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San Francisco 49ers Starting Quarterback Odds: Will Trey Lance Get the Nod?

San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback odds: Will No. 3 pick Trey Lance get the start?

It was a tumultuous 2020 season for the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners finished last in the NFC West with a 6-10 record in an injury-filled campaign that saw only three players on the entire team start all 16 games. Star players such as defensive end Nick Bosa, cornerback Richard Sherman, tight end George Kittle, receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and many others all missed significant time through the year.

That long list of injured starters included quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who was limited to just six starts. Garoppolo missed the final eight games of the year with an ankle injury.

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With questions swirling around Garoppolo’s health and his play on the field, the Niners made a pre-draft blockbuster deal with the Miami Dolphins to move up to the third spot in April’s NFL draft. San Francisco gave up its 12th overall selection, a 2022 third-rounder and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 for that No. 3.

After weeks of rumors about who the 49ers would select, they chose North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, and that has oddsmakers speculating about a change in the huddle.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback odds are now live at online sportsbook Bovada.

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San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback odds

San Francisco 49ers quarterback odds: Will Trey Lance start Week 1?
OptionOdds
Yes+330
No-560

Odds as of June 3 at Bovada

Trey Lance odds 

North Dakota State product Trey Lance was one of the most exciting prospects to enter the 2021 NFL Draft. At six-foot-four and 226 pounds, he combines prototypical size with a rushing ability coveted by modern NFL offenses. In his one full season at North Dakota State in 2019, Lance rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 2,786 passing yards, 28 touchdown passes and zero interceptions. He played in only one game last year as North Dakota State’s season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The issue with Lance is his rawness as a prospect. While he was extremely efficient and effective in his time at North Dakota State, he attempted just 318 passes in his entire college career. To put that in perspective, 29 NFL quarterbacks attempted more than 318 passes last season.

The 49ers may not feel that Lance is ready to play right away given how little football he actually played in college, but he did play in a zone-blocking, play-action scheme that is similar to what the 49ers employ – potentially increasing his likelihood of suiting up early.

However, if recent history is any indication, there is a good chance Lance sits to start the year. Not only do coaches usually default to a veteran as the starter over a rookie at any position, but 12 of the 18 quarterbacks selected in the first round in the previous five NFL drafts sat in Week 1 as rookies.

Jimmy Garoppolo odds 

San Francisco 49ers quarterback odds really come down to two players. If the 49ers’ Week 1 starter isn’t going to be Trey Lance, it will almost certainly be the incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo was not particularly good last season. Before his season-ending ankle injury, he had seven touchdowns and five picks along with a 67 percent completion rate. Garoppolo’s game has always been built around high-percentage, low-depth-of-target throws and limiting turnovers.

And while he has accomplished that for the most part in his career, the 29-year-old veteran hasn’t exactly lived up to the five-year, $137.5-million contract given to him three years ago. Garoppolo has two seasons left on his hefty deal, with cap hits over $26 million both years (although the dead cap money is low).

There were plenty of rumors about Garoppolo being traded leading up to the draft with the writing on the wall that his eventual replacement was going to be picked by the team. But we now sit at the beginning of June without a trade, and the closer we get to the season, the more likely it feels that Jimmy G will stay.

Best Bet

In terms of San Francisco 49ers quarterback odds, the best bet has to be “No” on Bovada’s “Will Trey Lance start Week 1?” prop bet.

With the No option on this bet set at -560, the implied odds that Garoppolo will start Week 1 are around 85 percent while the implied odds that Lance gets the nod sit at about 23 percent. We agree with the sportsbooks and see Garoppolo as the likely Week 1 starter based on the history of rookie starters and Lance’s relative inexperience.

The 49ers gave up so much draft capital to get Lance that the plan is clearly to get him into the lineup sooner than later, but all other signs point to Garoppolo retaining the job with the rookie on speed dial to enter the lineup at the first signs of struggle.