Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers kicks off this Sunday (1/28/24) at 6:30pm EST in Santa Clara, CA as a home game for the 49ers. Get Lions vs. 49ers predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on the Lions +7.5 as they have the tools on both sides of the ball to keep this within the number.
Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction & Best Bet
For the Lions to win or cover the spread, their front seven will need to continue to dominate. They have been one of the best run stopping units in the league, ranking an first in Def Rush DVOA, fourth in Def Rush EPA, eighth in Def Rush Success Rate, and sixth in Def Adjusted Line Yards. They now face their toughest test against star running back Christian McCaffrey.
The Lions best advantage in this game lies in their defensive line against the interior of the 49ers offensive line. That means the Lions should routinely collapse the interior of the pocket, forcing the 49ers ground game to shift their cuts to the outside. That means McCaffrey will either be running towards Aidan Hutchinson or James Houston, giving the Lions linebackers an easy read for them to crash down the sides and contain his production within the trenches.
Crashing the pocket at a routine rate is also vital in order to hurry up Brock Purdy and disrupt the pass attack. Purdy has excelled against the blitz this season, though he may be without Deebo Samuel which is a massive blow for their pass attack. In games played without Deebo Samuel the 49ers are 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS, per Lineups’ Jacob Wayne. Purdy will likely still succeed at times against a Lions secondary that ranks 25th in Def Pass EPA and Success Rate, but may also struggle at times, especially if Deebo is out.
As for the Lions offense, they have a big advantage with their ground game. That has been an issue for the 49ers defense, fielding a front seven that ranks 15th in Def Rush DVOA, 24th in Def Rush Success Rate, and 26th in Def Rush EPA. Establishing the run also bleeds time off the clock and keeps the 49ers offense off the field. Both big factors that play towards covering this spread.
Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction & Best Bet: Lions +7.5
Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Betting Odds
Oddsmakers have tempered their expectations of the Lions continuing their magical run to the Super Bowl, opening them as a +6.5 underdog. Bettors have even lower expectations of them being able to pull it off, backing the 49ers up to as high as -7.5 in some shops. With less offensive possessions expected for the 49ers, take the Lions at the spread at no lower than +7.
As for the total, oddsmakers believed points would be scored at a quick rate as they opened the number at 50.5. Bettors believe points will come at a slightly faster pace, betting the over up to 51.5 as of writing. Should this total hit 52 then the under is worth a play. The Lions have the tools to slow down the 49ers offense while they abuse the run and bleed time off the clock.
Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Key Injuries
Both teams may be without key productive players as Deebo Samuel has been listed as questionable for the 49ers and Jonah Jackson has been ruled out for the Lions via both teams’ injury report.
Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Key Matchups
Can Jared Goff generate production through the air against the 49ers coverage?
Jared Goff Vs. 49ers Coverage
Not only is establishing the run vital for the Lions offense to move the ball down the field, but it will also open up higher quality passing lanes for Goff to pick apart. Should Gibbs get it going early then the 49ers will be forced to stack the box.
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That is vital for the Lions chances of being more versatile as the 49ers secondary has been elite in coverage. San Francisco ranks fourth in Def Pass DVOA, sixth in Def Pass EPA, and seven in Def Pass Success Rate. Goff’s chances for success are also heavily predicated on the health of Frank Ragnow, needing his star center to be able to play as their production takes a massive dip without him. Jonah Jackson is already ruled out, now running thin on the line.
Detroit Lions Depth Chart
San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart
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