San Francisco 49ers Betting – Changes May Keep 49ers From The Postseason
Online betting players watched San Francisco miss a golden chance to win the AFC West last year, and now they have a new coaching staff. The 49ers also have a lot of free agents to decide on before the 2011 campaign begins, and that should prevent them from reaching the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
- Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh
- Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman
- Defensive Coordinator: Vic Fangio
- Owner: Jed York
- Stadium: Candlestick Park
- Capacity: 69,732
- Super Bowl Wins: 5
New head coach Jim Harbaugh brought his coordinator, Greg Roman, from Stanford with him, and Roman takes over a unit that was 24th in the NFL in total offense, coming in 18th in passing and 19th on the ground. Quarterback Alex Smith is a free agent, but Harbaugh has said that Smith is his guy going into the season, which may be to the chagrin of 49ers fans and NFL betting players as Smith finished 21st in passer rating. Frank Gore played in only 11 games and didn’t reach the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since his rookie year, and the 49ers drafted Kendall Hunter in order to keep him fresh. Vernon Davis is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league, while Michael Crabtree is emerging as of a top NFL receiver. The surprise of last year may have been Josh Morgan, who had a career year in receiving yards, and he is a solid compliment to Crabtree on the other side of the offense. The line should also get a healthy Joe Staley back after he suffered a knee injury, and the 49ers need him badly as they allowed 44 sacks in 2010.
However, does anyone have confidence in Smith besides Harbaugh and Roman? The 49ers drafted Colin Kaepernick with their second-round pick, but he is definitely a project, so don’t be surprised to see San Francisco hit the free-agent market when the lockout ends. Also, the line simply has to be better, because the 49ers have weapons in Davis, Crabtree and Gore. But if the line can’t block, it doesn’t do much good.
The 49ers had the No.13-ranked defense in the league last year, but again, when Harbaugh replaced Mike Singletary he brought his staff from Stanford, and that includes coordinator Vic Fangio, who would do well to connect with Patrick Willis. One of the NFL’s best linebackers, Willis had a career-low 128 tackles, but he had a career high in sacks with six, and he didn’t need to make as many tackles as Takeo Spikes had his first 100-tackle season since 2003. He may be the most important free agent on the 49ers, not Smith, although it remains to be seen what the 34-year-old wants to get paid. The 49ers drafted end Aldon Smith to help out a pass rush which got to the quarterback 36 times, but San Francisco should do their best to re-sign nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, although it’s not likely, and the same goes for linebacker Manny Lawson. In the secondary, corners Nate Clements should still be in town, along with strong safety Reggie Smith, but his partner Dashon Goldson could test the free-agent market.
And that is the biggest concern for the San Francisco defense: re-signing their free agents. Any big free-agent moves will likely come on offense, so the 49ers have to be careful defensively. They do have players ready to step up if Spikes and Goldson walk as Navarro Bowman could get more snaps at linebacker, and Taylor Mays could be slot in if Smith would move over to free safety.
The 49ers were 30th in kickoff returns, but seventh in punt returns, and if there is one thing that Ted Ginn Jr. can do, it’s run back punts. However, the kickoff part of returns has to be worked on by the 49ers, who were also 15th in covering both punts and kicks.
Andy Lee was fourth in the NFL in average punting, but only 15th in net punting, and that is on the cover team because he has the leg to kick the ball a long way. Jeff Reed was brought in to replace the injured Joe Nedney at the end of last year and performed well, and the two could battle it out for the starter’s role if the 49ers decide to bring Reed back, while Fabrizio Scaccia is also in the mix.
NFL betting odds have the 49ers at +4250 to win the Super Bowl, which place them behind Arizona in the NFC West, and these two may end up battling for a new quarterback before the end of the offseason, which could tip the scales of power in the division. The 49ers haven’t won the West since 2002, which was the last time they went to the playoffs. They know they missed a great opportunity last year when the rest of the division was awful.
Harbaugh may get some tips from his brother John, who is the head coach in Baltimore (who he will meet on Week 12 in the first edition of the “Harbaugh Bowl”), but he’ll find out that coaching NFL players is a different story. He has to figure out if Smith is really the quarterback he wants to try and ride into the playoffs, and the defense has a lot of questions to answer when the free-agent period opens up. Until those questions are answered, be wary of the 49ers’ sports betting odds.
- 2011 Schedule
- Week 1 – vs. Seattle (4:15 PM ET)
- Week 2 – vs. Dallas (4:05 PM ET)
- Week 3 – at Cincinnati (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 4 – at Philadelphia (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 5 – vs. Tampa Bay (4:05 PM ET)
- Week 6 – at Detroit (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 8 – vs. Cleveland (4:15 PM ET)
- Week 9 – at Washington (1:00 PM ET)
- Week 10 – vs. New York Giants (4:15 PM ET)
- Week 11 – vs. Arizona (4:05 PM ET)
- Week 12 – at Baltimore (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET)
- Week 13 – vs. St. Louis (4:15 PM ET)
- Week 14 – at Arizona (4:05 PM ET)
- Week 15 – vs. Pittsburgh (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
- Week 16 – at Seattle (Saturday, 4:15 PM ET)
- Week 17 – at St. Louis (1:00 PM ET)