NFL betting handicappers expect San Francisco to win the NFC West and make the NFL gambling post season for the first time since the 2002 campaign.
San Francisco will begin their quest for the playoffs with an opening game at Seattle against a Seahawk team that begins a new era with Pete Carroll as head coach. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:20 PM Eastern and Sports-Gambling.com opened with the 49ers as a 3-point favorite and with an over/under of 37.
The 49ers are coming off their first non losing season since 2002 as they finished 8-8 straight up last year. The big asset was defense as San Francisco ranked 4th for points permitted and expects to be at that level again in 2010.
Alex Smith has resurrected his career as starting quarterback after flaming out under previous coach Mike Nolan, who went public in implying that Smith lacked toughness and leadership ability.
The 2005 number one overall draft pick has assumed a greater leadership role which has won the respect of key players such as running back Frank Gore. Michael Crabtree leads a talented receiving corps that will help give the 49ers a more diversified attack.
San Francisco has beaten the NFL odds in 7 out of their last 10 games as a favorite and was a strong 9-4 against the spread last year to rank as one of the most profitable teams on the board.
Carroll inherits a Seattle team that has not had a winning season since 2007 and was ranked near the bottom on all major statistical categories in the NFL last year. Carroll emphasized competition at training camp and opened nearly all positions up for the best player to win, including at quarterback where veteran Matt Hasselbeck will start.
There has been plenty of roster makeover but also a more positive culture than has been the case in recent seasons. Seattle has failed to turn a profit with the NFL lines in the past 2 seasons and was a dreadful 5-11 straight up and 6-10 against the spread last year. Seattle has gone 7-18 against the spread as a dog the past 3 seasons.
The 49ers and Seahawks have gone under the NFL betting total in 6 out of their last 8 head to head meetings.