predicted this before the season, but with just a few weeks to go, Trey McBride leads the Cardinals in receiving yards. After racking up just 265 yards last year, he’s averaging nearly 47 per game this season, but he should outpace that figure against San Francisco.
In his second NFL season, McBride is on the verge of breaking out as a true star at the tight end position. No tight end is picking up more than the 30.1% of first-read targets he’s seeing when Murray is in at quarterback, so in this pass-heavy contest for the Cardinals, he should see a tremendous workload. His figure of 2.32 yards per route run is also one of the best among tight ends. Only Travis Kelce and George Kittle are doing better, that’s some seriously good company.
At this point of the season, injuries are a huge part of all analyses, and this prop is no exception. Marquise Brown missed Cardinals practice on Thursday. If he’s out, McBride’s share will only grow. On the other side of things, the Niners could be missing a handful of key starters on defense, most notably for McBride, Dre Greenlaw, so his job could be easier than it might usually be against San Francisco.
Jake Moody Over 3.5 Extra Points Made (+130)
Of course, this prop is hardly about Moody himself. It’s a proxy for betting on the Niners to score at least four touchdowns, and +130 odds for that to happen in this game is some phenomenal value. The Niners’ team total of 30.5 implies approximately four touchdowns, so it’s hard to see why this would be an unexpected outcome. Their red-zone offense is the league’s third most efficient, scoring touchdowns on 66% of trips inside the 20, while the Cardinals’ defense is 20th in the same category.
As the Niners have surged again, Moody has cracked this number in four of his past five games, including each of the past three. In the one game where he stayed under, he hit exactly three extra points in a tough game against the Bucs. There should be little resistance provided by the Arizona defense, and even in blowouts, kickers don’t get benched; Moody should have plentiful opportunities to convert point after tries.