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Should you bet on the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl LIV?
2nd January, 23:00The San Francisco 49ers steamrolled their way to an 8-0 record to open the season, allowing more than 20 points just once in that span. Then came an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10 and a 3-3 run over the next six games as the San Francisco defense came back down to earth.
Nevertheless, the 49ers finished the season 5-3, earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, and still look like one of the best teams in the NFL. The oddsmakers see it that way, too. As of Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET, BetMGM lists the 49ers at +400 to win Super Bowl LIV, the second-best odds only to the Ravens (+225).
NFL futures odds courtesy of BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports for a full set of today's betting odds. Odds last updated Wednesday at 3:30 pm. ET.
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The upside of betting on the 49ers isn't nearly as high as picking a team like the Texans (+3300), but the risk is also much lower, given the fact that San Francisco has a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the NFC.
So should you lay down a wager on the 49ers to win it all? Absolutely. In fact, they're one of the best bets in the playoffs for a couple of reasons.
Sizing up the NFC field
First is San Francisco's seeding and the NFC side of the playoff bracket. The 49ers haven't had a week off since Week 4 -- in late September. Earning a first-round bye with their riveting win over the Seahawks in Week 17 will do the 49ers a world good as banged-up veterans such as Emmanuel Sanders get extra time to recover and get healthy, while their first opponent won't have that benefit.
And speaking of their first opponent in the playoffs, it won't be the Saints or the Packers -- the next-best teams in the conference. Green Bay is the No. 2 seed and also has a bye. New Orleans is the No. 3 seed and would automatically visit the Packers in the divisional round should it beat Minnesota this weekend. That leaves the 49ers to face the Seahawks, Eagles or Vikings.
New to sports betting? A $10 wager on the 49ers to win the Super Bowl would return a profit of $40 should the 49ers win the game.
The Eagles are a nice story of perseverance and overcoming injuries, but they're too banged up to make a deep run in the playoffs with Carson Wentz being their only consistent source of offense. Seattle isn't as good as its record -- the Seahawks have only one win by more than one possession but three losses by at least two touchdowns.
The Vikings are an interesting team, but Kirk Cousins can't be trusted on the big stage. Plus a deeper look at Minnesota's schedule shows the Vikings beat only one opponent that finished with a winning record. In other words, they beat up on lesser teams and lost to their tougher foes.
On top of the playoff bracket, the 49ers are one of the most consistent and proven teams in the postseason. They lost in overtime to the Seahawks before beating them in Week 17, lost by three points on the road to the Ravens and were upset by the Falcons at the last second in Week 15 with a decimated secondary.
When healthy, the 49ers have a terrifying defense that's outstanding at all three levels -- from the pass rush with Nick Bosa to the linebackers with Fred Warner to the secondary with Richard Sherman.
On offense, their relentless ground game with the three-headed running-back monster of Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman helps balance the offense with Jimmy Garoppolo behind center. As long as Garoppolo doesn't fold under pressure, the 49ers will be in good shape.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan has the smarts to outduel even the best defensive masterminds -- including Pete Carroll and Mike Zimmer. He has a golden opportunity to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl, where a rematch with the Ravens could ensue.
Talent and coaching win in the playoffs, and the 49ers have both. Feel good about putting money on the 49ers to win it all in February.
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