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49ers win total: Under seems to be the projection

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I see enough winnable games to take the OVER, but the schedule is still pretty brutal.

The San Francisco 49ers are not getting a lot of love from prognosticators this year, and it is reflected in win totals bets. Bovada currently lists the 49ers at 5.5 wins. That means, if you bet the OVER, you’re betting they will win more than 5.5 games, and if you bet the UNDER, you’re betting they will win fewer than 5.5 games.

As it currently stands, the UNDER bet is paying at -140, while the OVER is paying at +110. For the UNDER, that means if you bet $140, you will win $100. For the OVER, that means if you bet $100, you will win $110. The simple answer is that means the UNDER is the favorite.

Over at ESPN, NFL analyst Mike Clay put together projections for the win total of all 32 teams. He then used those to provide a prediction on the OVER/UNDER for each team. The 49ers rank 32 among the NFL teams, with the toughest schedule according to their metric (I assume based on last year’s performances). The projection is 5.1 wins, which would hit the UNDER. Here’s what Clay had to say about the 49ers:

Chip Kelly's first season in the Bay Area isn't going to a pleasant one. The 49ers are devoid of much talent and will face the league's toughest schedule. The four divisional games against Arizona and Seattle are obviously a big part of that, but the Niners will also meet up with Carolina, Dallas, Buffalo, New England and the New York Jets. Many of their "winnable" games, which include Miami, Chicago and Atlanta, happen to be on the road. I'm a big Carlos Hyde fan, but his efficiency might be in vain if Blaine Gabbert can't move the ball down field. Considering that his top weapons are Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, Garrett Celek and Vance McDonald, the odds of a resurgence are pretty low.

Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Navorro Bowman and Aaron Lynch lead a defense with voids at nearly every level. The 49ers are strong contenders for the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Here is a look at the 49ers schedule, with non-Sunday games noted. I think a Rams split is not out the realm of the possible, and I do think they end up winning that opener against them. The Cowboys will likely send out Dak Prescott in Week 4. He has that offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott to help, but that game is an intriguing one.

Home against the Bucs and the Jets are both interesting, with potential wins on the table. On the road against the Bears and Falcons are winnable, albeit still tough games, as is the Bills matchup in Week 6. The 49ers could improve from last year, and still only win five games, but there are enough winnable games on the schedule that taking the OVER is not the craziest idea you could have.

Week 1: vs. Los Angeles Rams, MNF
Week 2: @ Carolina Panthers
Week 3: @ Seattle Seahawks
Week 4: vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 5: vs. Arizona Cardinals, TNF
Week 6: @ Buffalo Bills
Week 7: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 10: @ Arizona Cardinals
Week 11: vs. New England Patriots
Week 12: @ Miami Dolphins
Week 13: @ Chicago Bears
Week 14: vs. New York Jets
Week 15: @ Atlanta Falcons
Week 16: @ Los Angeles Rams, Saturday
Week 17: vs. Seattle Seahawks