2019 San Francisco 49ers Odds to win the Super Bowl with Expert Betting Predictions
It has been an odd career so far for Kyle Shanahan as a head coach. He has won only 10 games in two years. Most guys would be in trouble at this point after doing that - if they were still employed. But while Shanahan may not have the coolest seat out there, he's also not massively at risk of being fired. It is as if he has - legitimately - been given mulligans for both years. The first year he was cleaning up all kinds of messes after a stretch of mismanagement, and he closed out at 6-1 after starting 0-9, so he came out of a six-win season looking as good as you could. He also entered that season without a QB, got one midseason in Jimmy Garoppolo, and made the most of him. The next year expectations were high, and things seemed to be rolling along. But then Garoppolo was hurt right away, and it was as if the season ended before it started. So now, maybe, we will finally get to see if Shanahan can get this team on track - if he is the guy to turn things around in San Francisco. Or something else horrific will happen and he'll get another mulligan. His coaching career so far is a lot like my golf game.
San Francisco 49ers Coaching
Shanahan has given most of his coaching staff a mulligan as well, as he returns most of the same group he has had before. There were only a couple of moves of note - one move by choice and one forced upon a coach. QB coach Rich Scangarello is now the offensive coordinator in Denver, so he has been replaced by Shane Day. Day is a Mike Martz disciple who had an earlier stint in the same role in San Francisco. The other change was on the problematic defensive line, where Jeff Zgonina was fired as coach and replaced by Kris Kocurek, who coached the line in Miami last year.
San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Situation
Garoppolo enters the season healthy, and though he has reportedly had some struggles in camp - he threw five picks on five consecutive passes the week after the first preseason game - he is the obvious choice to start for the team. We finally get to see what the team has in him - as long as he can stay healthy this time around. C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens were thrust into duty when Garoppolo went down last year, and both are still around the team again. And undrafted free agent Wilton Speight from UCLA is with the team, too, though it's tough to imagine him sticking around long. The room will be fine as long as Garoppolo is healthy and trusts his knee.
How The San Francisco 49ers Improved
They had the second pick in the draft and were able to grab DE Nick Bosa with the pick, so their pass rush, which was a crying need, immediately improved dramatically. They also added Dee Ford in free agency, fresh off a 13-sack season in Kansas City, to help on that front. And they needed help at receiver, and they also addressed that well in the draft, taking Deebo Samuel from South Carolina in the second round and Jalen Hurd from Baylor in the third. They got better in two big areas of need.
How The San Francisco 49ers Got Worse
The secondary was a mess last year, and they didn't really seem to do enough to address it. At his best, new addition Jason Verrett is a solid corner, but he gets hurt too often - he missed all of last year with an Achilles injury and played just five games total in the prior two years - and is tough to trust. It's still not a unit that can be trusted.
San Francisco 49ers Schedule Analysis
They open at Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, so they have a couple of winnable road games to start. If they do well there, it will be a good sign that they are serious. Then things get tougher, with home games against Pittsburgh and Cleveland sandwiching a bye, and then a trip to the Rams. The first five games make them so tough to judge - they could be 4-1 or 1-4 and nothing would be hugely surprising. Their last six games are just brutal - Green Bay, at Baltimore and New Orleans, Atlanta and the Rams, and at Seattle. If they are vulnerable by that stretch, then six straight legitimate playoff contenders could be the end of them.
2019-20 San Francisco 49ers Betting Odds and Trends
The 49ers are at +2800 to win the Super Bowl, which puts them in a group of three teams behind 12 others. At +1400, they are tied with the Falcons and Seahawks as the eighth choice to win the NFC. They are the third choice to win the NFC West at +400, behind the Seahawks and the favored Rams. The season win total is set at 8.5, with the "over" favored at -120. The team is at +190 to make the playoffs compared to -230 to miss them. They are +1400 to have the worst record in the league and +4000 to have the best. Shanahan, in a ringing endorsement, is the +1000 favorite to be named coach of the year and is at +3300 to be the first coach fired. On the award front beyond Shanahan, Garoppolo is the co-eighth choice to be named MVP at +2500, Bosa is the +800 second choice to win the defensive rookie of the year, and Samuel is the +2000 seventh choice to win the offensive rookie of the year. Garoppolo is in a group behind 13 other players at +3300 to lead the league in passing yards, at the same price to lead in touchdowns, and at +2800 in interceptions thrown. Jerrick McKinnon is a +8000 long shot to lead the league in rushing touchdowns.
2019-20 San Francisco 49ers Predictions and NFL Picks
I feel optimistic about this team. They have some nice defensive pieces if you ignore the secondary, and they are young and talented on offense. If Garoppolo can stay healthy and live up to expectations, then this is a definite playoff contender. I have them written into the playoffs, but definitely in pencil - not pen.
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