The San Francisco 49ers face a schedule that is right around the middle of the pack. Traditional previous season win percentage and using Vegas win totals both offer a similar assessment. However, it is also a weighted schedule, with the front half offering a tougher look than the back half.
Earlier this month, Football Perspective’s Chase Stuart took a look at strength of schedule and was able to provide a look at the schedules most front-loaded and back-loaded. He creates a schedule rating using the 16 weeks of Vegas lines that CG Technology releases each May. In this, the 49ers rank No. 19 in total schedule.
He then takes weighted strength of schedule to figure out who has the most front- and back-loaded schedules with easier games. The San Francisco 49ers end up with the fourth most back-loaded schedule. The Los Angeles Rams have the tenth most back-loaded schedule, the Seattle Seahawks are 14th, and the Arizona Cardinals have the fourth most front-loaded schedule.
This is not exactly a shocking revelation if you’ve checked out the 15 gambling lines we have for the 49ers. They are underdogs in three of their first four games, and five of their first seven games. On the other hand, they are favorites in seven of their final eight games (not including Week 17 at the Rams with no line set initially).
Prior to the Week 17 game in LA, the 49ers have three straight home games against Denver, Seattle, and Chicago. At this point, they appear to be winnable games. Of course, as we know with any assessment of strength of schedule, a potentially bad team can turn good in a hurry, and a potentially good team can go in the tank in an unexpected way. And given the high expectations surrounding the 49ers, who knows if they end up on the list of potentially good teams that go south, or potentially decent teams that take an even bigger leap forward.