Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions odds and pick - Week 1, 2021

Sep 7, 2021 at 7:39 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers will kick off their 2021 campaign on the road against a rebuilding Detroit Lions team. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

  • When: Sunday September 12th, 2021 at 10:00am PT (FOX)
  • Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
  • Line: 49ers -7.5, over/under (o/u) 45; 49ers team total o26.5 (-125)/u26.5 (105); Lions team total o17.5 (-115)/u17.5 (-115); odds from DraftKings sportsbook.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have a new head coach in Dan Campbell, new offensive coordinator in Anthony Lynn and new starting quarterback in Jared Goff. The Lions drafted Penei Sewell with their first round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, followed by defensive tackles in the second and third rounds, Levi Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill, respectively. Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola and Marvin Jones Jr. are gone, taking with them a significant portion of Detroit's offensive potency, replaced by what could be the worst receiving corps in the NFL led by Tyrell Williams, Quintez Cephus and rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Prior to the start of the season, the Lions have the longest odds to win the NFC at +4700, are predicted to finish last in NFC North by a wide margin, have a projected win total of five games and a 31st ranked ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) of -5.3.

San Francisco 49ers

Impatient Niner fans who are quick to disparage Jimmy Garoppolo and insist on Trey Lance starting ASAP might be disappointed to know what most have known all along, Garoppolo will start Week 1 at Detroit. But do those same Jimmy haters also know that Kyle Shanahan is 24-9 straight up (SU) and 18-14-1 against the spread (ATS), averaging 28.2 points per game with Garoppolo, and 7-27 SU and 14-20 ATS, averaging 20.0 points per game without Jimmy?

As has been the case in the past few seasons, the 49ers potential will come down to the health of their roster and a healthy 49ers squad has a good chance to win double-digit games and contend in 2021. San Francisco is predicted to have the best chance of winning the NFC West, tied with the Ravens for the fifth most likely odds to win the Super Bowl, have a win total set at 10.5 games and 8th ranked ESPN FPI of 2.8.


Detroit's offensive line is the best unit on the team but will that be enough to contain a healthy Nick Bosa and Dee Ford, who is not on the injury report? We are having a hard time envisioning how Jared Goff and the Lions mediocre receivers will score effectively against a healthy 49ers defense, even with lingering questions about San Francisco's secondary that led to the signing of Josh Norman.

They are questions about Detroit's offensive potency against San Francisco's defense that may have led to money coming in on the under, causing the total to drop from 47 to 45 and down to 44.5 at some sportsbooks. But we are hesitant to consider the under after reviewing Detroit's game totals in Week 1 over the past decade: 50 in 2020, 54 in 2019, 65 in 2018, 58 in 2017, 74 in 2016, 61 in 2015, 49 in 2014, 58 in 2013, 50 in 2012 and 47 in 2011.

Dan Campbell is a former offensive player, Detroit finished dead last in defensive DVOA in 2020 and we expect Jimmy Garoppolo to come out in 2021 with the fire of a thousand suns, fueled by all of the trash talk and clamor for Trey Lance to start, and anticipate that the Niners offense will roll on Sunday. This home underdog line with the hook is begging bettors to take the points, and while we would lay the points with San Francisco if considering a side, we see more value on San Francisco's team total with a game total that has been shrinking. Pick: 49ers team total over 26.5 (-125)


  • What is your best bet for 49ers at Lions on 9/12/21?
  • 49ers -7.5
  • Lions +7.5
  • Over 45
  • Under 45
  • 49ers tt over 26.5
  • 49ers tt under 26.5
  • Lions tt over 17.5
  • Lions tt under 17.5
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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