The Lions will begin the season without one of their top offensive linemen, left tackle Taylor Decker. Detroit’s offensive line was a middle-of-the-road group last season, and Decker excelled down the stretch for the Lions. This is a significant blow to Detroit’s top position group.
Decker recently underwent successful hand surgery and the time frame for his return is yet to be determined.
In the meantime, it seems head coach Dan Campbell has elected to insert the teams’ no. 7 overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft, Penei Sewell, in at his natural position of left tackle despite working on the right side all summer. After taking last season off from football due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with trying to learn an entirely new position, Sewell has struggled mightily attempting to adjust at the NFL level.
It seems like an odd decision on the part of this coaching staff to slide Sewell back to the left side unless the intention is to leave him at left tackle even when Decker can return to the Detroit lineup.
As of now, Sewell mentioned that he would be sliding back to the right side once Decker returns. If true, the Lions risk losing any progress Sewell has made on the right side, plus potentially disrupting his confidence. Matt Nelson is expected to start at right tackle against the 49ers.
The Detroit Lions square off with the San Francisco 49ers in a Week One matchup. Here are the game odds, spread, and prediction.
It’s a Detroit Lions team that enters 2021 after a 5-11 season which was good for last place in the NFC North Division for the third straight season. That was with Matthew Stafford, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola. Replace those pieces with Goff, Tyrell Williams, and Amon-Ra St. Brown, and what do you get?
Only time will tell.
The 49ers were 6-10 overall last season and a staggering 1-7 at home.
Last season the 49ers were struck with many injuries, whether it was Jimmy Garoppolo, who only played in six games, Bosa, who suffered a season-ending injury in the teams’ second game of the year. Or Dee Ford, who only appeared in one contest. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is widely considered as one of the top play-callers in all of football.
After making a bid for the Super Bowl just a year prior but falling short, giving up a fourth-quarter lead to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Then there is this.
The 49ers traded up in the 2021 NFL Draft to select quarterback Trey Lance, a potential Detroit Lions draft target, if he would have fallen to no. 7 overall. Lance is expected to sit behind Garoppolo and study, at least for the time being, and he’s also battling a minor injury.
This could light a fire under Jimmy Garoppolo. The league may eventually see what Bill Belichick saw when he drafted what was expected to be Tom Brady’s successor, or he will crumble under pressure?
I do expect Garoppolo to come out firing Sunday, as he tries to use this Week One opener against the Detroit Lions to once again establish himself as the 49ers’ clear-cut starting quarterback.
Detroit Lions Odds;
Over at WynnBET, the 49ers are favored by -7.5, meaning if you elect to bet on them, they’ve got to win by 8 points or more. When it comes to the Moneyline (the outright winner), the odds are set at -360 for the 49ers and +275 for the Lions. The Under/Over is set at 45.0 total points for the contest.
Detroit Lions Week One prediction;
I expect the 49ers will cover the 7.5 point spread and expect they will win this game by double-digits. Losing Taylor Decker just a week before the first game will be too much of a blow to overcome, especially being opposed by a 49ers’ elite pass-rush. Plus the Lions’ offense has been without their dynamic playmaking running back, D’Andre Swift for quite some time. Although he claims his timing with Goff is fine things may get off to a rocky start in 2021 due to the lack of reps between the two.
I expect this game to finish 31-13 in San Francisco’s favor. So, for betting purposes, 49ers on the speed and Moneyline, and the Under when it comes to total points. Good luck, and as always, don’t wager what you can’t afford to lose.