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San Francisco 49ers Betting Odds Preview

The 49ers appeared in the NFC Championship Game for the third straight season last year, but their season ended one win short of back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. The legend of Colin Kaepernick continued to grow, while the 49ers' defense remained one of the fiercest units in the NFL. Despite all of that, however, they still need to get over the hump and claim that elusive Super Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers Odds to Win NFC West: +150 at Bovada
San Francisco 49ers Odds to Win Super Bowl: 15/2 at Bovada
San Francisco 49ers Regular Season Win Total: 11 at Bovada
San Francisco 49ers Betting Props: Colin Kaepernick to Win NFL MVP 20/1 at Bovada

In his first full season as the 49ers' starting QB Kaepernick was electric, passing for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushing for 524 yards and four more scores. There’s a good chance Kaepernick’s passing numbers could improve this season if his strong group of receivers can stay healthy. Anquan Boldin was his usual reliable self last season while Michael Crabtree only played in five games during the regular season but quickly started to develop some chemistry with Kaepernick. San Francisco also acquired veteran Stevie Johnson, and don’t forget about tight end Vernon Davis who led the 49ers with 12 TD catches last season.

Out of the backfield Frank Gore remains the No. 1 back after another 1,000-plus yards season, which included nine touchdowns. Gore, now 31 years old, did see his yards per carry take a hit last season, so he could start to decline more rapidly, which could mean more carries for backups rookie Carlos Hyde who should inherit the backup role following a season-ending knee injury to Kendall Hunter.

The 49ers' defense has been among the best in the league for a number of years now and last season was no exception. San Francisco was the fifth-ranked defense overall last season and the No. 3 scoring defense. The defense still has plenty of big names such as Patrick Willis and Ahmad Brooks, but there are some major points of concern for the D heading into the season.

First is the status of linebackers Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman. Smith, the 49ers’ sack leader the last three seasons, is headed for a suspension due to a DUI charge from last year, his third off-field infraction since 2012. He could he be out for anywhere from four to six games which would be a huge loss for the 49ers. Bowman suffered a knee injury in the NFC Championship Game and isn’t expected back until at least Week 7.

The other defensive question mark is the San Francisco secondary. Corners Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown and safety Donte Whitner all left after last season and their replacements, safety Antoine Bethea and corner Chris Cook, don’t totally stack up. With the pass rush already expected to take a hit without Smith for at least part of the season a weakened secondary is the last thing the 49ers need.

The 49ers paid consistently for bettors last season with a strong 11-6-2 ATS record. They were especially good on the road at 7-2-2 ATS, compared to 4-4 ATS at home.

NFC West Odds at Bovada as of August 5

Seattle Seahawks +125
San Francisco 49ers +150
Arizona Cardinals +700
St. Louis Rams +700

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After finishing the regular season with a second straight NFC West title and an 11-4-1 SU record, the San Francisco 49ers made their way to the Super Bowl and came up just short. They’ll look to return to the big game and get the job done this time around in 2013.

Odds to Win NFC West: -125 at Bovada
Regular Season Win Total: 11 at Bovada
Betting Props: Colin Kaepernick to win NFL MVP (10/1) at Bovada

In two regular seasons under head coach Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers are 24-7-1 SU and 20-11-1 ATS. Harbaugh has installed a smash-mouth defense and running game, and with the emergence of Colin Kaepernick over the second half of last year, there aren’t any noticeable weaknesses on this elite squad.

Kaepernick ran the read option to near perfection last season, passing for 2,523 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushing for 568 yards and six touchdowns in 11 total starts (including three in the postseason). Opposing defenses have not yet figured out an answer for a quarterback like Kaepernick, who is a lightning fast runner with a huge build and big arm. The addition of Anquan Boldin helps lesson the blow of Michael Crabtree’s preseason injury, but Crabtree should return by season’s end. Frank Gore is still one of the league’s top rushers, racking up 1,214 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Kaepernick will steal the headlines with his incredible athletic plays, but San Francisco’s defense is an equally important piece to the puzzle. The 49ers finished third in total yards surrendered allowing just 294.4 yards per game and second in scoring defense allowing just 17.1 points per game. A preseason torn ACL to CB Chris Culliver hurts, but this team has plenty of depth and a great scheme to overcome it and put together another elite year.

With two consecutive trips to the NFC Championship Game and one of the best teams on paper in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers are the team to beat not only in the NFC West, but in the entire conference. Now boasting an explosive offense to go along with this smothering defense, look out.

NFC West Odds at Bovada as of August 3

San Francisco 49ers -125
Seattle Seahawks +140
St. Louis Rams +650
Arizona Cardinals +2000