The start of the 2021-22 NFL regular season is just around the corner, which means Super Bowl predictions have begun to roll in.
Based on lines developed by Caesars Sports Book as of Friday morning, September 3, the San Francisco 49ers are +1400 to take home the Lombardi Trophy this year.
Based on the experts in Las Vegas, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+650) and the Buffalo Bills (+1200) actually have better odds than do the Niners to claim a Super Bowl victory at season’s end. The Green Bay Packers (+1400) and the Los Angeles Rams (+1400) have the same likelihood of capturing a championship as San Francisco, according to oddsmakers.
Yet, the professional predictors working for the NFL Network and NFL.com believe the Niners have the best chance of any of the aforementioned franchises to take home the title.
In fact, despite a losing record and missing the playoffs entirely in 2020-21 — at least partially due to a rash of injuries that plagued big time players like quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tight end George Kittle, running back Raheem Mostert and pass rusher Nick Bosa — those who cover the league for a living believe that only the Kansas City Chiefs (+500) are more likely to win Super Bowl LVI than are the Niners.
The number of experts selecting the 49ers as their championship favorites make San Francisco the most likely underdog in the NFL to capture the title, based on the NFL media group’s predictions.
Who Ya Got?
The following are the official predictions of five analysts for the NFL Network who believe the Niners will claim a title this year.
Most of them center on the utilization of rookie quarterback Trey Lance in Niners’ head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive scheme and/or the fact that San Francisco made the Super Bowl just two years ago, before injuries robbed them of an opportunity to win the NFC for a second consecutive season.
Kevin Patra: 49ers over Bills — “No rookie QB has ever made it to a Super Bowl. That all changes, and then some. With Trey Lance unleashed in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, the Niners blast past the Bills in a shootout that leaves Buffalo once again a game shy in the Lombardi quest.”
Adam Rank: 49ers over Browns — “People seem to forget how good the 49ers were in 2019, when they were last fully operational. Now they are back to avenge their previous Lombardi loss. Tough for the Browns, whose first Super Bowl Sunday ends in defeat.”
Gregg Rosenthal: 49ers over Ravens — “Trey Lance becomes the first rookie quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl title after Fred Warner tips Lamar Jackson’s potential game-winning throw at the buzzer.”
Marc Sessler: 49ers over Bills — “Kyle Shanahan’s season-long, on-field sea poem — captained by electric rookie Trey Lance — crescendos with a dominant offensive showing (250-plus ground yards) against a heartbroken Bills squad at uber-fancy SoFi.”
Lance Zierlein: 49ers over Chiefs — “Kyle Shanahan exacts revenge against the Chiefs in a Super Bowl and finally brings home the Lombardi with touchdowns from both Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.”
Other Teams in the Super Bowl Mix
A total of 11 analysts with the NFL website picked the Chiefs to win it all, while five landed on the Niners. The Bills and the Bucs each received three votes, while the Packers garnered two.
No other NFL teams were predicted as Super Bowl winners, which could prove much to the chagrin of fans in cities like Seattle, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, just to name a few.
But the great thing about the NFL is that anything can happen, especially in a 17-game regular season with a 14-team playoff format, up from 16 and 12, respectively. And the great thing about predictions? Getting to throw it in everyone’s face when they’re wrong about your team.
Let the games begin.