Last season recap
If you placed an online NFL bet at a football betting website that the San Francisco 49ers would become the first Super Bowl team to play the championship game on its own home field last season, sorry about that. As it turned out, the 49ers did not even make it to the postseason (for the second straight year). That’s what finishing with a 5-11 record will do to ya. As a result, head coach Jim Tomsula was axed after all of one season in charge. To be fair, though, several players such as Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, and Anthony Davis all unexpectedly retired – none were over 35 at the time of their retirement.
The 2016 season will be the 49ers’ 67th in the NFL, and the first with head coach Chip Kelly – formerly with the Philadelphia Eagles, who had their own disappointing 7-9 season. San Francisco resigned several free agents, but lost wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who left for the Detroit Lions. Meanwhile, running back Reggie Bush signed with Buffalo Bills, but most SF fans who enjoy an online NFL bet now and then would probably call that addition by subtraction. Elsewhere, the Niners upgraded their defense with the selection of 7th overall pick in the 2016 draft, defensive end DeForest ‘Kelly’ Buckner – a Pac-12 champion and Second-team All-Pac-12 in 2014, and First-team All-Pac-12, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and First-team All-American in 2015. Buckner was considered one of top ranked defensive ends to be drafted, and finished his senior year with career highs in tackles (83) and sacks, (10.5).
What to Expect
The 49ers’ first depth chart lists Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick as co-starters, so when it comes to online NFL bet, it’s a toss-up. San Francisco fans could reasonably expect Gabbert and Kaepernick to split QB duties 50-50, like they did in 2015. The former started 8 games and completed 178 passes of 282 attempts (63.1%) for 2,031 yards and 10 TDs; meanwhile the latter completed 144 of 244 passing attempts (59%) for 1,615 yards and 6 touchdowns in 9 games (eight started). Gabbert was intercepted 7 times and sacked 25 times; Kaepernick posted 5 interceptions and 28 sacks. Alternately, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat speculates that management “want Gabbert to be the starting quarterback and the face of the franchise” and let Kaepernick “fade into the background, drop off the edge.” Either way, Niners fans can expect a fast-paced offense courtesy of head coach Kelly. In the last three seasons, Kelly’s teams ranked 13th, 1st, and 2nd in plays run among league offenses. By way of contrast, the 49ers ranked 31st, 21st, and 30th in plays run over the last three seasons. Eagles quarterbacks and receivers reached new statistical heights under Kelly; it is not at all unreasonable to expect him to achieve a similar effect in San Francisco, though at the moment the roster brings up more questions than it does answers.
Odds to win Super Bowl 51: +12000