The San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions face off in Week 1, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. on FOX. The 49ers are coming off a 2020 season that was short-circuited by injuries, while the Lions once again struggled to get off the ground in what would prove to be Matthew Stafford’s final season in the Motor City.
The starting quarterback position is intriguing for both. The 49ers traded up to pick Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Jimmy Garoppolo remains the starting QB for the near future. Meanwhile, the Lions traded Stafford to the Rams in a deal that sent back Jared Goff.
Expectations are high in San Francisco, with the 49ers heading into Week 1 Sunday tied for the fifth-best odds to win the Super Bowl at DraftKings Sportsbook. Although Detroit acquired a capable starting quarterback, it’s a quasi-rebuild with the team holding the second-worst odds to win the Super Bowl.
Here, we’ll take a look at our picks for best bets for 49ers vs. Lions in Week 1 of the NFL season. Odds come via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Spread: 49ers -8
Point total: 45
Moneyline: Lions +8
Our picks for 49ers vs. Lions
Pick against the spread: 49ers -8
The 49ers season rests in part on whether they can remain healthy and in part on what they decide at the quarterback position over the next four months. For the former, they at least head into Week 1 at near optimal health. That could change in a hurry, but for one week they come into the week with most of their starters where they need to be.
They face a bad Lions team that has questions up and down the roster. I’d rather have gotten this line at a touchdown, but San Francisco is leaps and bounds better than Detroit. The Lions will try and turn this into a rock fight, but I think we see the 49ers win by double digits.
Over/under X points: Under 45
The rock fight part is why I’m inclined to stay under the total. Goff has had some solid games against the 49ers, but he’s facing a stout defense that is in the discussion with the 2019 version that helped lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance. Goff’s offensive line has issues and the 49ers will get pressure on him. The Lions defense is awful overall and I suspect we see the 49ers lean on the ground game and keep things relatively vanilla. They’ll cruise to victory, but I see this somewhere in the 23-7 range.
Preferred player prop: George Kittle over 56.5 yards
I think we’ll find some value on a Jimmy Garoppolo passing yardage prop bet, but with none posted as of this article publishing, I am here for a big day from All-Pro tight end George Kittle. He dealt with injuries last year, but when healthy is in the discussion with Travis Kelce and Darren Waller for best tight end in the NFL.
In the passing game, I have no idea how we’ll see Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel split up targets, so I am staying away from them. In the rushing attack, I have no idea how much work Trey Sermon will take from Raheem Mostert, so I’m staying away from Sermon and Mostert prop bets.
We know Kittle will get his targets, and he can be an absolute monster after the catch, which opens the door for a big yardage game.
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