The 49ers replaced Jim Tomsula, painted as a bumbling head coach who was in over his head by several fathoms, with Chip Kelly, considered by many as one of the sharpest minds in football.
The result? The 49ers will be half a game better in 2016 than they were under Tomsula.
This, according to the oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, which puts the over/under on 49ers victories at 5.5. Only the Cleveland Browns, at 4.5, have a lower threshold.
Bovada obviously doesn't believe the 49ers have made much improvement over last year's five-win team, and many fans and outsider observers might agree. Football Outsiders, which uses statistics to analyze the NFL, predicts the 49ers will go 4-12.
The team ended 2015 with Blaine Gabbert as the starting quarterback and with Colin Kaepernick injured and disgruntled. As it stands now, Gabbert remains the starter while Kaepernick, seemingly resigned to be with the team in 2016, continues to rehabilitate from his injuries.
In free agency, the 49ers lost arguably their second-best offensive lineman, Alex Boone, from what was a terrible offensive line. They still could lose easily their best wide receiver, Anquan Boldin. They added Zane Beadles at guard and CFL standout Eric Rogers at receiver. The only other free agent of note was quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, a longshot to make the 53-man roster.
Reasons for optimism? Running back Carlos Hyde is healthy again after a fractured foot compromised most of the 2015 season. The team also added 11 players in the draft with first rounders DeForest Buckner and Joshua Garnett expected to start, or at least play a significant number of snaps, early in the season.
It's clear the 49ers feel that their personnel is more talented than what outsiders perceive. It's also clear they are banking on Kelly and his staff to squeeze production from that group.
Kelly's aggressive, fast-paced attack can be viewed as a positive, although it might be mitigated somewhat by the team's rough opening schedule, by the fact that defenses seemed to catch up with Kelly's Eagles offenses over time and the negative impact his offenses might have been having on his own defenses.
The net result? A half-game improvement?
Is Las Vegas being too hard on the 49ers? Last year, it could have been accused of being too soft. Bovada had the over/under at 7.5 games. And maybe that's the solace a 49ers fan can take: The oddsmakers aren't always right -- or close to being right -- when it comes to the 49ers' regular-season win total.
2015: Over/under 7.5; actual win total 5
2014: Over/under 10.5; actual win total 8
2013: Over/under 11.5; actual win total 12
2012: Over/under 10; actual win total 11
2011: Over/under 7.5; actual win total 13
2010: Over/under 8.5; actual win total 6
2009: Over/under 7; actual win total 8