The San Francisco 49ers should be a better team than the Detroit Lions this year. The former is gearing up for a return to the Super Bowl, while the latter is embarking on a rebuild with a new head coach and a new quarterback. San Francisco should win when they meet in the season opener, but the opening point spread seems a bit steep.
Bet MGM has the 49ers favored by 7 points in the opener at Ford Field against new Lions head coach Dan Campbell and his merry band of kneecap biters. That means a person betting on the 49ers would need them to win by more than 7 points to win the bet.
By the end of the year it’s easy to imagine the 49ers being more than a touchdown better than Detroit, but this is Week 1, and strange things happen in Week 1 – especially when facing a new head coach.
The 49ers can look inward for examples of this. In 2015 under new head coach Jim Tomsula, the 49ers routed the Vikings 20-3 in the season opener. They went on to lose their next four en route to a 5-11 finish.
The following year in 2016 under new head coach Chip Kelly, San Francisco shutout the Rams 28-0. They lost 13 in a row after that and finished the year 2-14.
There’s momentum for teams with a new head coach, and enough question marks about how the team will play that it makes it tougher for a team to game plan. Not to mention the 49ers don’t presently know who their starting quarterback will be on Sept. 12, and they haven’t looked particularly strong in any Week 1 performance under Kyle Shanahan.
San Francisco could very well go into Detroit and emerge with a double-digit victory where they easily cover the 7-point spread. It may be worth waiting to jump on that line though to see if we get more answers about both teams through training camp and the preseason. Right now the question marks on both sides are too sizable to take as many as 7 points for either team.
Way-too-early 49ers win-loss predictions for their 17-game schedule
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