Are 49ers Being Overvalued by Oddsmakers in Wake of Signings?

David Schwab

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 6:16 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 6:16 PM UTC

The NFL futures odds continue to fluctuate like the stock market in the wake of recent free-agent signings. Considering some knee-jerk reactions by NFL bettors, sportsbooks continue to respond by tweaking the betting odds based on the early money coming in.

NFL Futures Odds

One team that has been moving up the NFL futures odds with a bullet is the San Francisco 49ers. Even though they won only six games last season, bettors have been bullish on the 49ers' chances to make an impact in the NFC West this year.

The betting odds that San Francisco makes the ultimate leap to Super Bowl glory in 2018 have been bet down to +1200 on 5Dimes' current NFL odds board. To put this number in perspective, the Philadelphia Eagles’ odds to repeat as champions are set at +1000. The favorite on the board to win next season’s Super Bowl is New England at +600.

The Garoppolo Effect

The biggest reason the 49ers are back on the radar screen was last season’s trade with New England for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He took over the starting role toward the end of the season and led San Francisco to a five-game winning streak. He threw for 1,560 yards and seven touchdown verses five interceptions while completing 67.4 percent of his 178 passes. The 49ers’ last three wins came against playoff teams.

San Francisco wasted little time in signing Garoppolo to a long-term deal as the team’s newly appointed franchise quarterback. There is no doubt Garoppolo’s performance during that five-game run is a genuine reason for renewed optimism that the 49ers can quickly get back to their winning ways, but the holes on this team still ran deep heading into the offseason.

Big-Name Signings

Teams looking to turn things around from a losing slide will often rely too heavily on free agency to quickly close the gap. The NFL’s new business year is not even a week old and San Francisco has already inked new deals with former Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, free-agent running back Jerick McKinnon from Minnesota and former New York Giants center Weston Richburg.

All three players fill a big hole, but McKinnon and Richburg came at a steep price. Sherman might be a more important addition to the locker room than to the defensive secondary in an effort to build a winning mindset on a six-win team. Nonetheless, the hype of adding high-profile players to a roster directly correlates to the hype generated among bettors putting money down on NFL futures bets.

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Some 49ers fans might be happy to see their old nemesis in the scarlet and gold.

Since 2012, no player has intercepted more passes from San Francisco QBs than Richard Sherman.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 11, 2018

Other Free-Agent Deals

San Francisco has been one of the more active teams in free agency with the additions of defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu and punter Jeff Locke. The 49ers also resigned linebackers Dekoda Watson and Mark Nzeocha.

These four players are viewed as key pieces of the puzzle for general manager John Lynch and new head coach Kyle Shanahan as they attempt to build a roster than can actually live up to lofty expectations that worked to drive down the 49ers’ betting odds.

Adding even the best players to a team that won a combined eight games the past two seasons simply makes it better on paper. Building a team into a cohesive unit that can win on a regular basis is another story.

The oddsmakers are overvaluing the 49ers with their artificially low NFL futures odds. However, they are simply reacting to an overzealous betting public using their NFL picks to capitalize on San Francisco’s recent efforts to return a winner to the Bay Area.

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