The San Francisco 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-13 on Thursday Night Football to open Week 15. With the win, the 49ers clinch the NFC West title and become the second team to punch their ticket in the 2023 NFL Playoffs.
The 49ers entered the season slightly behind the Los Angeles Rams in odds to win the NFC West, at +150 to the Rams +130. While the Rams fell apart, the 49ers found themselves challenged by an unexpectedly surging Seahawks squad. However, as the Seahawks started coming back to earth, the 49ers began their own surge and now have the division title wrapped up with three games left on their schedule.
Prior to the season, the 49ers were +1600 to win Super Bowl 57. Those were seventh best behind the Bills, Bucs, Chiefs, Packers, Rams, and Chargers. Coming into this week’s game, they were +900, sitting behind the Bills, Eagles, Chiefs, and Cowboys. Following the Thursday win, San Francisco has leap-frogged Dallas and is now +750.
The 49ers will likely finish as either the No. 2 or No. 3 seed. They entered the week three games back of the Eagles for the No. 1 seed and will be no better than two back with three to go if the Eagles lose. They are one game back of the Vikings, who are currently the No. 2 seed and host the Colts on Saturday. They are now 3.5 games up on the Bucs and will likely finish ahead of them at the end of the season
While the 49ers will want to keep their players fresh the rest of the way, they’re in a position where they can start to get players some rest. We’ll see starters getting snaps, but they can start to rest players in the second half a little more regularly if they want. It will be an important balance to figure out, but for now, they’re as hot as anybody coming into the final stretch of the season.