Detroit Lions (0-1) at San Francisco 49ers (0-1)
I typically like to go against significant week-to-week line movement because it usually is the result of public overreaction, but I’ve agreed with most line movements this week. This game is one exception. The 49ers have gone from being favored by 3.5 to being favored by 6 in this home game against the Lions, as a result of the Lions’ embarrassing 48-17 home loss to the Jets on Monday Night Football week 1.
The Lions definitely had a bad week 1, but they didn’t not play as badly as the final score suggests. The Lions only lost the first down rate battle by 5.94% (7th worst in the NFL last week), which is not good, but not as bad as the final score. The Jets actually had fewer first downs overall (20 to 18) and didn’t have a touchdown drive of more than 6 plays all game, benefitting from short fields off turnovers (5 takeaways), big plays on offense (2 touchdowns of 40+ yards), and return touchdowns (2 return touchdowns), all of which tend to be fluky.
The Lions will have defensive issues all season, as they did last year, but their offense should be better this week, after Matt Stafford had one of the worst games of his career last season, suffering numerous injuries and throwing 4 interceptions (backup Matt Cassel provided the 5th interception). The 49ers’ defense is not that good without Reuben Foster, so this is a relatively easy matchup. I thought this line was too high last week at 3.5 and now at 6 I think the Lions are worth a bet. I have these two teams about even in my rankings, so we’re getting about 3 points of line value with the visitors.
San Francisco 49ers 26 Detroit Lions 24
Pick against the spread: Detroit +6