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49ers are NFL champ favorites in 2025, despite Super Bowl Sunday loss

A football player in a white and gold uniform runs with the ball during a game, with opponents and fans visible.
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey runs in a touchdown during the first half of the Super Bowl game Sunday. | Source: Doug Benc/AP Photo

Despite a crushing Super Bowl loss on Sunday, the 49ers are favorites to be next year’s NFL champions.

San Francisco has +450 odds to get its record-tying sixth Super Bowl title next season, per FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Chiefs, seeking a three-peat, are next at +750, followed by the Ravens (+900), Lions (+1200) and Bills (+1200).

Super Bowl LVIII was the first to use new overtime playoff rules and 49ers fans may be debating the team’s decision to receive the ball first.

It used to be one of the easiest decisions in football: If you win the toss in overtime, you take the ball.

The rules are different now, however.

The 49ers took the ball and drove for a field goal, then lost 25-22 when Patrick Mahomes guided Kansas City 75 yards the other way for the winning touchdown Sunday night. San Francisco’s drive ended when the 49ers kicked a field goal on fourth-and-4 from the 9. If they’d known three points wouldn’t be good enough, they could have gone for a touchdown in that spot.

For many years, overtime ended as soon as one team scored. Then the rule was altered so both teams could possess the ball—unless the first team on offense scored a touchdown. Then the game would end on that TD, and that’s what happened when New England beat Atlanta 34-28 in Super Bowl 51.

Then, an even more recent rule change mandated that in the postseason, both teams can possess the ball even if the first offensive team scores a touchdown. Now, NFL playoff overtime even more closely resembles the college overtime, where teams alternate possessions. And in college, teams often like to have the ball second because they’ll have a better sense of what they need on their drive.

This time, Kansas City had that advantage, which meant the Chiefs had no choice but to go for it on fourth-and-1 from their own 34. They converted and eventually reached the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to Mecole Hardman.

One defense of San Francisco’s decision to take the ball involves what happens if the game is still tied after both teams have had a possession. Then the game does become sudden death—so there’s a clear potential edge in having the ball third. If the game was still tied after the first two possessions, the 49ers would have gotten the ball and any score would have won it. But overtime never made it that far.