2011 San Francisco 49ers NFL Odds and Predictions – 49ers Super Bowl Odds and NFC Championship Futures
2011 San Francisco 49ers NFL Expert Predictions, Picks, 2012 Vegas Super Bowl Odds and Schedule – San Francisco 49ers NFL Football Season Preview: It was an up and down year for the San Francisco 49ers last season, and the end result was a 6-10 record and another season without a playoff appearance. Jim Harbaugh comes to town to try to remedy the situation, and although he boasts impressive numbers from his time at Stanford, he didn’t bring quarterback Andrew Luck with him. Instead, he will try to recreate the success he had with the Cardinal with former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith under center. Smith has been a major disappointment thus far, but with a QB guru like Harbaugh calling the shots, it is now or never for the player once thought to be the future of the franchise. If the 49ers don’t improve, Smith’s days as a starter could be numbered.
He has little excuse not to succeed this season, considering the Niners brought in receiver Braylon Edwards during the offense. Granted, Edwards is going to drop his share of catchable balls, but he is also going to make plenty of spectacular catches and stretch the field with his big play ability. Throw in the fact that he signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract, and Edwards could look a lot more like the receiver that dominated in Cleveland than the one that seemed disinterested with the Jets the last couple of seasons.
The addition of Edwards also completes a solid group of weapons for Smith. Former first-round pick Michael Crabtree is entering his third season, which is generally the breakout year for most receivers. Considering he was one of the most dominant college performers in recent memory, a big jump in performance wouldn’t be a surprise. With Edwards and Crabtree as the top two targets, Ted Ginn Jr. can finally move to the slot and play his natural position that utilizes his speed. Throw in explosive tight end Vernon Davis, and Smith has himself quite an arsenal at his disposal.
While the passing game should be able to improve this year, the backbone of the offense is still the running game. Frank Gore is the workhorse back and is one of the more versatile rushers in the league thanks to his excellent pass catching skills. Nagging injuries always seems to slow him down a bit, but he is one of the most productive players at his position whenever he is on the field. If the passing game does round into form, Gore’s numbers should only improve as defenses have to back off the line of scrimmage.
While Edwards was the marquee signing of the offseason, San Francisco also added several new pieces on defense. The Niners lost cornerback Nate Clements but added safeties Donte Whitner and Madieu Williams. Whitner in particular could be valuable because of his excellent tackling ability, especially in the team’s new defensive system that is going to pressure opposing quarterbacks much more than in the past. The Niners also added defensive end Aldon Smith in the first round of the draft. His ability to rush the passer should work well with fellow defensive end Justin Smith, who is more known for his ability to help in the run game. As always, middle linebacker Patrick Willis will lead the unit, and Willis will be among the leaders in tackles as he has been every year since entering the NFL.
On paper, the Niners appear improved on both sides of the ball. However, the play of Smith remains a big question mark. If he fails to put it together this season, the offense will struggle once again and so will San Francisco. Rookie Colin Kaepernick could be the answer down the road, but he needs at least a year to adjust to a pro-style offense before making an impact. That leaves Smith as the determining factor, and while the added weapons should help, he has shown nothing in the past to make anyone believe he can take a team to the next level. San Francisco will likely hover around .500, but the playoffs will remain just out of reach even in a weak NFC West.
Preseason 2011 San Francisco 49ers NFL Odds:
Odds to Win 2012 Super Bowl: +5500
Odds to Win 2011 NFC Championship: +2650
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2011 San Francisco 49ers NFL Football Schedule
1 Sunday Sep. 11 4:15 PM Seahawks – – –
2 Sunday Sep. 18 4:05 PM Cowboys – – –
3 Sunday Sep. 25 1:00 PM at Bengals – – –
4 Sunday Oct. 2 1:00 PM at Eagles – – –
5 Sunday Oct. 9 4:05 PM Buccaneers – – –
6 Sunday Oct. 16 1:00 PM at Lions – – –
7 Bye Week
8 Sunday Oct. 30 4:15 PM Browns – – –
9 Sunday Nov. 6 1:00 PM at Redskins – – –
10 Sunday Nov. 13 4:15 PM Giants – – –
11 Sunday Nov. 20 4:05 PM Cardinals – – –
12 Thursday Nov. 24 8:20 PM at Ravens – – –
13 Sunday Dec. 4 4:15 PM Rams – – –
14 Sunday Dec. 11 4:05 PM at Cardinals – – –
15 Monday Dec. 19 8:30 PM Steelers – – –
16 Saturday Dec. 24 4:15 PM at Seahawks – – –
17 Sunday Jan. 1 1:00 PM at Rams – – –
Check out NSAwins.com’s official 2011 NFL Over Under Team Wins Odds and Predictions and 2011 NFC West Odds and Predictions articles.
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