49ers vs. Lions Odds
|49ers Odds||-9.5 (-110)
|Lions Odds||+9.5 (-110)|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Check real-time NFL odds here.
The 49ers are one of Week 1’s heaviest favorites against the new-look Lions. Kneecap-biting aside, the Lions are expected to struggle this year, with one of the league’s lowest win totals. The 49ers, on the other hand, are looking to put last season’s disappointing record aside and return to playoff contention.
The 49ers are making us wait for the debut of first-round pick Trey Lance, but they still have an explosive offense. Deebo Samuel led the league in YAC last season, Raheem Mostert is one of the fastest backs in the NFL and they’ll be playing behind a top-10 offensive line. Of course, they also have arguably the best tight end in the game in George Kittle.
The 49ers have a strong defense to boot. Star edge rusher Nick Bosa should be returning to full strength after missing all but two games last season. As a rookie, he notched 9.0 sacks in 16 games. San Francisco will also hope to have Dee Ford healthy, who recorded 13 sacks of his own in his last fully healthy season (2018).
After last season’s terrible injury luck, this Niners team should be much improved, even without the contributions of Lance.
Now entering the post-Matthew Stafford era, the Lions are turning to former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff. He led the Rams to the Super Bowl in 2018, and the Lions hope to see Goff return to his former peak. While that might happen down the road, I expect there to be some growing pains as he leads a talent-deficient group into a tough spot in Week 1.
The Lions’ offensive line appeared to be the team’s biggest (and perhaps only) strength heading into the season. However, first-round pick Penei Sewell has struggled in his attempt to move to the right side of the line. The situation is looking even worse this week, with presumed starting left tackle Taylor Decker out with a hand injury.
There are talks about moving Sewell back across the line until left tackle Taylor Decker returns, but that doesn’t feel like a great option. Sewell would be taking his first live reps at the left tackle in almost two years against Nick Bosa, which isn’t anybody’s idea of an easy debut.
Defensively, the Lions are going to have a hard time as well. They missed the fifth-most tackles in the league last season and are still limited from a talent standpoint. While the Lions invested second- and third-round picks to shore up the interior of their defensive line, it still grades out as a bottom-10 unit, according to PFF.
The Lions are going to struggle to keep up in this one. While I also see some value on the Niners side of the spread (-9.5), it wouldn’t totally shock me if San Fransisco eased up toward the end of the game and the Lions were able to make the final score look better than the game really was.
The bet I really like is the Lions team total. FanDuel has the Lions under 17.5 at (-118), and I’d still make the bet at a total of 17. With the Lions playing musical chairs at the tackle spots, the battle of the trenches is now an even larger concern. There’s not a clear way for the Lions to move the ball consistently here, and I expect Goff to struggle with his new team.
Pick: Lions Under 17.5 Total Points (-106) at FanDuel