The San Francisco 49ers are a home underdog on Monday when they face the Los Angeles Rams, and considering the past year, it is not surprising most people are picking against them. However, the folks at FiveThirtyEight.com think the 49ers have a decent chance in this one.
FiveThirtyEight uses Elo ratings (described here) to figure out pre-game win probabilities, and to also project out wins and losses for the season. It’s not saying X is what will happen, but rather providing a forecast of what could potentially happen. No prediction system can account for everything, so offering up some ranges can be a little more realistic.
You can check out their 2016 predictions here, and it includes Week 1 win probabilities. The 49ers are listed as having a 53 percent pre-game win probability over the Rams. The Elo point spread is 49ers -1. Money has been coming in pretty heavily on the Rams, with 65 percent of it currently hitting on the road team.
Most home teams get the edge this week, with Green Bay (@ Jacksonville) and Minnesota (@ Tennessee) getting the edge on the road. You can go through all 17 weeks worth of games and see what each week’s win probability is like at this point. They will continually update this through the season.
They also put together a full season wins and losses forecast. The 49ers show up at 6.2 wins and 9.8 losses. Four teams are worse than them, including Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Jacksonville, and Tennessee. Elo suggests 5.1 wins for Tennessee and 5.7 wins for the other three. The 49ers are just a notch below the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins.