49ers given best odds in the NFC to return to the Super Bowl

49ers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers have been given the best odds out of any team in the NFC to return to the Super Bowl based on ESPN’s latest projections.

The San Francisco 49ers fell just short of winning their first Super Bowl in 25 years this past season, but could they be set for another run at the NFL’s premier prize?

Recent season projections released by ESPN sure seem to think so.

ESPN released 2020 predictions for all 32 NFL teams on Thursday and the 49ers finished with the best odds in the entire NFC to make the Super Bowl. San Francisco was given 7-1 odds to win the Big Game edging out the Dallas Cowboys who surprisingly came in second with 11-1 odds.

The 49ers trail only the Kansas City Chiefs who were given 2-1 odds as the likeliest team to secure the elusive Lombardi Trophy.

The team’s odds to win the NFC Championship were placed at +350 which, of course, was also tops in the conference. On top of that, the 49ers were also given +100 odds to win the NFC West — a feat they accomplished for the first time since 2012 last season.

However, despite having the second-best odds in the NFL to win the Super Bowl, two teams were given higher over/under win totals while one team, the New Orleans Saints, was tied with the 49ers’ 10.5 projection.

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Aside from the Chiefs, the other team that received a higher over/under win total was the Baltimore Ravens who clocked in with an impressive 12 wins, tied for the most with the Chiefs.

That notion carried over into their playoff odds as the 49ers were given -325 odds to qualify for the postseason while both the Chiefs and Ravens saw higher figures at -1800 and -1100, respectively.

The 49ers being given such high odds shouldn’t come as a surprise to most seeing as they will return much of the roster that finished 13-3 and made the Super Bowl last season.

The likes of Arik Armstead and Jimmie Ward were re-signed in the offseason while the one major loss is that odd DeForest Buckner who was shipped to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the No. 13 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Losing Buckner is undoubtedly a significant blow, but the team could look to replace him in the draft — perhaps even with the selection they got in return. They also could bolster their passing game with the addition of a top-tier wide receiver prospect.

Either way, there’s no doubt that the 49ers will have high expectations going into the 2020 season after surprising a lot of people last year.

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The question is, will they be able to live up to those lofty expectations?