The San Francisco 49ers (0-1) clash with the Detriot Lions (0-1) this Sunday in a battle of two teams hoping to rebound from disappointing Week 1 performances. Kickoff is set for 4:05 PM EST on Sunday, September 17th at Levi’s Stadium. The game will be televised on FOX.
Oddsmakers originally had the 49ers listed as 5.5-point home favorites. That line has increased slightly, as San Francisco is currently available at -6. The total for this matchup is 47.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 2 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
49ers vs Lions Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Detroit got absolutely demolished by the New York Jets in their home opener last weekend, allowing rookie QB Sam Bradford to lead the Jets to a 48-17 victory. The Lions embarrassed themselves on national TV as part of Monday Night Football, which was surely a rude awakening for first year head coach Matt Patricia. Patricia certainly has his work cut out for him moving forward, especially in regards to Detroit’s putrid run defense. The Lions allowed the Jets to rack up over 160 yards and two touchdowns on the ground – and the secondary didn’t look that much better.
QB Matt Stafford struggled all game long against New York, throwing four interceptions and only one touchdown. WR Kenny Golladay certainly showed up to play, as the sophomore receiver caught seven passes for 114 yards. However, the top two receivers on the depth chart – Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. – need to pick up their play significantly. Both dropped several catchable passes when Detroit was still within striking distance.
San Francisco also got off to a rocky start last weekend, as the Niners lost a close 24-16 battle against the Minnesota Vikings. QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who was arguably the most-hyped player in the entire league during the off-season, only managed to find the end-zone once on the afternoon. He also couldn’t manage to eclipse the 300 yard passing mark – but did throw three interceptions. In fairness, the Vikings have one of the best secondaries in the league, which means Garoppolo should be able to redeem himself against a weak Lions D on Sunday.
On the other side of the ball, the 49ers struggled immensely against Kirk Cousins and the rest of Minnesota’s passing offense. Cousins threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns while outspoken CB Richard Sherman looked quite average in his San Francisco debut, allowing Vikings WR Stefon Diggs to slip past him several times. Sherman will have his work cut out for him again this weekend against the talented Lions receiving trio of Jones Jr./Tate/Golladay.
Free NFL Betting Prediction: San Francisco -6
This should be a pretty competitive game between two teams who desperately want to avoid starting the season 0-2. While San Francisco certainly has a lot to work on after losing a tough game to the Vikings last weekend, I certainly have a lot more trust in them heading into this one than Detroit. The Lions were beyond awful against an average (at best) Jets team starting the youngest starting day QB in modern day NFL history. They looked completely disinterested for at least half the game and had no answer on defense. Garoppolo is no slouch and he should have a big performance in his home debut on Sunday.
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Detroit has also struggled immensely over the past decade or so when playing in the Bay Area. The Lions are an astounding 0-12 SU over their past twelve road games in San Francisco – and have lost those games by an average of 13.9 points. It isn’t exactly like the Niners have been a powerhouse over the past 5-6 years either, so that statistic should be especially alarming for Lions fans. Detroit is also just 2-5 ATS over their past seven games as road underdogs.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are a solid 4-1-1 ATS over their past six games against the Lions. They are 6-1-2 ATS over their past eight games when facing Detroit at home. I expect that trend to continue on Sunday, especially against this particular Lions team that didn’t show up on Monday night and now has to travel cross-country and play on short rest. Jimmy G has too many weapons for the Niners offense to struggle for a second consecutive week, especially against a weak Lions run defense. Matt Breida and/or Alfred Morris should do major damage out of the backfield for San Francisco.
This should be a perfect rebound spot for San Francisco – they get to face an opponent on short rest that has major question marks on both sides of the ball. Yes, Stafford threw four interceptions, but he also appeared to injure his knee in the second half. It’s tough to imagine a scenario where that issue has completely healed in less than a week – he definitely suffered from reduced mobility for his final two quarters on Monday night and is likely still banged up. I’ll take the Niners to cover at home and win by at least a touchdown.