First Touchdown Scorer Props – Who Will Score First TD Tonight?

Image Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

First touchdown scorer props have become increasingly popular over the years, and it’s easy to see why. They are fun wagers that tend to settle quickly, unless you are locked into an old-school defensive struggle.

Below, we’ll run through our favorite first touchdown scorer props. Then, we’ll outline some strategy tips for this special type of bet, which could be helpful if you are new to this specific bet type.

So let’s start with the all-important question: who will be the first touchdown scorer tonight?

First Touchdown Scorer: MNF Week 3

Below are our favorite first touchdown props for this Monday Night Football doubleheader of Week 3.

Eagles WR DeVonta Smith (+900)

Last week, Smith broke out for 131 yards on just 4 receptions, silencing all critics after his 47-yard performance in Week 1. He was only targeted 5 times in last week’s matchup against Minnesota, but that was enough to average an impressive 32.8 yards per catch.

Smith currently leads the Eagles receivers with a 25.6% target share and 3.21 yards per route run. Smith and A.J. Brown have proven to be an excellent duo for Jalen Hurts, but it is likely that Smith will get an opportunity in the red zone as he is tied for the team lead in red zone targets.

Where to bet: DeVonta Smith First TD | +900 at FanDuel Sportsbook

Rams WR Puka Nacua (+1100)

The Rams rookie receiving sensation continues to roll as we enter this Monday Night Football matchup against the Bengals. Nacua has amassed an incredible 266 yards on 35 receptions against a mediocre Seattle defense and arguably the best defense in the league in San Francisco in last week’s loss to the 49ers.

Nacua currently leads the league in target share (36.6%) and targets per route run (40%). We may even be getting a deal on this first touchdown bet as Nacua was reported to be dealing with an oblique injury, but Rams Head Coach Sean McVay recently said he expects Nacua to play.

With that being said, we can get this bet at +1100 at DraftKings while FanDuel has it listed at +950.

Where to bet: Puka Nacua First TD | +1100 at FanDuel Sportsbook

More NFL Props For Week 3

3 Best Bengals vs. Rams Player Props – MNF Prop Bets (Week 3)

3 Best Bucs vs. Eagles Player Props – MNF Prop Bets (Week 3)

NFL Anytime Touchdown Scorer Predictions & Best Bets


Where To Place First Touchdown Scorer Bets

The following sportsbooks have more than enough options to satisfy your first touchdown scorer needs. As outlined before, always shop around for the best price when it comes to first touchdown scorer bets.

On top of that, our team spent the time to find the best available bonus offers at each listed sportsbook. If you are new to any of these betting apps, be sure to use our exclusive links and promo codes to claim your free bets:

Best Sportsbook Bonuses In The U.S.

Find out about the best available online sportsbook bonuses in your state with the following guides:


First Touchdown Scorer Bet Explained

Player prop bets are linked to player production instead of team production. That can make them a bit easier for beginning bettors to digest, especially those with a background in fantasy football.

Typically, most player prop bets involve wagering on whether you believe a player will go over or under a specific number in a particular category. They can include things like passing yardage, receptions and carries.

However, you can also bet on whether or not you think a player is going to score a touchdown. These bets offer different odds for different players, with the most likely players to score getting the shortest odds

You can read all my analysis about anytime touchdown scorers here.

If those props don’t offer enough upside for you, first touchdown scorer props take things to another level. Instead of winning your bet if your player scores a touchdown at any time, they have to be the first ballcarrier to cross the goal line in a given game. There can only be one first-touchdown scorer in every contest, so it makes these props significantly harder to win.

However, that added risk comes with added upside. You’ll get a far greater payout if you roll the dice on the first touchdown scorer instead of an anytime touchdown scorer.

Do Passing Touchdowns Count For First Touchdown Scorer Props?

Just like with anytime touchdown scorer props, passing touchdowns are not included in first touchdown scorer props. If the first touchdown of a game is a passing touchdown, then whoever caught the ball would be considered the first TD scorer.

However, that doesn’t mean that quarterbacks are irrelevant in first touchdown scorer props. Quarterbacks will run for more touchdowns than you think, especially as more athletic passers enter the league seemingly every year. 23 quarterbacks ran for multiple scores last year, with Jalen Hurts leading the pack at 10. There are some familiar suspects on the list – Hurts, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray each had at least five rushing touchdowns – but you don’t need to be a great rusher to score touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill was second among quarterbacks with seven touchdowns, while noted statue Tom Brady even had two scores.

Ultimately, quarterbacks were some of the most profitable players last year in anytime touchdown scorer props. If quarterbacks are scoring more rushing touchdowns than expected, it stands to reason they’d be underpriced in first touchdown odds as well.

What Odds Should You Expect With First Touchdown Scorer Props?

This obviously depends on what players you’re looking at, but you’re going to get significantly better odds on first touchdown props than anytime touchdown props. For example, the Rams are opening the season by hosting the Bills on Thursday Night Football. Cooper Kupp has the shortest anytime touchdown odds at -160 on FanDuel Sportsbook, but that figure increases to +600 to score the first touchdown. In general, you can expect most of the top touchdown scorers in the league to be priced between +500 and +700 to score the first touchdown of the game.

Most of the other players who are expected to be on the field will likely be around +1000. Running backs will get plenty of love in this department – especially ones who tend to carry the ball near the goal line – followed by the rest of the receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks.

Then comes the real long shots. The depth receivers, second straight tight ends, and non-rushing quarterbacks will all be priced at +2000 or greater. The less that a player is expected to be on the field, the greater the potential payout if they’re the first td scorer.

How To Deal With The Swings

Betting on first touchdown scorer props is a lot like playing large tournaments in daily fantasy sports. Your win rate is going to be low, so you’re going to have to handle going through stretches with no wins. That can be demoralizing for bettors.

The key is to maximize your upside when you win. That allows you to survive the downswings and preserve your bankroll. If you’re upping your bets every time you hit a first touchdown prop, you’re not going to be able to survive the inevitable cold streaks. Like most things in life, discipline is key.

First TD Scorer Strategy

Just like with anytime touchdown scorer props, there is no surefire way to guarantee a win on first touchdown scorer props. That said, there are some things you can do to greatly increase your win rate.

Pay Attention To Injuries

Simply being on top of the injury report is one of the easiest ways to get value as a bettor. By knowing which players are questionable, you can often pounce on lines before the sportsbook has a chance to react.

For example, if the starting running back is questionable, I like to have some bets queued up on the backup running back. If he’s ultimately ruled out, you can potentially beat the sportsbook for tons of closing line value.

It’s not a fool-proof method, and the sportsbooks aren’t dumb. However, there are at least a few times a year when unexpected news leaves them open. Make sure you’re plugged into the news – Twitter alerts for the top news reporters are the best source – and take advantage when you can.

Defense (& Coaching) Matters

One of the most annoying things about betting on first td scorer props is that you are occasionally powerless. Only one team gets the first possession of each game, which means there’s a roughly 50/50 chance that your chosen player will start the game on the sidelines. If the opposing team goes down the field and scores, your player will have zero chance of scoring the first TD.

That’s why backing a player with a solid defense makes sense. If they can keep the opposing offense out of the end zone, it creates more chances for your player to score the first touchdown.

Additionally, knowing which coaches like to receive the ball after winning the coin toss is another way to create some value. The vast majority of coaches choose to defer at this point, but new coaches enter the league every year. Finding one who prefers to receive the ball almost guarantees they’re going to start the game on offense, which is a huge boost for first touchdown props.

Know The Goal Line Stats

Not all red zone touches are created equal. For running backs, in particular, getting the ball inside the five-yard line is a great way to rack up plenty of touchdowns.

There are some ways to exploit this. Last year, Boston Scott was the most profitable anytime TD scorer in the entire league. He had just 20 red zone touches, which put him well behind most of the top runners in the league. However, 16 of those attempts came from inside the 10-yard line, and 12 came from inside the five. Ultimately, only 10 running backs had more carries from inside the five-yard line than Scott last season.

I’m not sure who this year’s version of Scott will be, but staying on top of the numbers can help you turn a profit.

For more on how to bet on the NFL, check out some of the resources from the Props.com Betting 101 library: