Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Week 1 Predictions: Against the Spread, Total, and Props
The dreaded offseason is over and Week 1 is finally here. NFL fans everywhere are bursting with excitement. The only problem is, Detroit Lions fans are the only ones around the league grumbling with pessimism. Oddsmakers have priced the Lions the second-lowest to win the fewest games in the NFL in 2021 at (+400) ahead of only the Houston Texans (+250). On the other side, the 49ers are surrounded by plenty of buzz going into 2021. They've added new pieces to an already established group as they begin their season in an attempt to repeat as NFC West champions. The Lions find themselves among the biggest underdogs on Sunday priced at (+310) to win. Let's dig deeper into this Week 1 matchup.
Detroit Lions Preview
This offseason the Lions turned quarterback Matthew Stafford into Jared Goff and a pair of first-round picks. The Lions went from somewhat relevant before the move to once again bags over the head irrelevant in a hurry by oddsmakers. The Rams and Stafford are now listed among the favorites to reach the Super Bowl and the Lions have gone in the opposite direction.
Detroit hired a new head coach in Dan Campbell, who spent the past five seasons as Sean Payton’s assistant with the New Orleans Saints. There are plenty of moving parts for the Lions as they lost their top wide receiver in free agency Kenny Golladay to the New York Giants. This is a franchise in flux right now.
In 2020 the Lions defense allowed 32.4 points per game the most in the NFL. They really didn't do much to improve this offseason on that side of the ball either. They ranked last or near last in almost every single defensive category last season and I expect this trend to continue in 2021 because there aren't many blue-chip players on that side of the ball for Detroit.
San Francisco 49ers Preview
There’s a lot of excitement surrounding San Francisco heading into the season. The 49ers are priced as co-favorites to win the NFC West with the Rams, projected for 10 wins, and currently given the second-shortest odds to win the NFC (+650) and reach the Super Bowl. The 49ers entered the offseason with Jimmy Garropolo as its starting quarterback but in the NFL draft, they selected QB Trey Lance 3rd overall. They created a quarterback conundrum all on their own. Something that so many teams across the league wish they had.
The 49ers offense looks balanced and poised to explode in 2021. Lead by the return of all All-Pro tight end George Kittle, joined by exciting young wide-receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. The offensive line features four first-round picks including Pro Bowlers Trent Williams and Alex Mack. Acquiring the potential quarterback for the future in Lance has some raising eyebrows right now as to if the 49ers will truly compete for a Super Bowl in 2021 or if it will be a transitional season. San Francisco is currently priced fourth with the Green Bay Packers at (+1400) to win the Super Bowl. Oddsmakers aren't extremely optimistic about the 49ers chances even with newcomer Trey Lance to the mix.
Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction
Many people expect the Lions to be on the end of plenty of beatings this season. Notoriously, a home team in Week 1 getting this many points (+7.5, -104) is a bet on spot. I'm not so sure I'm ready to buck this trend even with all of San Francisco's improvements. Seven points, which happens to be a touchdown plus the extra-point after, is the second most common margin of victory in football, behind only the three points for a field goal. Even with this stat I'm still not convinced to take the points. Let's take -7.5 and go with the 49ers to win their Week 1 matchup by double-digits. The Lions allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns last season so I will also bet 49ers starting running back Raheem Mostert to find the endzone in Week 1 Sunday.