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Golden Nuggets: Are 49ers the favorite or the underdog?

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San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday February 1, 2020

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San Francisco 49ers Practice Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

It’s been two long weeks since the conference championship games ended and in that time we’ve been subjected to just about every possible take - good and bad - relating to the upcoming super bowl. But one question remains: Are the 49ers the favorite or the underdog?

We know that the Vegas line opened with the Chiefs favored by a point and it has pretty much held at that mark since then. As of now, 63% of the bets against the spread have been placed on the Chiefs, making them the current favorites among bettors. But that may change. According to Tony DiTommaso, director of risk operations for CG Technology in Las Vegas, they are expecting a burst of 49ers cash bets this weekend.

Said, DiTommaso:

“I think San Francisco money is coming, on the spread and the moneyline. I know there are still some 1.5s out there, but I think the game closes pick. I just feel the game is gonna go that way..”

But what about the media? Early returns were not good as we know. The entire first week was an avalanche of praise for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, while conversely selling Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers offense short. But a funny thing happened towards the end of the week as predictions began to roll in with reputations on the line, more and more analysts picked the 49ers to win.

Obviously with the media circus surrounding the Super Bowl hundreds of media picks have been made, and we can’t possibly list them all, but here are a few picks that I heard today while traversing the podcast circuit:

GM Shuffle

Michael Lombardi - 49ers 28-24

The Ringer Podcast

Kevin Clark - 49ers 28-26

Robert Mays - 49ers 34-31

Around the NFL

Mark Sessler - 49ers 38-27

Chris Wessling - 49ers 38-33

Dan Hanzus - Chiefs - 35-31

Greg Rosenthal - 49ers - 33-30

Unbuttoned

Chris Simms - 49ers 38-34

Mike Florio - Chiefs 30-27

The Herd

Colin Cowherd 49ers 36-28

By my count that’s 8 picks for the 49ers and and 2 for the Chiefs. I’ll admit I’m sufficiently surprised given the media’s tendency to sell this 49ers team short over the course of the season, but that seems to be changing as the game draws closer.

So while my hope is that the 49ers as a team continue to see themselves as the underdog, allowing them to use that as motivation heading into the big game, the truth is that they aren’t the underdog. Not anymore.

And while they might not be the favorite either, one thing is clear. They are finally beginning to get the respect that has been missing over the past several months.

And I say, it’s about time.

And now onto those links:

Dante Pettis explains his struggles with 49ers: ‘It’s been kind of wild’ (Evan Webeck, Mercury News)

Why Richard Sherman turned down millions of dollars from the Detroit Lions to play for the 49ers instead (Courtney Connley, CNBC)

49ers RB Tevin Coleman has ‘worked his tail off’ to get healthy (Skyler Carlin, Clutch Points)

49ers kicker Robbie Gould has maintained steely business approach to thrive in NFL (Dan Wolken, USA Today)

5 2020 Senior Bowl standouts 49ers may like for NFL Draft (Jeremy Wohlfart, Niner Noise)

49ers DC Robert Saleh says he’d keep Browns soon-to-be DC Joe Woods if he could (Mary Kay Cabot, Cleveland.com)

49ers’ versatile Juszczyk a ‘poster child’ for NFL fullbacks (Dennis Waszak Jr, Yahoo Sports)

Loose 49ers players pull off a final prank on coaches before Super Bowl LIV (David Bonilla, 49ers WebZone)

49ers fully healthy for Super Bowl LIV (Kyle Madson, Niners Wire)

How George Kittle’s mentality helps him play through serious pain (Jennifer Lee Chan, NBC Sports)

NaVorro Bowman wishes he was still on 49ers, believes he can still play (Ali Thanawalla, NBC Sports)

Super Bowl LIV: 49ers’ Richard Sherman working hard to impress his toughest critic (David Bonilla, 49ers WebZone)