• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

NFL betting: The Niners are the most popular bet to make the Super Bowl

·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Gold fever is sweeping the betting public like it's 1849, with the Niners getting nearly a third of the handle to win the NFC in 2022 and quarterback Trey Lance seeing the third-most action in the MVP market on BetMGM. Can Lance do this season what Jimmy Garoppolo couldn't do last year and lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl?

[Join the Yahoo Fantasy Tourney Pick'Em $25K Best Bracket Contest]

A new era in San Francisco

It's no secret that Garoppolo will either be traded or cut in the weeks ahead. The 49ers mortgaged their future last season when they sent two first-round picks and a third-rounder to the Dolphins to swap up from No. 12 to No. 3 in the 2021 draft to take Lance out of North Dakota State. By shipping Garoppolo off to a QB-needy team like the Colts, San Francisco can recoup draft capital and free up more than $25.5 million to use in free agency.

Recruited as a linebacker by Power Five schools, the 6-4, 224-pound Lance threw 28 touchdowns to zero interceptions and rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns in his one full year as a college starter. He experienced some growing pains in his rookie season with the Niners, displaying shaky accuracy at times and hesitating too often on his reads as a ballcarrier. A fractured finger, left knee sprain and Kyle Shanahan all limited Lance's time on the field, where he played in six games and went 1-1 as a starter.

But Lance appears to have the tools to be an elite quarterback in the NFL, and bettors are banking on him succeeding at an MVP-level in his first full year in Shanahan's offense. He's the third-most popular MVP bet, behind Buffalo QB Josh Allen and new Broncos QB Russell Wilson. Lance opened at 80-to-1, but has shortened to 66-to-1 as bets pour in. Nearly 10% of the MVP handle is on Lance, making him BetMGM's biggest liability in the market.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance was the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance was the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Super Bowl and bust

Out of all the money being wagered on which team will win the NFC, 29.5% of it is riding on San Francisco. They fell one drive short of making the Super Bowl last season, blowing a 17-7 fourth-quarter lead to lose 20-17 to the Rams in the conference title game. San Francisco opened at +700 to win the NFC this year, and currently sits at +600. Dallas (+650) owns the second-highest NFC champ handle at a distant 8.4%, followed by Green Bay (+450) at 6.3%.

Although bettors love the Niners' chances of appearing in the Super Bowl, they're not so hot on San Francisco's chances to win it. Shanahan's team is receiving the sixth-most bets to win it all at a price of +1400, behind the AFC's Bills (+750), Chiefs (+750), Titans (+2200), Broncos (+1200), and Bengals (+1200). Buffalo is far-and-away the most popular bet to claim the Lombardi trophy, with 15% of tickets and 17.5% of the handle on the Bills.

Stats provided by Pro Football Reference and spotrac.com.