Alpha-carboxynucleoside phosphonates (α-CNPs) are novel viral DNA polymerase inhibitors that do not need metabolic conversion for enzyme inhibition. The prototype contains a cyclopentyl linker between nucleobase and α-carboxyphosphonate and preferentially (50- to 100-fold) inhibits HIV-1 RT compared with herpetic DNA polymerases. A synthesis methodology involving three steps has been developed for the synthesis of a series of novel α-CNPs, including a Rh(II)-catalyzed O-H insertion that connects the carboxyphosphonate group to a linker moiety and an attachment of a nucleobase to the other end of the linker by a Mitsunobu reaction followed by final deprotection. Replacing the cyclopentyl moiety in the prototype α-CNPs by a more flexible entity results in a selectivity shift of ∼ 100-fold in favor of the herpetic DNA polymerases when compared to selectivity for HIV-1 RT. The nature of the kinetic interaction of the acyclic α-CNPs against the herpetic DNA polymerases differs from the nature of the nucleobase-specific kinetic interaction of the cyclopentyl α-CNPs against HIV RT.