The NFC landscape shifted in a potentially major way last Sunday. San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot. And while initial reports had him out for the season, it sounds like there’s a chance he could return some time during the playoffs. 49ers odds have shifted considerably in some cases and minimally in others, in the wake of the news.
Let’s take a look at where the 49ers markets currently sit after losing their second starting QB of the season.
49ers Odds Shift Significantly For Super Bowl
As far as the Super Bowl odds go, the 49ers did indeed take a noticeable dip. Entering Week 13, the 49ers were considered among the favorites to win it all, sporting odds around +650. They had arguably the best defense in the league and the offense was doing its share. The team had won five straight since getting blasted by the Chiefs at home.
Now, you can get odds as long as on a 49ers Super Bowl. That represents a drop of about 5% in championship equity, a not insignificant sum.
Surprisingly enough, the Niners remain significant favorites to take the NFC West, though. They only have a one-game lead over the Seahawks and must still travel to Seattle in Week 15. There, they may find themselves underdogs, depending on how Week 14 goes.
If Seattle does indeed win that, things get very interesting. They’d have split the season series, and both teams have similar schedule strength according to Tankathon. The market remains confident the 49ers will take the NFC West, but Seattle certainly appears live with that key home game remaining.
Jimmy Garoppolo: Game Manager Or Something More?
Often derided as a game manager, there exists some support to the idea that bettors shouldn’t shy away from the 49ers thanks to an injury to Garoppolo. Skeptics say anyone can plug into the Kyle Shanahan offense and produce.
Remember Nick Mullens? An oft-quoted stat on the little-known backup: he passed for more yards than anyone besides Patrick Mahomes through his first 16 NFL starts. Those starts largely came under the direction of Shanahan while Garoppolo was sidelined. Here is where Shanahan QBs have ranked in Expected Completion Percentage each year:
- 2022: Garoppolo eighth
- 2021: Garoppolo fifth
- 2020: Garoppolo first
- 2020: Nick Mullens sixth
- 2019: Garoppolo third
- 2018: CJ Beathard first
- 2018: Mullens 13th
- 2017: Garoppolo ninth
- 2017: Beathard 10th
Just this past week, the team rallied behind Brock Purdy to put away the contending Dolphins with relative ease. Purdy certainly did not embarrass himself, going for 237 yards on 40 dropbacks with a decent 56.9 QBR. Usually, a seventh-round rookie taking snaps is the NFL equivalent of DEFCON 2.
Purdy’s ability to step in for an emergency and pilot the team to a pretty sweat-free victory over quality opposition — Garoppolo got hurt very early in the game — suggests the team will be fine.
The Niners also snagged Josh Johnson from the practice squad ranks. The (extremely) well-traveled vet showed he still has some juice last year. In four appearance between two teams, he fired 57-for-85 for 638 yards (an impressive 7.5 YPA) with 5 TDs and 2 INTs. PFF credited him with a 73.3 grade.
But the results also haven’t been that simple. The 49ers are 42-19 in games Jimmy G has attempted the majority of passes and 9-29 when he’s not in the Kyle Shanahan era.
A Wins And EPA Machine
But, some pretty crucial numbers give vociferous argument to the other side.
EPA/play data lauds Garoppolo’s work. Since taking over as full-time starter in 2019, he ranks fourth in that metric. That places him ahead of perennial MVP candidates/winners like Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson and Tom Brady.
And when it comes down the most basic stat of all, wins and losses, Garoppolo really shines. Entering this season, Kyle Shanahan had an 8-28 record coaching the 49ers without Garoppolo. Jimmy GQ, meanwhile, is now 38-17 as a starter in San Francisco.
For now, the market still believes in this stacked roster sans its QB. After an unimpressive Monday Night Football win, the Buccaneers remain decent-sized underdogs against the 49ers heading to San Francisco. The market moved only a couple of points off the look-ahead number and remains north of the key number three.
Whatever your thoughts on Garoppolo, now is a good time to back them up with a wager. Market uncertainty exists. So whether you’re looking at 49ers futures odds or just game markets for this week, you can find something that jives with your beliefs about his role in the franchise’s success.