OTAs are right around the corner for the 49ers. This is a team heading into the 2023 regular season with sky-high expectations. That isn’t different from any other year under head coach Kyle Shanahan.
NFL.com released each team’s projected win total, along with their odds to make the playoffs, win the division, conference, and the Super Bowl. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars are bigger favorites to win their division this year.
That’s a combination of the strength of the Niners roster paired with Seattle likely taking a step back, while Arizona and Los Angeles battle for a top-5 pick.
Here are the 49ers projections, according to Caesar’s Sports Book:
San Francisco 49ers Wins 10.9
NFC WEST CHAMPIONS
Win Total: under 11.5 (-155)
Make Playoffs: -460
Win Division: -155
Win Conference: +320
Win Super Bowl: +750
49ers’ complete 2023 NFL schedule
Yes, the Niners must start the season on the road, with their home opener not coming until Week 3 (vs. Giants) — but the travel in Weeks 6-10 (at Browns, at Vikings, vs. Bengals, Week 9 bye, at Jaguars) and then in Week 13 (at Eagles) actually impacts their win total the most. Having to take those two trips to the Midwest in Weeks 6 and 7 slightly decreases San Francisco’s chances of beating Cincinnati in Santa Clara in Week 8.
Although the 49ers have the highest projected win total at 11.5, the NFL’s algorithm has them coming up just short. If you’re unfamiliar with how odds work, you’d have to wager $460 to win $100 if the 49ers were to make the playoffs. So, they’re viewed as a lock to make the postseason, according to various bookmakers.
The 49ers odds to make the playoffs and win the NFC are the highest, too. For example, the Eagles are at -380 to make the playoffs and +340 to win the conference.
How the 49ers handle their mid-season road trip will go a long way in them obtaining the No. 1 seed. Cleveland figures to be much better in the second year of the Deshaun Watson era. The Vikings have one of the best home-field atmosphere’s in the league, while the Bengals boast a potent offense — much like the Vikings.
But it comes back to the division for the Niners. Take care of business, win the games you’re supposed to, and a playoff berth is yours.