The San Francisco 49ers head into Week 14 against the New York Jets with a 1-11 record, and a strong chance at securing the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. They were favored last week against the then 2-9 Chicago Bears, and a second-half collapse resulted in an ugly 26-6 loss. It’s safe to say all will agree the 49ers are not good.
This week, they face a New York Jets team that was pummeled by the Indianapolis Colts. They benched Ryan Fitzpatrick for Bryce Petty, and head coach Todd Bowles announced Petty would start the remaining four games. They are traveling to the Bay Area on a short week, and like the 49ers are not good. So it is no surprise the 49ers are a small 2.5-point favorite.
It turns out, this line is kind of historical. The line could still change, but if it holds up until Sunday, the 49ers would be only the second team in recent memory with a 1-11 record to be favored in a game. Our friends at OddsShark did some research, and their records indicate that back in 1993, the New England Patriots were 1-11, and found themselves facing the 1-11 Cincinnati Bengals. The Patriots were favored by 5.5 points in that game.
The final score of that game? 7-2. Seriously. Rookie quarterback Drew Bledsoe connected with tight end Ben Coates for an eight-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. The Bengals got their two points on a safety when the Patriots intentionally snapped the ball out of the end zone near the end of the game.
So there you have it. The 49ers are in rare company this week, in what we can assuredly say will be their last game as a favorite this season. They travel to Atlanta and LA, and then host Seattle to close out the season.