Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting the San Francisco 49ers 2021 win total

Sep 1, 2021 at 8:20 AM--

Will the 2021 San Francisco 49ers take advantage of what has been analyzed by some as the easiest schedule in the NFL? Sportsbooks have set San Francisco's win total at a lofty 10.5 games and we will attempt to predict whether the Niners will go over or under that total in 2021 by taking a look at each game.

Week 1 - Sunday, September 12th at Detroit Lions, 10:00 am PT, Line: 49ers -7.5
Detroit has a new quarterback in Jared Goff, new coach in Dan Campbell and new offensive coordinator in Anthony Lynn but there is scant evidence to believe that we won't see the same old Lions. Detroit has one of the worst receiving corps in the league and that huge, home-underdog point spread is just begging someone to take Detroit, indicating that the Niners might be the right side in a blow out. San Francisco has had success against Jared Goff and Goff is a significant downgrade from Matthew Stafford, and there is no reason to surmise that the Lions won't be in tank mode sooner rather than later. Jimmy Garoppolo will start the season with fire of fans clamoring for Trey Lance breathing down his neck and we anticipate that he comes out guns blazing. Pick: 49ers win

Week 2 - Sunday, September 19th at Philadelphia Eagles, 10:00 am PT, Line: 49ers -4
Philadelphia has a new coach (Nick Sirianni), offensive (Shane Steichen) and defensive (Jonathan Gannon) coordinators and it will be the first time quarterback Jalen Hurts will open the season as the starter and he will be throwing to reigning Heisman trophy winner and first round pick DeVonta Smith, but the Eagles receiving corps has been depleted and questions remain about whether Hurts can make throws now that the league has more tape on him. Philadelphia has a talented but older offensive line that was wracked with injury last season and did little to improve its weak secondary. We expect the Eagles to be an improved team in 2021 and four points too many to lay in what should be a dog fight on the road, but see too many unknowns on the Eagles to pick them over a healthy Niners squad. Pick: 49ers win

Week 3 - Sunday, September 25th vs Green Bay Packers, 5:20 pm PT, Line: 49ers -5
The Green Bay Packers are the reigning NFC North champs who hosted the NFC Championship, and their potential to put up elite offensive numbers in 2021 may hinge upon how Aaron Rodgers' unhappiness might effect the chemistry. Green Bay's front seven were in the bottom third of the league in pressures in 2020 and they lost the NFC Championship largely due to breakdowns in the secondary, but drafted cornerback Eric Stokes from Georgia in the first round. Jimmy Garoppolo has not lost a home start against Green Bay and if San Francisco's defense is healthy heading into this contest, we give the edge to the Niners in their home opener. Pick: 49ers win

Week 4 - Sunday, October 3rd vs Seattle Seahawks, 1:05 pm PT, Line: 49ers -3.5
The Seahawks are the defending NFC West champs with a new offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron. Russell Wilson is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league who can always find a way to give the Niners fits, and Seattle has bolstered its solid receiving corps with the addition of second round pick D'Wayne Eskeridge, but Wilson has been playing behind a shakier offensive line with running backs who can't seem to be healthy and a head coach who at times forced the running game. San Francisco versus Seattle will always be a dog fight but the 2020 Seahawks benefitted from a bit of luck, having gone 8-3 in one score games, and we see them as a team on the decline. The Niners will not get swept by Seattle again in 2021, the question is whether San Francisco wins one or both contests against them this season. We see San Francisco taking this game at home against a Seattle team that will be playing the second of back-to-back road games and third road game in its last four. Pick: 49ers win

Week 5 - Sunday, October 10th at Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 pm PT, Line: 49ers pick
The Arizona Cardinals may have lost Haason Reddick and Patrick Peterson but focused on defense by signing J.J. Watt and Malcolm Butler while drafting linebacker Zaven Collins from Tulsa with the 16th pick of the first round, and two cornerbacks, a safety and a defensive end within their top six selections. Even though we are not believers in Kliff Kingsbury, the Cardinals will be a tough out for the Niners regardless and we anticipate a split in 2021 with San Francisco taking the away game: Pick: 49ers win

Week 6 - BYE WEEK

Week 7 - Sunday, October 24th vs Indianapolis Colts, 5:20 pm PT, Line: 49ers -4.5
Indianapolis has a new offensive coordinator in Marcus Brady, new quarterback in Carson Wentz and added free agent offensive linemen to protect him. The Colts drafted two defensive ends with their first two picks in the 2020 draft to join DeForest Buckner on the line, indicating that they might be trying to focus on defense. We anticipate Indy featuring the running game with Jonathan Taylor to try and take some of the pressure off of Wentz this season. Will Frank Reich's reunion with Wentz help build back Wentz' confidence to play like they did together in 2017? We don't see Wentz playing better than Rivers did last season and not to the level of coming into San Francisco and pulling off the upset in prime time against a Niners squad that will be coming out of its bye. Pick: 49ers win

Week 8 - Sunday, October 31st at Chicago Bears, 10:00 am PT, Line: 49ers -4
The Bears have a new defensive coordinator in Sean Desai and Matt Nagy continues to commit to Andy Dalton as the Week 1 start over first round pick Justin Fields. Aside from Chicago's front seven, including Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, the Bears secondary could be more vulnerable after the loss of cornerback Kyle Fuller. Handicapping the 2021 Bears is difficult without knowing for certain who the starting quarterback will be and the same could be said about the 2021 49ers. If Andy Dalton starts this game, we would expect the Niners to win. If it is Justin Fields, we would expect a significant boost to the offense, making it a much closer game but in the end would give the edge to a healthy Niners defense against a rookie quarterback: Pick: 49ers win

Week 9 - Sunday, November 7th vs Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 pm PT, Line: 49ers -5.5
As mentioned previously, we expect the Niners to split the season series with the Cardinals and have San Francisco winning in Arizona. The Cardinals are 5-1 in its last 6 against the 49ers in the Bay Area. Pick: Cardinals win

Week 10 - Monday, November 15th vs Los Angeles Rams, 5:15 pm PT, Line: 49ers -3
The Los Angeles Rams may have a new defensive coordinator in Raheem Morris but the real new sheriff in town is Matthew Stafford and the Rams success and ability to beat San Francisco will largely depend on how well McVay is able to integrate and utilize Stafford, perhaps more so after losing running back Cam Akers for the year. The Niners defense seemed to own Jared Goff over the past two seasons with San Francisco going 4-0 against Los Angeles in 2019 and 2020 but that was then, this is now.. Los Angeles has a top defense and we see Stafford as a significant upgrade to the offense and the Rams as Super Bowl contenders in 2021. We do not expect the Rams with Stafford to get swept by the Niners in 2021 and anticipate a split with the home team each earning a win in 2021. Pick: 49ers win

Week 11 - Sunday, November 21st at Jacksonville Jaguars, 10:00 am PT, Line: 49ers -4
The Jaguars have a new head coach Urban Meyer, new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen and a new starting quarterback in number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence. In recent years, college coaches coming to the NFL for the first time have had some success and Trevor Lawrence is one of the most heralded quarterback prospects since Andrew Luck, but will Meyer and Lawrence be able to turn it around to pull off the upset in this spot? Urban Meyer has been called stubborn, a characteristic that might not be optimal in today's NFL when it comes to the need to adapt, and based on the fact that Meyer thought it was a good idea to bring in Tim Tebow for a tryout with the Jaguars, we will not be giving him the benefit of the doubt in 2021, though we do expect Jacksonville to improve this season: Pick: 49ers win

Week 12 - Sunday, November 28th vs Minnesota Vikings, 1:25 pm PT, Line: 49ers -7
Minnesota has a new offensive coordinator in Klint Kubiak, Gary's son, and attempted to shore up its defense by signing linebacker Dalvin Tomlinson and cornerback Patrick Peterson. Zimmer is a good defensive coach that often gets more out of his teams than expected and the Vikings could have a bounce back this season if Dalvin Cook stays healthy and receiver Justin Jefferson takes the next step in his sophomore year. Edge rusher Danielle Hunter, defensive tackle Michael Piece, who opted out in 2020 due to COVID, and linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks should be back and will anchor a competitive defense if all are healthy. The home team has won between these two squads over the last decade, and we have no reason to think that won't continue in 2021. Pick: 49ers win

Week 13 - Sunday, December 5th at Seattle Seahawks, 5:20 pm PT, Line: 49ers +1.5
We are predicting that San Francisco splits with Seattle in 2021. This game will be in Seattle on Sunday Night Football and Russell Wilson is 29-7-1 in prime time games, going 4-0 in 2020 in games on Monday, Thursday or Sunday night. Pick: Seattle wins

Week 14 - Sunday, December 12th at Cincinnati Bengals, 10:00 am PT, Line: 49ers -3.5
Joe Burrow had a promising start to his 2020 season that was ended by ACL injury. He will be returning to a receiving corps that includes Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd but his offensive line will need to improve this season if they want to keep him healthy. Cincinnati is vulnerable in its secondary and features a head coach that has a 2-13-1 record in one score games since taking over in 2019, but if Burrow and Mixon stay healthy, and that's a big 'if', we expect the Bengals to improve in 2021 and are going to slightly edge them in a contest where the Niners will be starting at the early time in the second game of a back-to-back. Pick: Bengals win

Week 15 - Sunday, December 19th vs Atlanta Falcons, 1:05 pm PT, Line: 49ers -8.5
The Atlanta Falcons have a new coach and offensive coordinator in Arthur Smith, new defensive coordinator in Dean Pees and first round pick in tight end Kyle Pitts whom some have called a generational talent. The 2020 Falcons led at half time in nine games, but only won four all season, and went 1-8 in games decided by seven points or fewer, indicating that their record may have been worse than their talent and that the 2021 Falcons could be due for a bounce back season. The last time Atlanta came into town they won straight up as ten point underdogs against the 2019 Niners and we expect this to be a very competitive game and 8.5 points too many. But since the Falcons will be playing the second of back-to-back road games, we will give the edge to San Francisco. Pick: 49ers win

Week 16 - Thursday, December 23rd at Tennessee Titans, 5:20 pm PT, Line: 49ers -2.0
The Tennessee Titans have a new offensive coordinator in Todd Downing and a new defensive coordinator in Shane Bowden and signed edge rusher Bud Dupree and traded for receiver Julio Jones in the off season. The Titans had one of the worse defenses in 2020 and will try to improve with the additions of edge rusher Denico Autry, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and by having picked cornerback Caleb Farley from Virginia Tech in the first round. The Titans were 7-2 in one score games in 2020 and we expect regression in 2021 but will edge the Titans at home on Thursday night before Christmas. Pick: Titans win

Week 17 - Sunday, January 2nd vs Houston Texans, 1:05 pm PT, Line: 49ers -13.5
The Houston Texans have a new head coach in David Culley and new defensive coordinator in Lovie Smith and a dumpster fire of a situation with DeShaun Watson. J.J. Watt is gone and the Texans traded Shaq Lawson to the Jets this past weekend, leaving Houston with one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Pick: 49ers win

Week 18 - Sunday, January 9th at Los Angeles Rams, 1:25 pm PT, Line: 49ers +3
We are predicting a split between these teams in 2021, with the home team winning each game. Pick: Rams win

Based on our game-by-game analysis, we predict that the San Francisco 49ers will finish 12-5 in 2021 if everything goes as planned and everyone stays healthy. Since it is rare that everything goes as planned and rare for everyone to stay healthy, we see little value and would advise caution in considering betting over the total of 10.5 set by Vegas. How many games do you think the Niners will win in 2021? Vote in the poll below.


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The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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