2020 Super Bowl Betting: A Case For the Niners’ Offense

Seattle Seahawks SanFrancisco 49ers odds and betting analysis

Anybody who witnessed the San Francisco 49ers in their two playoff games knows that they are capable of bludgeoning an opponent. Jimmy Garoppolo had to throw the ball only 27 times in wins over the Vikings and Packers. And he leaves the impression that if the 49ers can’t dominate the ground game against the Kansas City Chiefs, they won’t be able to come out of the Super Bowl with a win.

Maybe that’s isn’t totally true, but it will definitely help. Certainly, the key to success for the Niners is being able to run the ball. It all starts from there, but is that where it will end?

Super Bowl 54 is slated for Sunday at 6:30 PM ET at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. And at BetAnySports, you’ll be able to play a ton of props, in addition to getting reduced juice and Sports Betting Ultra, so you can make wagers on the action in progress.

Here is their latest line on the game (odds subject to change, of course):

Super Bowl LIV: Chiefs vs. 49ers Betting Odds

49ers +1 (-110) 54½ (-110) EV
Chiefs -1 (-110) 54½ (-110) -120
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So what case can we make for the San Francisco offense?


They have handled this level of defense before

There is a metric called “DVOA” which measures overall adjusted efficiency on both sides of the ball. We recognize that the Chiefs improved in the last seven games to 17th in this category over that period. But on an overall basis, they were 29th. And they allowed 4.8 yards a carry – 5.5 in the second halves of games.

The Niners played seven games against teams that were ranked in the bottom ten of rush defense DVOA. Against those teams, they ran the ball about 33 times a game. They averaged 192 yards per contest, with 17 rushing touchdowns. All of that is phenomenal. They averaged 5.77 yards per rushing attempt against the teams that were in the bottom third of the league’s rush defense efficiency rankings.

Several teams have managed to control the football and control games against Kansas City. Indianapolis, which had a ton of secondary injuries, had 180 yards and held the ball for over 37 minutes. Houston (in the regular season) had 192 yards and 39 minutes, 48 seconds of possession. Both of those teams beat the Chiefs. And San Francisco has a better and more persistent ground game than they do. The 49ers have run the ball 52% of the time. Only the Baltimore Ravens ran it more often.

The “explosiveness” factor

Explosive pass plays are those that go for 20 yards or more. The 49ers have had explosive passes 12% of the time they have put the ball in the air. That is an NFL high. So if you put that together with the ground game, they have the capability to stretch KC’s defense. Jimmy Garoppolo has completed 58.5% of his throws that have gone 15+ yards beyond the line of scrimmage. That’s the best in the league. And compare that to 46.7% for Patrick Mahomes, who had the highest passer rating in those situations.

Jimmy G is just fine “by the numbers”

Garoppolo has averaged 11.5 yards per play-action, which is going to be a HUGE factor if the Niners are able to get off with their ground game. He has thrown 16 TD’s with just two interceptions in the red zone. He is 70.1% accurate in the fourth quarters of games.  Has made “bad throws” on just 13.7% of his attempts, as opposed to 18.3% on the part of Mahomes. And he actually averaged more yards per attempt than Mahomes, which is something you may not have expected. He also wins games; his record as an NFL starter is 23-5. And that included five straight wins when he took over the Niners’ job when they were 1-10 in 2017. Don’t sell him short on his ability to compete.

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