A little over a year ago, the San Francisco 49ers odds to win the Super Bowl were 30-1, which was the 18th highest in the NFL. The odds to win the NFC were 15-1, and they were so far from being in the playoffs in the eyes of oddsmakers that you would have had to lay $300 to win $100 if you wanted to bet the Niners missing the playoffs in 2019. A strong free agency and draft class bolstered the 49ers roster, and the change in culture elevated the team to a level they hadn’t reached in six years.
As we get closer to free agency, general manager John Lynch has some difficult decisions to make surrounding the roster and the team’s future. The core will remain intact, and that’s why the 49ers are entering the offseason as tied for first to win the NFC, according to Betonline.ag. San Francisco and New Orleans are at the top of the conference listed at 5/1 odds to win the NFC. That means if you were to lay $100, you’d win $500. I know half of the readers reading this will come away saying, “it’s too early,” or, “we won’t know until the draft.” That’s not how Vegas works. The only position that moves the needle is a quarterback. We know who the 49ers quarterback will be in 2020. Even in a nightmare scenario where Arik Armstead, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jimmie Ward all walk in free agency, the 49ers odds would barely budge, believe it or not.
Here are the hypothetical playoff teams in the NFC: Saints, 49ers, Eagles, Packers, Cowboys, Seahawks. They have the Rams, Bears, and Vikings on the outside looking in. The Niners are comfortable favorites to win the NFC West. They’re currently 4/5 favorites, which means if you were to bet $125, you’d win $100. For comparison, Seattle has the next best odds to win the NFC West at 13/4. That means you’d win $325 on a $100 bet. That goes back to us talking about the Super Bowl hangover. The roster is put together well, and with the talent on the sideline and in between the white lines, it’s tough to imagine the 49ers not being a playoff contender once again in 2020. I know the injury bug can’t get enough of San Francisco, but some of the injuries the team was able to overcome this past year is a testament to the depth on the roster. Not many teams would have been able to handle that type of adversity. The roster will be different, but Vegas believes the 49ers will be playing into January once again. I agree.