NFL first touchdown scorer Week 12 picks and stats

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NFL first touchdown scorer player prop picks

After a mediocre showing in Week 10, my first touchdown betting system was back in full force for Week 11. All season I’ve been tracking every first touchdown for every team, and using that to only bet on players from the better FTD (first touchdown) team. This week, my system correctly predicted which team would score the first touchdown in nine of 14 games. Not bad!

Before I dig into the Thanksgiving games and the rest of Week 12, here are some takeaways from last week in what I like to call, friends and foes.

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Friends

Ravens reliable run game: The two bets I cashed this week were probably the two I felt the best about when I placed them. Gus Edwards (+650 at DraftKings) was the first one to come through. As I’ve mentioned in nearly every article this season, the Ravens are about as reliable as an afternoon nap on Turkey Day. In the 10 games where Baltimore scored the first touchdown, eight of them were via running back or Lamar Jackson’s legs. They’ve only failed to score first one time this season, no need to stray no matter the opponent.

Christian McCaffrey: CMC was the other bet I cashed this week. Thankfully, I put two units on him since his odds are so short (+300 at DK), which helped me come out of the week profitable. If you read my article last week, I had a strong feeling that they’d be anxious to get him in the endzone quickly since his consecutive games with a touchdown streak just ended. He has six TFTDs (team-first touchdowns) on the season, most in the NFL, he’s too trustworthy to pass up.

Foes

Travis Kelce: The first-ballot Hall of Fame tight end scored the Chiefs first touchdown NINE times last year, including all three of their playoff games. But can you guess how many he has so far this season? Zip, zero, zilch. And that’s why I stupidly keep betting him! Every week it seems like it’s going to be the time he gets open for a score. Like the squirle (sic) smashing some bread in a 2011 Kelce tweet, I’m smashing my phone every time somebody else scores for KC.

The Commanders: Washington entered the week on a three-game FTD streak and were facing the NFL’s worst FTD team in the Giants. It seemed like a no-brainer! But the Commanders allowed Tommy DeVito to look like an actual NFL QB and throw a dime to Saquon Barkley for the game’s first score. The Giants success now makes the Jets the worst team in the NFL, having scored first just once this year. I’ll still be fading the G-Men plenty, but I’ll never trust the Commanders again.

WHO?! Spotlight: I’ve been flagging Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson as somebody to keep our eye on in this market and finally pulled the trigger this week. Despite only having four touchdowns this season, three of them have been TFTDs. He seemed to be a genius pick! But no, who does Dallas score with this week? Their OTHER tight end, Luke Schoonmaker. The second-round rookie entered the game with nine targets on the year and one touchdown which game way back in Week 2. If you happened to see this coming, you could have cashed in on him at +3500. Honorable mention goes to the Chargers TE Stone Smartt who scored a TFTD against the Packers. Smartt (yes, with two t’s), entered the game with 2 receptions for 29 yards. Go away, randoms!

Here are all of Week 12’s games with their 2023 FTD success rates:

Packers (40.0%) at Lions (60.0%) – Thanksgiving, 12:30 PM ET
Commanders (45.5%)  at Cowboys (60.0%) – Thanksgiving, 4:30 PM ET
49ers (80.0%) at Seahawks (60.0%) – Thanksgiving, 8:20 PM ET
Dolphins (40.0%) at Jets (10.0%) – Friday, 3 PM ET
Jaguars (70.0%) at Texans (50.0%) – Sunday, 1 PM ET
Steelers (30.0%) at Bengals (50.0%) – Sunday, 1 PM ET
Panthers (40.0%) at Titans (20.0%) – Sunday, 1 PM ET
Saints (40.0%) at Falcons (50.0%) – Sunday, 1 PM ET
Buccaneers (20.0%) at Colts (50.0%) – Sunday, 1 PM ET
Patriots (30.0%) at Giants (18.2%) – Sunday, 1 PM ET
Browns (50.0%) at Broncos (60.0%) – Sunday, 4:05 PM ET
Rams (40.0%) at Cardinals (36.4%) – Sunday, 4:05 PM ET
Bills (54.5%) at Eagles (60.0%) – Sunday, 4:25 PM ET
Chiefs (80.0%) at Raiders (72.3%) – Sunday, 4:25 PM ET
Ravens (90.1%) at Chargers (70.0%) – Sunday, 8:20 PM ET
Bears (45.5%) at Vikings (72.3%) – Monday, 8:15 PM ET

And here are the games I find to be the most bettable this week:

49ers (80.0%) at Seahawks (60.0%) – Thanksgiving, 8:20 PM ET

Christian McCaffrey has scored San Fran’s first touchdown in six of their ten games. I’m going to put two, maybe even three units on him. For insurance, I’ll take Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel as well. The nice thing about McCaffrey’s odds being so short, is everybody else’s become longer than they would be if they were on another team. 

Dolphins (40.0%) at Jets (10.0%) – Friday, 3 PM ET

Despite the great offense, Miami has not been impressive in this market. But, I will take any chance I can to fade the Jets who have just one FTD all season. Tyreek Hill and Raheem Mostert have been their most popular options with four and three TFTDs respectively. I won’t blame you if you pick another Dolphin, just DO NOT BET A JET, especially with Tim Boyle taking the snaps.

Ravens (90.1%) at Chargers (70.0%) – Sunday, 8:20 PM ET

Yes, the Chargers are a solid FTD team, but these are the Ravens, the 2023 FTD kings so far. I have been betting on Gus Edwards and Lamar Jackson nearly every week and I’m going to do the same here. Plus, LA has been all over the place with their FTD targets, scoring first with seven different players in ten games. Keenan Allen is the only temptation, as he has three TFTDs, but I’m sticking to the Ravens side.

Bears (45.5%) at Vikings (72.3%) – Monday, 8:15 PM ET

The Vikings are the hottest FTD team in the game right now, scoring first in six straight. They have mixed it up recently though, going to five different players in their last five outings. The most reliable player is Jordan Addison by far. He has four TFTDs, so I’ve gotta think he’ll be back in the mix after a short break from scoring. I also have to go with Joshua Dobbs. He’s scored a rushing TD in all three of his games with Minnesota, and even did so in his final two with Arizona. He’s just been so impressive this season, I can’t not bet on the aerospace engineer/NFL quarterback!

Follow me on X (@billzinmepocket) for my official bets each Sunday morning and let me know who you like!

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Stephanie hails from Massachusetts and has been a die-hard Boston sports fan since she was 10. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, so it goes without saying college sports are of no interest to her. She joined VSiN in 2019, producing nearly every show on the network at one point or another. You may have heard hosts refer to her as “Producer Steph” but she refuses to speak on air, which she says is her “literal nightmare.” She became a writer for VSiN.com accidentally, summarizing some thoughts on the NFL First Touchdown market with expectations of a real writer turning it into an article. But look at her now, her own author bio on VSiN.com!