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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The 49ers Defied the Odds All the Way to the Super Bowl

Matt Andruscavage
Jan 22, 2020 at 11:38 AM


Thank you to Pete Watt for the graphic and information


Pete Watt over at a web site called Odds Checker has calculated and created a fantastic graphic that shows the odds from the start of the season all the way to the Super Bowl.


"Pretenders"


You can see that the first few victories early in the season did little to improve San Francisco's odds. It wasn't until the victory over the Rams that the odds suddenly improved and the 49ers show up on the graphic. This shows just how unexpected the 49ers' turnaround was by oddsmakers and media analysts alike. San Francisco had made several moves and had all the pieces in place, but outside of the team and those who follow it closely, the truth is, no one believed it.

Despite many impressive wins at the time and even being underdogs in Cincinnati, the victories did little to improve their odds and more importantly, gain any kind of respect. Media pundits like Ryan Clark called the 49ers "pretenders". Each week, you could read why this was the week the Niners would get exposed and when it didn't happen, excuses and rationalizations were made. The process would then repeat.

The Gauntlet


The overtime loss to Seattle in Week 10 seemed to satisfy all the doubters. All was right again in the media. The 49ers had lost because "they really weren't that good and they finally played a real team." Forget the fact George Kittle was out, Emmanuel Sanders exited the game very early, and Kwon Alexander was out for the season. Despite all of that, San Francisco was in position to win with a 47-yard field goal in overtime, but missed as it asked a rookie backup kicker, who was filling in for an injured Robbie Gould, to make a very difficult kick. Nope, none of that mattered.

The odds don't move for the 49ers after the loss until they beat New Orleans in Week 14. San Francisco had to beat Green Bay in Week 12, then travel to Baltimore and New Orleans. The Niners went 2-1 in that stretch and played Baltimore as tough as anyone had. They lost at the buzzer on a long kick by Justin Tucker. During much of this stretch at this point in the season, the defense and ground game were so banged up and unproductive. The media has completely forgotten that Jimmy Garoppolo carried the 49ers past New Orleans in the 48-46 thriller.

Watt's graphic sure noticed the importance of this win as the Super Bowl odds improved greatly after Week 14.

Down the Stretch


Following another buzzer-beater loss in Week 15 to the Falcons (who pounded the Saints a couple weeks prior), the 49ers had to defeat a Rams team that was fighting for its playoff life and then travel to Seattle to win the division, a place they had not won since 2011. Jimmy Garoppolo played great in both of those games and the defense did its part to end Seattle's final drive at the one. San Francisco had won the NFC West and shown that it can win games several different ways. Despite what the media continued to say, the Super Bowl odds had begun to surge. The 49ers now had home field advantage and a chance to show just how good they really are.

After defeating Minnesota and Green Bay in the playoffs, the 49ers are now in the Super Bowl and they have truly defied the odds. Watt states, "The 49ers opened at +4000 (40/1) but their price has only moved in one direction since in what has become a remarkable season, regardless of the result at the Hard Rock Stadium."

The Big Game


The 49ers and Chiefs are in the big game and it's a pretty even matchup. Kansas City is favored by 1.5 points. Patrick Mahomes would be the overwhelming favorite to bet on to win the MVP. What about on the 49ers' side?

Watt believes "Quarterbacks usually secure the honour but Jimmy Garoppolo hasn't been a factor recently with the running game being lent (sic) on so heavily, so it leaves the market wide-open."

Watt also states that Nick Bosa would be a favorite on the defensive side of the ball. "A decent defensive action will be needed to keep Patrick Mahomes at bay so DE Bosa becomes a great value bet, with enticing odds for the pass rush specialist."

Whoever wins the Super Bowl MVP will be interesting for gamblers but one thing everyone can agree on is the San Francisco 49ers have defied the odds from the start of the 2019 season. If they are victorious against the Chiefs, it will just be one more game that the Niners will have won when most didn't believe they could.

Follow Pete on Twitter @WattAreTheOdds
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.


1 Comment

  • Paul
    I wasn’t surprised that the 49ers made the playoffs. At the beginning of the season Super Bowl would have been a shock to me. They had two interceptions, five fumble recoveries, a fair amount of close games, a QB out for the season in week 3. I thought no way are the turnovers going to be that low in 2019. Deebo, Dee Ford, Bosa, Alexander, Greenlaw have been great additions. Ultra impressed with how they have dealt with injuries this year. Some great experience for back ups.
    Jan 23, 2020 at 5:19 PM
    1

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