San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs NFL First Touchdown: Expert Picks & Predictions (2/11/24)
Get San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs First Touchdown picks & odds for their Super Bowl matchup (2/11/24).
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San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs 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 the first touchdown in the 49ers vs. Chiefs Super Bowl matchup?
Christian McCaffrey First Touchdown (+400 DraftKings)
Christian McCaffrey comes into the Super Bowl as the favorite to score the first touchdown and for good reason as it’s unlikely anyone in this game will be able to replicate his usage. He gets a massive advantage against a Chiefs front seven that struggles against the run and will also get his shots as a key feature of the 49ers pass attack. Unlike past versions of this article where we put a unit on each player, this one will be a tad more strategic.
The 49ers come into the contest boasting impressive metrics of second in Rush DVOA, first in Rush Success Rate, and first in Rush EPA. Not only do they do it well, but they may do so at a high rate in order to dominate time of possession and keep Mahomes off the field.
Their offensive line will be in a position to dominate once again as they push back against a Chiefs front four that ranks 25th in Def Adjusted Line Yards.
With high quality gaps across the trenches, McCaffrey will get an opportunity to routinely shred the Chiefs front seven thatranks 27th in Def Rush DVOA, 16th in Def Rush Success Rate, and 28th in Def Rush EPA.
As previously mentioned, this version of the first touchdown scorer will be a tad more strategic than years past since we are going top heavy this time around. Place one unit on Christian McCaffrey at the best available odds you can find, as well as a half unit on the next two mentioned ones. This helps lessen the potential loss in profit should McCaffrey be the first scorer, sacrificing one full unit against him instead of two.
Isaiah Pacheco First Touchdown (+650 DraftKings)
Much like Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers offense, the Chiefs advantages when they have the ball also reside on the ground. That plays directly into Pacheco’s hands who has established himself as the Chiefs lead back, being in the best position to punch one in when the Chiefs are in scoring position.
ISIAH PACHECO IS IN FOR THE TOUCHDOWN pic.twitter.com/ZeXTmnboCq
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) January 28, 2024
Stopping the run has been an issue for the 49ers all season long and they have shown no improvement in the playoffs. Expect those same struggles to show up in the Super Bowl as the 49ers front seven ranks 15th in Def Rush DVOA, 24th in Def Rush Success Rate, and 26th in Def Rush EPA. Their front four does a far better job at limiting production in the trenches, yet their linebackers are prone to giving up yardage should Pacheco break through.
Better yet for Pacheco’s chances of cashing this prop, the 49ers secondary is in a position to severely limit the Chiefs pass production. The 49ers rank fourth in Def Pass DVOA, sixth in Def Pass EPA, and seventh in Def Pass Success Rate. With touchdowns most likely coming at a premium, the Chiefs will need to maximize on their scoring opportunities and limit turnover worthy plays which means they will give Pacheco opportunities to punch one in on the ground.
Rashee Rice First Touchdown (+1000 Caesars)
The 49ers defense may be elite in coverage, but that doesn’t mean that the Chiefs pass game will be totally shut down. Having the best quarterback in the league in Patrick Mahomes helps soften the blow, as well as getting the benefit of star tight end Travis Kelce demanding the brunt of the defensive attention.
The Chiefs pass metrics have dipped in comparison to years past, though they are still relatively efficient. They come into the contest ranked eighth in Pass DVOA, 12th in Pass EPA, and eighth in Pass Success Rate. Their “regression” is in large part of an underwhelming group of pass catchers, a unit that has struggled with consistency for a majority of the season.
One pass catcher that has been a consistent source of production for Mahomes is Rashee Rice, their rookie wide receiver who has quickly developed into a go-to target on the outside. The Chiefs will need to lean on Rice catching balls on the outside against the 49ers coverage as their scheme is built to limit production in the middle. Expect Rice to be a recipient of rollouts in the red zone.