49ers

49ers, Titans advancing to Super Bowl LIV would hurt Vegas sportsbooks

49ers, Titans advancing to Super Bowl LIV would hurt Vegas sportsbooks

If early reports are any indication, it seems that everyone and their mother thinks Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers will be spending a week in South Florida for Super Bowl LIV come early February.

San Francisco opened as significant favorites over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, and NFL talking heads are already anointing the Niners the best team remaining in the playoffs.

While the oddsmakers in Vegas are giving the 49ers a pretty healthy advantage, that does not mean that those inside the sportsbooks around the country will be rooting for the Niners in Sunday’s contest.

“All along, Frisco has been no good (for the book) because it’s a West Coast team and we’ve got so many books up north and they were already good with (quarterback) Jimmy (Garoppolo),” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Back East, we’re really good with the 49ers. The Chiefs and the Packers are both good.”

In addition to San Francisco, the AFC's sixth-seeded Tennessee Titans -- architects of back-to-back shocking playoff upsets over the New England Patriots and top-seeded Baltimore Ravens -- would spell bad news for the oddsmakers if they were to wind up taking down the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game and advancing to Super Bowl LIV.

“Any time a team like Tennessee comes out of the blue, there’s always a chance you can get hurt,” Bogdanovich said. “Back East, we get bludgeoned by the Titans. Anyone but the Titans is what we’re rooting for.”

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So a 49ers-Titans Super Bowl matchup would mean big trouble for those who set the odds in Sin City. But if you’re a 49ers fan, a strong run defense going up against Derrick Henry and the Titans sounds a lot more appealing than having to outduel reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the high-powered Chiefs offense.

Start getting those bets in now, 49ers fans.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday)

Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.

NFL rumors: League seeks to add seventh playoff team in each conference

NFL rumors: League seeks to add seventh playoff team in each conference

The NFL’s playoff structure is expected to change to reportedly include seven teams in both conferences to advance to the postseason.

The current proposal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, would add one playoff team in each conference and only the top seed in the AFC and NFC would be rewarded with byes in the first round of the playoffs.

The changes to the playoff format would take effect this season when the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified. ESPN reports there is “mounting optimism” the new CBA will be agreed upon within the week.

Through last season, the top six teams in both conferences made the playoffs. If the playoff proposal had been in effect last season, the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers would have advanced to the playoffs as the Nos. 7 seeds.

As the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the 49ers would have still earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. But the Green Bay Packers, the No. 2 seed, would have played in the extra game against the Rams. If the Rams were to have upset the Packers in the wild-card round, the 49ers would have played Los Angeles in the NFC Divisional Playoff instead of the Minnesota Vikings.

But the new proposal would have had an even more major impact in the AFC, where the Kansas City Chiefs would have been forced to win three games in the playoffs just to advance to the Super Bowl.

"That's been agreed to for a long time," one source familiar with the CBA talks told ESPN about the NFL's new playoff structure. "There wasn't a lot of disagreement to that issue."

[RELATED49ers roster analysis: More receiver depth needed around Deebo Samuel]

Players on the top team in each conference will receive postseason pay for the bye weekend, unlike years past, according to the report.

Also, ESPN reported that the sides are also trying to work through a proposal for a 17-game regular season, while the exhibition season is shortened to three games. The earliest that change could occur would be the 2021 season, according to the report.

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Before the 49ers officially had lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs, tight end George Kittle was already preaching they would be back next year.

But it didn't stop with him.

49ers players throughout the roster already are thinking of everything they can do to make another run at it, and that includes bringing back free-agent receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Fellow wideout Deebo Samuel made it clear Wednesday on Twitter that he wants to see the 49ers bring back the 32-year-old veteran.

Sanders showed his appreciation later Wednesday morning.

After coming over from the Denver Broncos via trade in October, Sanders excelled with the 49ers. He caught 36 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, and added five receptions for 71 yards in the postseason.

But Sanders could have been an even more critical part of 49ers lore, had it not been for Jimmy Garoppolo's overthrown pass with less than two minutes remaining in Super Bowl LIV. But it was not meant to be.

Sanders has been open about his love for the team that had just barely missed the championship and has spoken out about those second-guessing him due to his age. 

The receiver laughed at the fact that he has been "flying past 23-year-olds," and exhorted that he still has plenty of good years left in him.

[RELATED: Sanders offers advice to teammates playing in first Super Bowl]

He also embraced the youth the other wide receivers brought to the team, such as Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. Sanders loved the loose vibes of the 49ers' locker room and assisted the younger players in prepping for the big moments of the Super Bowl. 

Deebo surely noticed that and knows he wants his teammate back for the team's quest to make another Super Bowl run next season.