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NFL win total best bets: Will 49ers have Super Bowl hangover?

Nobody wants to deal with a demanding schedule while nursing a hangover.

But that’s the challenge facing the 49ers, who must navigate a difficult NFL slate this season while trying to recover from their 25-22 overtime loss to the Chiefs in the first Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

The Westgate SuperBook was one of several sportsbooks that posted NFL regular-season win totals following the league’s schedule release May 15. The 49ers are tied with the Chiefs for the highest total at 11½. SuperBook NFL oddsmaker Ed Salmons made San Francisco a -145 favorite to finish under that number.

“The one team that we believe will go under their wins, and it has nothing to do with their talent level, is the 49ers,” Salmons said.

The main reason Salmons expects the 49ers to go under their win total is their schedule. They play three road games on short rest and four teams coming off their bye week. They also have 21 fewer days of rest than their opponents. That’s the biggest rest disadvantage in the last decade, according to SharpFootballAnalysis.com.

“They go back east five times and there are all kinds of disadvantages,” Salmons said. “The number is really high where they can go 11-6, win their division and go under their wins.

“And history has shown that teams that lose the Super Bowl seem to underachieve the next year. You have that hangover effect.”

The 49ers also lost to the Chiefs in the 2020 Super Bowl and went 6-10 the following season.

Salmons plans to bet on San Francisco to go under its total.

“I’m just waiting to find a good number,” Salmons said. “The public will play the Niners’ over. They’re such a popular public team.”

Vikings under 7

Salmons also recommends a wager on the Vikings to go under 7 wins.

Minnesota went 7-10 last season with Kirk Cousins at quarterback. Cousins signed with the Falcons this offseason, leaving veteran Sam Darnold and 10th overall pick J.J. McCarthy to compete for snaps under center for the Vikings.

“One team that we’re really down on this year is the Vikings,” Salmons said. “It looks like a rebuilding year for Minnesota.

“There are no easy games in that division. Green Bay’s loaded this year, Detroit’s going to be solid and we like the Bears a lot. It’s going to be tough for (the Vikings) to get to seven or eight wins this year.”

Minnesota’s total is 6½ (over-120) at the SuperBook but 7 at other books.

“As always, we put in our opinion,” Salmons said. “We went through each team’s schedule, made our own number, looked around to see what the market had and we handicap from there.”

Here are three other totals shaded by the Westgate:

Bears over 9 (-120)

“A team we do like and we know the public likes. We’re very positive on the Bears,” Salmons said. “The Bears have a ton of weapons on offense and they have a solid defense. I’m not crazy about their coach (Matt Eberflus) but I think everything’s in place for them to have a big year.”

Salmons said Chicago’s defense dramatically improved last season after the team acquired defensive end Montez Sweat in a midseason trade with the Commanders. Salmons also likes the wide receiver trio of D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen and Bishop Gorman product Rome Odunze.

The key will be quarterback Caleb Williams, the first overall pick. Salmons likened Williams to C.J. Stroud, who led the Texans to the playoffs as a rookie last season.

“I see no reason why Caleb Williams can’t duplicate what Stroud did,” Salmons said.

Bills under 10½ (-150)

The Westgate has taken some money on Buffalo to go over 10½ wins (+130) after it traded wideout Stefon Diggs to the Texans.

“We’re kind of anti-Bills. They still may be a great team but we think getting to 11 wins is a ton,” Salmons said. “That’s a tough division outside of the Patriots with Miami and the Jets. Providing that (Aaron) Rodgers can be healthy this year, the Jets certainly look like a team that can be a real threat this year. They have everything in place.”

Cardinals over 7 (-120)

“We like the Cardinals this year,” Salmons said. “It’s a team that played hard for their new coach (Jonathan Gannon). They drafted (Marvin) Harrison (Jr.), who I think is going to be a star. We expect to see Kyler Murray back looking like a 100-percent quarterback. We think there’s a lot of pieces in place there.

“The Cardinals have a chance to be a decent team this year.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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