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49ers vs. Cardinals prediction: Four prop bets for Monday Night Football

Bet on Arizona running back James Conner to top his projected rushing total in Mexico City

Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner had a season-high 69 rushing yards in last week's road victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Conner is projected for 50.5 rushing yards on Monday night against San Francisco in Mexico City. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner had a season-high 69 rushing yards in last week's road victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Conner is projected for 50.5 rushing yards on Monday night against San Francisco in Mexico City. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)Read moreThearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

One name you won’t see among our 49ers vs. Cardinals props predictions for Monday Night Football: Kyler Murray.

While the Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback had not been officially ruled out as of late Monday morning, it has been widely reported that he will miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury.

That means veteran backup Colt McCoy will start under center for Arizona when it faces the 49ers in Mexico City. So you will see McCoy’s name as part of our four pack of Monday Night Football player prop predictions.

However, we start a player who will be standing behind McCoy all night at Estadio Azteca — a player who figures to touch the pigskin a lot in this NFC West clash.

Note: Odds updated as of 12:15 p.m. on Nov. 21.

49ers vs. Cardinals prop: James Conner total rushing yards

  1. Odds: 50.5 yards, Over -120/Under -110 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

With Murray out last week, Conner handled the majority of Arizona’s backfield work against the Los Angeles Rams. The veteran running back rushed 21 times for 69 yards and two scores.

On Monday, Conner — who is as physical as any tailback not named Derrick Henry — will butt heads against the second-best run defense in the NFL. The 49ers give up just 82.7 ground yards per game.

That includes limiting five of nine teams — not just opposing running backs — to less than 65 total rushing yards. In the last two weeks, San Francisco held both Los Angeles teams (Rams and Chargers) to 56 and 51 rushing yards, respectively.

Still, we think Conner is a strong bet to beat his rushing prop number at BetMGM. Because when McCoy subbed for Murray last year in a Week 9 game at San Francisco, Conner rumbled for 96 yards on 21 carries — and also caught five passes for 77 yards — in a 31-17 upset victory.

Even though his 69 rushing yards in L.A. last week were a season high for Conner, he has produced consistent rushing totals in his last four games: 69, 45, 55 and 55 yards. But what is most impressive is he piled up those 224 combined rushing yards on just 52 carries. That’s a robust 4.3-yards-per-tote average.

If we’re correct that Conner will get a lot of work Monday to take pressure off McCoy — like he did last week in L.A. and last year in San Francisco — he’ll probably see 17-22 carries. If so, he’ll only need to average 3 yards per carry to get Over this rushing prop number at BetMGM.

» READ MORE: 49ers vs. Cardinals prediction: Back Arizona as a big underdog in Mexico City

49ers vs. Cardinals prop: Christian McCaffrey total rushing attempts

  1. Odds: 15.5 attempts, Over -105/Under -125 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Under

McCaffrey went up against the Cardinals in Week 4 when he was still with the Panthers and rushed just eight times for 27 yards. Why so few touches? Because he was used more in the passing game, hauling in all nine of his targets for 81 yards and a touchdown.

We expect San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan to deploy McCaffrey in a similar way Monday against Arizona, which fields one the league’s worst pass defenses.

Not only are the Cardinals allowing 247.1 passing yards per game, but they let opposing QBs complete 68.5% of their passes — the fourth-highest completion rate in the league. That plays right into the hands of the 49ers’ offensive identity: QB Jimmy Garoppolo is asked to make short, safe, quick throws, and let his weapons like McCaffrey take it from there.

McCaffrey did rush 18 times two weeks ago in the Niners’ 31-14 blowout of the Rams. But otherwise, he’s tallied eight and 14 carries since being traded from Carolina. And his last three games with the Panthers, he had eight, 14 and 13 carries.

In fact, McCaffrey has gone over 15.5 carries just twice in nine games this season. Play this one Under.

» READ MORE: Eagles favored against Aaron Rodgers, Packers in Week 12 primetime matchup

49ers vs. Cardinals prop: Colt McCoy total interceptions thrown

  1. Odds: 0.5, Over -155/Under +115 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Under

If you caught our 49ers vs. Cardinals Monday Night Football betting preview, you know that we don’t see a ton of downside in McCoy starting over Murray in this game.

That opinion is mostly rooted in the fact that McCoy takes much better care of the football than Murray — which is always a huge deal, but especially so against a top-ranked defense like San Francisco.

McCoy was nearly flawless in relief of Murray last week in Los Angeles, going 26-for-37 for 238 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 27-17 win. And he was even more efficient in last year’s 14-point Cardinals victory in San Francisco, going 22-for-26 for 249 yards with one TD and no picks.

Those two efforts are part of a lengthy stretch of mostly mistake-free play by McCoy. In his last five starts, he’s put the ball in the air 136 times and it’s landed in the hands of the other team just once.

Go back to the 2020 season and McCoy has just two INTs in his last 202 pass attempts. Take it back further to 2015, and McCoy has thrown 294 passes in his last 20 games (nine starts) and been picked off six times.

As for the 49ers’ secondary, it ranks 10th in the league in passing yards allowed (fewer than 200 per game). But that secondary has just seven interceptions (tied for 21st in the league), including only two in the last four contests.

Bet on McCoy to be extra cautious when he puts the pigskin in the air Monday (which probably won’t be more than 25 times).

49ers vs. Cardinals prop: Jimmy Garoppolo total touchdown passes thrown

  1. Odds: 1.5, Over -123/Under -111 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

  2. Prediction: Over

Garoppolo went into last week’s game against the Chargers having thrown two touchdown passes in four straight contests. That streak was halted when the 49ers’ quarterback failed to connect with a teammate in the end zone.

It was the first time in eight starts this season that Jimmy G failed to throw at least one touchdown. We think he starts a new streak Monday in Mexico City.

For one thing, Garoppolo has absolutely lit up Arizona since being traded from the Patriots. In four starts, he has tossed a total of 12 TDs and averaged 331.5 passing yards.

As we noted in the McCaffrey section, the Cardinals’ secondary has been carved up this season. More importantly as it pertains to this 49ers vs. Cardinals prop, the 17 TD passes Arizona has allowed are tied for fifth-most in the league.

Also, other than the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes in Week 1, Arizona hasn’t faced a murderer’s row of passers. We’re talking Derek Carr, a seriously regressing Matthew Stafford, Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts, Geno Smith (twice), Andy Dalton, Kirk Cousins and John Wofford (Stafford’s backup in L.A.).

While Wofford had just one TD toss last week, the previous three quarterbacks the Cardinals faced — Smith (two), Cousins (two) and Dalton (four) — threw for multiple touchdowns.

With weapons like McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle to target, look for Jimmy G to ring up two TDs for the fifth time in six games.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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