Get Your Kicks in Mexico City

NFL Nov 21, 2022

[MNF] San Francisco vs. Arizona (at Mexico City)
Line: 49ers -10
O/U: 43.5


Analysis:

Kyler Murray will reportedly not start tonight for the Arizona Cardinals. If he doesn’t play, that leaves backup Colt McCoy to start another road game. In our estimation, Murray is worth 4-5 points to the Cardinals. We’d make this line SFO -3 on a neutral site (Mexico City). McCoy played well at LA Rams last week, but his performance was muddled by the Rams also starting a backup QB, so the win comes with an asterisk.

Under these circumstances, we don’t see much need to go into lots of handicapping details about the teams, which have both been inconsistent all season long. Throw out trends, as well, since the game is played in Mexico City, only adding to the randomness.  

However, where we do see value is on propositions.  

Consider the field goal props, in particular.

Prediction:

Most NFL games have the “LONGEST FIELD GOAL” prop (either team) at around 46, which is standard barring inclement weather or really bad kickers.

Tonight, the O/U on longest FG is 46.5, which should be adjusted upwards.

Keep in mind, this is the highest altitude game you will ever see in the NFL, since Mexico City is at 7,300 feet. Even “Mile High” Denver at 5,200 feet (the highest altitude city in th NFL) is relatively a speed bump compared to this venue, and Denver games typically include more long-FG attempts and successful kicks. So, we suspect both coaches might give their kickers a bit more free reign here to kick beyond the 50-yard mark. We could even see a few 60-yard attempts.  

Four years ago, an NFL game was scheduled in Mexico City, but the NFL moved the game at the last minute because of poor field conditions,  We think these factors make certain the field will be ideal, in other words, it won’t be sloppy again.  Mexico City wants to make sure they keep the annual NFL hosting tradition. So, while field conditions would normally help the UNDER (it harder to run and kick on deeper soft grass), we don’t think it factors here. So, that is another reason to like longer FGs being kicked.

The Bet:

OVER 46.5:  Longest Field Goal of the Game (either team)