The 49ers (11-3) lost in Week 15, but they're still in good shape.
Ahead of San Francisco's Week 16 matchup with the rival Los Angeles Rams (8-6) on Saturday at Levi's Stadium, the 49ers have a 41.8 percent chance of being the NFC's top seed, NFL Media's Cynthia Frelund wrote Wednesday. That's despite entering the penultimate week of the season as the NFC's No. 5 seed and in second place in the NFC West.
"San Francisco is the only team that completely controls its ability to earn the top slot, so long as it wins out," Frelund wrote.
Frelund said she "ran 100,000 simulations" in order to calculate every team's odds of landing the top spot in the conference. The Seattle Seahawks, at 36 percent, had the second-best chance behind the 49ers of entering the postseason as the No. 1 seed.
Should the 49ers and Seahawks win in Week 16, that will set up a winner-take-all showdown in Seattle in Week 17. The NFC West crown will be on the line whether one or both teams slip up, but the extra stakes will be fitting for a rivalry revitalized by the 49ers' resurgence.
In order to lock up home-field advantage, the 49ers first will need to beat the Rams on Saturday. San Francisco downed Los Angeles 20-7 back in Week 6, but the Rams weren't playing for their playoff lives then. Los Angeles has a very outside chance of making the playoffs, and Saturday's game is a must-win for the reigning NFC champions.
Beating them will only aid the 49ers' chances of clinching the top seed.
NFL odds: 49ers boast best chance of claiming NFC's No. 1 playoff seed originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area