San Francisco 49ers: nfl FUTURES & BETTING ODDS
The San Francisco 49ers have one of the richest, most successful franchise histories in the entirety of the NFL.
Beginning play in the AAFC in 1946, the 49ers joined the NFL in 1949 upon the merging of both leagues. Named after the 1849 gold rush, the 49ers logo initially featured a spectator shooting pistols and wearing a red shirt and plaid red pants. Combining the two gave San Francisco its red and gold color scheme. In 1968, the team switched its logo to the now-famous interlocked S&F oval, which it uses to this day.
Although San Francisco owns five Super Bowl championships and has an entire locker room of legendary players in the Hall of Fame, things weren’t always so rosy for the NFL’s 10th franchise. Even though the 49ers’ early years featured HOF QB Y.A. Tittle and HOF RBs Joe Perry and Hugh McElhenny, the team struggled. It appeared in the last-ever AAFC championship game, losing to the Cleveland Browns, and won a division title in 1957, but the team would fail to make the playoffs again until 1970.
The San Francisco 49ers odds to win their first championship were high from 1970-1972, thanks to a defense led by HOF DB Jimmy Johnson. But the 49ers lost two conference championship games to Dallas in ‘70 & ‘71, in what would be the beginning of a tremendous playoff rivalry. A bet on the San Francisco 49ers to advance to a third conference championship in three years would not pay, either, because in ’72 the 49ers lost to – you guessed it – the Dallas Cowboys again, this time in the divisional round.
The rest of the 70’s was a wash, as the 49ers did not make the playoffs again during the decade. However, in 1979, the team hired Stanford head coach Bill Walsh to take over the team. Walsh would completely transform the 49ers franchise and catapult it into the hierarchy of the NFL.
QB Joe Montana had been selected in the 3rd round in 1979, and although Montana served as a protégé to Steve DeBerg, he quickly surpassed him, earning the starting role in 1981. That year, the 49ers had drafted S Ronnie Lott eighth overall, leading a remake of the defense. Montana and TE Dwight Clark clicked instantly. Montana led the league in passing percentage, Clark had over a thousand yards receiving, and the 49ers won their first division title in over a decade. They blew out the New York Giants in the divisional round, won a squeaker against old playoff nemesis Dallas in the NFC title game, and then won their first championship with a 26-21 defeat of Cincinnati.
The following two years were a disappointment for the 49ers, as they missed the playoffs in the strike-shortened season of 1982 and lost the 1983 NFC title game to Joe Gibbs and the Washington Redskins. In 1984, the San Francisco 49ers odds to get back to the Super Bowl were high. A bet on the San Francisco 49ers would pay, as they throttled Miami, 38-16.
Walsh and the 49ers would add crucial pieces to their dynasty through the draft, selecting RB Roger Craig in 1983 & WR Jerry Rice in ’85. The San Francisco 49ers odds to become a dynasty were high, but the team unexpectedly bowed out of the playoffs in the next three years, losing to the Giants twice and the Vikings once. Then, in 1988, Walsh led his 49ers back to the Super Bowl. A bet on the San Francisco 49ers to win would pay, as they would once again vanquish the Cincinnati Bengals. A bet on the San Francisco 49ers to cover would not, however, as the 6-point favorites would win the title game 20-16.
Walsh retired after his third title and defensive coordinator George Seifert took over the team. Seifert and his loaded 49ers squad rolled through the NFC to a 14-2 record, then plowed through the playoffs, winning each playoff game by an average of 33 points. The San Francisco 49ers odds to win their fourth Super Bowl were sky high – the team was 13-point favorites – and they cashed, crushing Denver 55-10.
A bid for a three-peat would fail, however, as San Francisco would lose to the eventual champion New York Giants in the 1990 NFC title game, 15-13. The San Francisco 49ers odds to get back to a third-straight Super Bowl had been good – the team was an 8- point favorite – but five field goals from Giants’ kicker Matt Bahr and a lackluster performance from Montana sealed their fate.
Montana injured his elbow and missed the next two seasons, and team legends Lott & Craig left to play for the Raiders. Steve Young, Montana’s backup for four seasons, took over the QB duties, but didn’t fare as well as his predecessor… at least not immediately. The 49ers missed the playoffs in 1991, then lost consecutive NFC title games to – yup – Dallas. Finally, in 1994, the 49ers turned the tables on their longtime rivals, beating Dallas in the NFC title game. The San Francisco 49ers odds to win a fifth Lombardi trophy were astronomical – they were an unheard of 19-point favorite – and they responded in kind, blowing out San Diego, 49-26.
Young played four more seasons but failed to lead the team back to the Super Bowl in any of them. Even with newfound superstars, such as Terrell Owens, the team couldn’t regain any of its former glory. Rice left the team after the 2000 season to play with Oakland. Owens left in 2004, his prima-donna act worn thin. The 49ers didn’t make the playoffs from 2003-2010, and many wondered if the years of a dynamic 49ers team were behind them.
Then, in 2011, the team hired Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh took the team to the conference championship in 2011 and the Super Bowl in 2012. However, a bet on the San Francisco 49ers to win either game would not pan out, as the team lost to the Giants and Ravens, respectively.
Harbaugh lasted four seasons, and in 2017, the team hired Kyle Shanahan. It took Shanahan two years to mold the team in his image, and in 2019 he took the 49ers and a fearsome defense, led by DROY Nick Bosa, to Super Bowl LIV. However, a bet on the San Francisco 49ers would not pay, as the team lost its second bid for a sixth championship, 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The team was decimated by injuries in 2020, as quarterback Jimmy Garropolo, tight end George Kittle, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, and defensive star Nick Bosa all missed significant time. Garoppolo was also ineffective at times, leading Lynch to move up in the draft to select quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick. While Garoppolo was tabbed the Week 1 starter, it seems like only a matter of time before this becomes Lance's team.