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Useful Data for Betting on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54

| January 23, 2020 10:01 pm PDT
Kyle Shanahan, Richard Sherman and Other 49ers players With 49er and Super Bowl 54 Logo

The San Francisco 49ers are very popular at the moment. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have worked tirelessly to turn one of the worst teams in the NFL back into a championship-caliber football team.

And here the Niners are, at the doorstep of another title, waiting to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 54.

The most reputable Super Bowl sportsbooks aren’t buying San Francisco’s rise-from-the-ashes tale just yet, of course. The Niners are +1 underdogs (+107 moneyline) at BetOnline, and the pricing is pretty similar just about everywhere you look.

Quite frankly, not that many people really expect the 49ers to win. And when you’re going up against Andy Reid’s plight for his first title and the greatness of Patrick Mahomes, that doubt is somewhat understandable.

But I still think the 49ers are winning, and there’s plenty of data to support the logic. I’ll let you formulate your bet for Super Bowl 54 on your own. Before you do, though, consider these 49ers stats for betting Super Bowl 2020.

(Most) Everyone Is Betting on the Chiefs

Fading the public can be a pretty profitable venture when it comes to sports betting. Anyone who has been around any kind of betting knows.

It isn’t always a bulletproof rationale, but you can lean on history there and also note that Kansas City currently has soaked up most of the action.

  • 58% of the bets
  • 54% of the money

Keep in mind that this is as small of a point spread as you can get without listing the game as a true pick’em, while the moneyline is also extremely tight.

It still feels like the top sportsbooks don’t have much of a clue as to who will win this, and neither does anyone else. However, if you like fading the public, early indications are the Niners could be on the winning side.

This Is a Really High Total

I know that everyone is giddy about this matchup due to the offensive upside. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs certainly bring major potential to this game, while the Niners actually ranked 2nd in scoring on offense during the regular season.

I personally am more inclined to bet the Under here, though, as most sites have this game set up with a gaudy total of 54.

That’s quite high, especially when you consider Super Bowls just haven’t lived up to the hype consistently in recent years. Last year’s big game totaled just 16 points, while just two of the last six Super Bowls beat this 54 mark.

You can’t make decisions based on completely different teams in isolated matchups from years ago. That’s nuts. I don’t know if you can even just bank on what these teams did this year, but that’s information that should be a bit more reliable.

With that, consider that Chiefs games went Over 10 of 18 times this year, and 49ers games saw the Over go just 9-8-1.

Both have better than a 50% rate, and we can’t ignore that. We also can’t ignore that the Chiefs hit the Over in both of their playoff games.

San Francisco, meanwhile, delivered the Under in both of theirs.

This is a classic battle between elite offense and elite defense. More on that in a bit, but if that clash holds firm, it’s possible another slow start by KC could lead to disastrous results — not to mention the Under.

Andy Reid Doesn’t Normally Win Big Games

This is Andy Reid’s second Super Bowl appearance, so let’s give credit where it’s due. The guy is, in fact, an offensive genius and probably one of the best NFL head coaches in modern history.

Heck, maybe ever.

But one thing Reid has not been throughout his coaching career is productive in high-level football games. Reid is still chasing that ever-elusive Lombardi Trophy for this very reason.

Yes, he’s been here before, and he’s here again. But Reid has had so many chances to reach the Super Bowl or finish the job. Overall, however, he’s just 14-14 in the playoffs, 2-5 in conference title games, and 0-1 in the big game.

There is a first time for everything. Eventually, you get the monkey off your back. Records were made to be broken. Insert one more cliche statement that helps me prove my point here.

The point is, until he changes it, Reid’s label in the NFL will be the guy that can’t win the big one. At least for the moment, that’s something that could aid the Niners.

The 49ers Are 5-1 in the Super Bowl

It’d sound a lot more daunting for the Chiefs if the Niners could say they’re a pristine 6-0 in the big game. They very nearly were, but a late goal-line stand by the Baltimore Ravens kept Colin Kaepernick and co. from making history.

Even so, the Niners of yesteryear were a true dynasty, winning four championships in a span of just nine years. Steve Young tacked on one more in 1994, representing San Francisco’s last NFL title.

San Francisco’s three very different eras generate journeys to Super Bowl Sunday, and they almost all ended with a win. Kyle Shanahan has a chance to return the 49ers to that type of glory in Super Bowl 54, and team history is on his side.

San Francisco Responds Well to Being the Underdog

Kansas City (12-5-1) was actually even better against the spread this year, but the Niners aren’t far behind (11-6-1). Overall, the two rank 1st and 4th, respectively, among all 32 NFL teams.

Of course, context can be pretty useful. In the five games where the top football betting sites were foolish enough to list the Niners as underdogs, they went 5-0 against the spread.

San Francisco also went 4-1 straight up in such situations.

Suffice it to say, whether you plan on betting on the moneyline or point spread, wagers in favor of the Niners have some data supporting the logic.

The 49ers Are Dynamic on Offense

Everyone talks up the Kansas City Chiefs as if they’re some unstoppable force. Perhaps it’s because the Niners opted to lean more on their defense and ground game in the playoffs.

Maybe it has something to do with Patrick Mahomes cooking the Texans and Titans for 86 total points over the past two weeks.

Sure, all of that. But the numbers don’t lie. San Francisco’s offense is explosive, dynamic, and more than anything flat-out balanced. Here’s how they ranked on the year.

  • 2nd in points per game
  • 4th in total offense
  • 2nd in rushing offense
  • 10th in passing touchdowns
  • 13th in passing offense
  • 4th in 20+ yard (big) plays

Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t Patrick Mahomes, but the 49ers have such a fantastic system that he doesn’t really need to be. Jimmy G still has the weapons in place to do some damage if need be, but it’s San Francisco’s rushing attack and gritty defense that put them over the top.

San Francisco’s Defense Is Elite

You can look at historical data, coaching, team history, and offensive stats. Against the spread data can be helpful, too. For me, I’m hanging my betting hat on this stingy Niners defense.

This unit shut down Dalvin Cook and a pretty good Vikings offense. It twice harassed Aaron Rodgers and collectively held a capable Packers team to 28 total points across two different games.

San Francisco’s defense wasn’t always dominant during the regular season, but they clearly have a switch that they’ve been able to turn on. They did it when they nearly upset the Ravens, and they sure did it again once the playoffs began.

Even though they gave up some points on the year, this was still probably the league’s best overall defense. Just see where they ranked at the end of the regular season.

  • #1 against the pass
  • #1 in fewest 20+ yard (big) plays allowed
  • 5th in sacks
  • 8th in points allowed per game
  • 5th in fumbles forced

The most compelling data for me is San Francisco’s reluctance to allow big plays down the field. They can be beaten by great rushing attacks, and you can — in theory — methodically pick away at them if you protect the quarterback.

KC can protect Mahomes, and he also can extend plays. But the Chiefs (7th in 20+ yard passing plays, 1st in 40+ yard passing plays) need those down-field explosions to survive.

The Chiefs can run the ball, but probably not well enough to dominate this game. That has this matchup playing directly into the hands of the 49ers.


This is clearly a somewhat biased look at the numbers inside of the Super Bowl 54 matchup. I think the 49ers are going to win based on what I’ve seen, and if I also have to force myself to disregard a few KC numbers, then so be it.

Of course, there are always two sides to every coin. If you want to bet on the Chiefs and could use a little extra nudge, check out our own Michael Wynn’s statistical breakdown on Kansas City.

There’s more Super Bowl 54 content where this came from, too. Refer to our sports betting blog for more insight, and if you need help deciding on how to wager, check out our best Super Bowl bets page.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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