Evaluating the quarterback position in the NFL is no easy task. There's certainly room in the league for the average, lower ceiling quarterback. By definition, they are better than a lot of the other quarterbacks we see out there every weekend. However, it's also becoming more and more accepted that winning a Super Bowl with an average quarterback is rather unlikely.
Jimmy Garoppolo might be the most average quarterback in the NFL. He's certainly good enough to start in the league, and he's shown flashes in his career of perhaps even being above average. However, it's hard to win in the playoffs when your quarterback is almost always the clear second-best quarterback on the field.
The San Francisco 49ers came to that conclusion when they used the third overall pick on Trey Lance in the 2021 draft. Garoppolo was good enough to get San Francisco to 13 wins and the Super Bowl in 2019. However, if he didn't miss a wide open Emmanuel Sanders, they would probably be Super Bowl champions instead of simply NFC champions. Even last year, one more play from the quarterback position could have pushed them past the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game. If they defeated Los Angeles, the 49ers would have certainly been favorites in the Super Bowl.
San Francisco has decided it is now time to turn the franchise over to Trey Lance. When they drafted Lance, they believed he provided them a higher ceiling. This is a team that was two wins away from winning the Super Bowl last season, so the ceiling is already pretty high. However, Lance has thrown under 400 passes combined over the last four seasons, so there are certainly question marks with him as well. Yahoo's Frank Schwab has the 49ers ranked 12th in his preseason power rankings. Oddsmakers might be a little higher than that on San Francisco.
Can San Francisco take the next step?
Last season, the San Francisco were 3-5 at the midway point. However, they went on to win seven of their final nine games to clinch a 10 win season and a playoff spot. Oddsmakers expect a similar season from the 49ers this year, as their preseason win total is set at over/under 9.5 wins. However, t seems like bettors are expecting some potential growing pains with a young quarterback under center. Currently at BetMGM, 53% of bets and 64% of the money is backing San Francisco to go under 9.5 wins.
San Francisco is a -225 favorite to make the playoffs this upcoming season, odds which suggest they make the playoffs over 69% of the time. That's a nice number, but bettors seem to be interested in fading the 49ers. Currently, 72% of bets and 85% of the money is backing San Francisco to miss the playoffs at +180. The 49ers are +175 to make the playoffs as a wild card team, which is what they did last season.
The 49ers are +175 to win the NFC West this season. Those are the second best odds to win the division behind the Rams, who are +125 betting favorites. San Francisco is +165 to finish second in the division, which is the most likely outcome according to the odds. The 49ers are -275 favorites to finish in one of the top two spots in the division despite the fact they finished third last season.
San Francisco is the second most popular bet to win their division, though they aren't close to as popular a bet as the Rams. Los Angeles has gotten 58% of the bets and 78% of the money, while the 49ers have gotten just 20% of the bets and 13% of the money. The two teams are even-money favorites to occupy the top two spots in the division at the end of the season.
The 49ers are 18-to-1 to lead the league in wins this upcoming season. Those odds are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for 10th best. San Francisco is 18-to-1 to lead the league in points scored during the regular season. Those are the 11th best odds after they finished 13th in points last season.
Are the 49ers Super Bowl contenders?
San Francisco enters the 2022 season with 16-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. Those odds are tied for the seventh best odds with the Denver Broncos. San Francisco hasn't won a Super Bowl since the 1994 season, but they have two Super Bowl losses and three NFC Championship game losses since 2011.
San Francisco is +700 to win the NFC and represent the conference in the Super Bowl this upcoming season. Those are the fourth best odds behind Tampa Bay, Los Angeles and Green Bay. The 49ers won the NFC in 2019 and lost in the NFC championship game last season.
The 49ers are +900 to enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the conference. Those are the fifth best odds behind the Buccaneers, Rams, Packers and Cowboys. San Francisco was the NFC's No. 1 seed in 2019.
49ers' player props and awards
What does the betting market think of some key players on the 49ers' roster?
Trey Lance enters his first season as the starter with 30-to-1 odds to win NFL MVP. Those are the 14th best odds in the league, right behind Derek Carr and just ahead of Matt Ryan. Lance is currently the 10th most popular bet to win MVP at BetMGM. Lance is 40-to-1 to lead the league in passing yards and 66-to-1 to lead the league in passing touchdowns. Lance is 20-to-1 to lead the league in interceptions thrown and he's the second most popular bet in that market behind only Jameis Winston.
In terms of season-long props, Lance is a dual threat quarterback so there are options available for both his arm and legs. His over/unders for the upcoming season are set at 3449.5 passing yards, 21.5 passing touchdowns, 10.5 interceptions, 574.5 rushing yards and 5.5 rushing touchdowns. Last season, Lance started just two games and threw for 603 yards and five touchdowns. He ran for 168 yards and a score.
Deebo Samuel enters with 80-to-1 odds to win NFL MVP in 2022. These odds are tied with Derrick Henry for second best amongst non quarterbacks, behind only Jonathan Taylor. Samuel is 12-to-1 to win Offensive Player of the Year. Those odds are tied for second best with Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson, behind only Taylor. Deebo is the tenth most popular bet to win Offensive Player of the Year.
Deebo is 25-to-1 to lead the NFL in receiving yards this upcoming season. Those odds are tied for tenth best with Mark Andrews and D.J. Moore. Samuel finished fifth in receiving last season. He is 30-to-1 to lead the league in receiving touchdowns and 66-to-1 to lead the league in rushing touchdowns. Despite being a wide receiver, Samuel ranked in the top-10 of rushing touchdowns last season.
Samuel's season-long props for the upcoming season are set at over/under 70.5 receptions, 949.5 receiving yards and 6.5 touchdowns. Last season, Samuel posted 77 grabs for 1405 yards and 6 scores.
Elijah Mitchell is 16-to-1 to lead the NFL in rushing yards this upcoming season. Those odds are tied for fifth best with Joe Mixon and Najee Harris. Only Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook and Nick Chubb have better odds. Mitchell finished 8th last season despite playing in just 11 games. Mitchell is 30-to-1 to lead the league in rushing touchdowns.
Mitchell's season long-props are set at over/under 924.5 rushing yards and 7.5 rushing touchdowns. Last season, Mitchell had 963 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns despite missing six games.
Nick Bosa is 14-to-1 to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Those odds are fifth best behind Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, Aaron Donald and Micah Parsons. Bosa is currently the second most popular bet to win the award at BetMGM behind only Parsons.
Bosa is also 14-to-1 to lead the league in sacks after he finished fourth last season. Those odds are fifth best, tied with his brother Joey and also Danielle Hunter. Bosa is the fourth most popular bet to lead the league in sacks behind Parsons, Watt and rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux. Bosa's over/under for sacks this season is set at 11.5 sacks. He had 15.5 sacks last season.
Other 49ers' players
Last season, Brandon Aiyuk started the year in Kyle Shanahan's dog house but rebounded to contribute 56 receptions, 826 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. His season-long props for this upcoming season are set at over/under 58.5 receptions, 749.5 receiving yards and 4.5 receiving touchdowns. Through two seasons, his career averages are 58 receptions, 767 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Drake Jackson is 40-to-1 to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Those are the same odds as first rounders Devonte Wyatt and Daxton Hill.
George Kittle's season-long props are set at over/under 66.5 receptions, 824.5 receiving yards and 5.5 receiving touchdowns. Last season, he had 71 catches for 910 yards and 6 scores.
Fred Warner is 50-to-1 to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Kyle Shanahan is 20-to-1 to win NFL Coach of the Year. Those odds are tied for ninth best with Nick Sirriani and Frank Reich.
San Francisco opens as big road favorite
The San Francisco 49ers open their season with a trip to the Windy City, where the 49ers are 7-point road favorites over the Bears. These two teams met in Chicago last year, with the 49ers winning and covering as a 4-point favorite in a 33-22 win.
The line for this game opened at 6.5 earlier in the summer, but has moved towards San Francisco and is now a full touchdown. Currently at BetMGM, 62% of bets and 73% of money is backing the 49ers to cover the spread. San Francisco is a -300 favorite to win the game outright.
The total for this game is just 41.5-points. That's the lowest total for any Week 1 game.