- The 49ers have the second shortest odds to win the Super Bowl next season
- San Francisco’s 2020 schedule ranks as the toughest in the NFC
- Are they worth betting at such a short price?
The San Francisco 49ers are fresh off a heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl 54, blowing a 10 point, 4th quarter lead en route to a 31-20 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs. Now the question is can they make it all the way back to the championship game next season?
Super Bowl 55 Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+600|
|San Francisco 49ers||+800|
|New Orleans Saints||+1000|
|New England Patriots||+1100|
|Green Bay Packers||+1600|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+1600|
All odds taken Feb. 2
The Niners opened with +800 odds to win Super Bowl 55, behind both only the Chiefs, and tied with the Ravens.
Last year their championship odds were as long as 45-1 on the eve of their first game, before plummeting to 14-1 in early October. Two months into the 2019 campaign, they were +550 to win it all. By the time the playoffs rolled around, their Super Bowl odds had been shortened to +400.
San Francisco is loaded on both sides of the ball and there’s reason to be optimistic that most of its key pieces will be back next season.
49ers Free Agent Class
The entire 49ers starting offense is under contract through 2020 with the exception of Emmanuel Sanders. San Fran acquired the wideout prior to Week 8, and although he produced a couple big games, he was largely ineffective. He caught three or fewer passes in eight of his 12 outings prior to the Super Bowl, and was held to three catches versus the Chiefs.
The Niners will have roughly $16 million in cap space this offseason, but would be better off trying to resign one of their key defensive free agents instead of Sanders. Both defensive end Arik Armstead and free safety Jimmie Ward are set to hit the open market, but the rest of their starters will remain in the Bay Area.
— Fourth and Nine (@fourth_nine) January 11, 2020
Armstead is coming off a career year and led the team in sacks during the regular season. San Fran could try to franchise him but it’s doubtful they’d be willing to pay that steep of a price. Ward meanwhile, is also fresh off a career year but could be more affordable. He had 65 tackles and earned an 85.1 grade from Pro Football Focus, the highest of his career.
Jimmie Ward has an 80% forced incompletion percentage when lined up at free safety.
That's the highest of any player with at least five targets. pic.twitter.com/6EIuAV4KCT
— PFF SF 49ers (@PFF_49ers) January 31, 2020
Regardless of whether or not they bring back Armstead or Ward, the Niners roster will look very similar in 2020. Their projected lack of turnover is part of the reason why their Super Bowl odds are so short, however the road back to the championship game will be much tougher next season.
The NFC’s Toughest Schedule
San Francisco benefited from a third place schedule in 2019, but they won’t have that luxury in 2020. They already play in arguably the best division in football, and as the reigning NFC West champs, they’ll have to face the Saints and Packers, in addition to all four teams in the NFC East and AFC East.
Thanks for a great season, Faithful. pic.twitter.com/RUD4Mx21vs
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) February 3, 2020
Their 2020 opponents combined for a .528 winning percentage this past season, which makes their schedule the toughest in the NFC and the fourth hardest in the NFL. There’s no reason to think they won’t be in the running for another division title, but racking up a second straight bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs seems like a tall task.
Stay Away From these Short Odds
It is ridiculously hard to reach the big game once, and twice in a row is extremely unlikely. Outside of the Patriots, who have played in the softest division in football for the past two decades, only the Seahawks have made back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl since the late 90’s.
On paper, the 49ers appear to be a very viable championship candidate next season, but the game is not played on paper. Injuries happen, and the rest of the league gets better. Right now their schedule projects to be difficult, but there’s a chance it could be even more challenging based on how other teams improve.
Instead of taking such a short number with San Fran, look for a team that is undervalued in the market, like the 49ers were last year.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.