The Dan Campbell era is upon us.
The new coach leads (another) new regime for Detroit Lions football Sunday at Ford Field against the San Francisco 49ers (1 p.m., FOX).
Oddsmakers are down on Campbell and the young Lions this season, and the opener is the perfect evidence.
After opening as the biggest Week 1 underdog, the Lions’ betting odds were surpassed by Dallas, which was Week 1’s biggest underdog on Sunday night. But as of Saturday afternoon, the Lions are back to the top of the projected biggest loser pile once again.
2021 Detroit Lions Week 1 Lines (Updated)
The opening Lions Week 1 spread lines at Michigan sportsbooks started high and jumped quickly, but they have leveled back to 7.5 points at one operator. However, after the news that Lions left tackle Taylor Decker will miss the game with a finger injury, the Lions were 8-point underdogs some places, and up to 9.5 at others.
The first to come out with a number on this 1 p.m. ET FOX kickoff Sept. 12 was BetMGM Sportsbook, which set San Francisco as a 7-point favorite. Home-field advantage usually counts for 3 or 3.5 points in conventional terms, so the oddsmakers see this game as a double-digit affair in a neutral environment.
By the time DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet all followed, the line had already ticked up to 7.5 points. That number has held as the early consensus line, and it was the most lopsided in all of the NFL’s Week 1 action.
The opening point total was set at 46. You can find the current best Week 1 odds for the Lions-49ers game below.
San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions Week 1 NFL Odds
The biggest consensus underdog in Week 1 action remains Dallas, which was +9 in most books against Tampa Bay in Thursday’s NFL opener before covering the spread in falling 31-29.
Lions vs. 49ers a rough first assignment for Detroit
The Week 1 assignment for the Lions isn’t kind, and it’s one Goff, a former Los Angeles Rams quarterback and the new Lions starter, will know all too well.
The 49ers traded up to the No. 3 pick in this season’s NFL Draft, and they were coming off an injury-riddled, 6-10 season in 2020 that placed them last in the NFC West. That was quite a follow-up departure for coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garropolo from their Super Bowl XLIV appearance two seasons ago.
The 49ers have a regular-season win total projection at 10.5 victories in most sportsbooks. The Lions are among the lowest in the league at 5 or 5.5.
As such, when looking at the rebuilding Lions, who enter a new era under Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes, as the opening opponent, you can see why the 49ers are favored.
Decker injury could hamper Lions’ offense in opener
On Wednesday, Kevin Bastin was rehired as head athletic trainer. He stepped down in 2019. He’s got his hands full already.
The Lions listed Decker (finger) out for Sunday’s game. In addition, defensive end Michael Brockers, defensive end Levi Onwuzurike, cornerback A.J. Parker and defensive end Nick Williams were listed as questionable for the game.
The Lions named their captains this week, as Goff, center Frank Ragnow, linebackers Trey Flowers and Alex Anzalone, and Jalen Reeves-Maybin (special teams) lead the way.
A question for the Lions this season is a lack of productive options at wide receiver. Tyrell Williams could be the “No. 1 receiver” and has a little pedigree. Since 2015, his four touchdown receptions of 75 yards or more is most in the NFL, tied with Tyreek Hill, Odell Beckham Jr., DeSean Jackson and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
T.J. Hockenson vs. George Kittle in battle of top tight ends
If you’re looking for props involving the Lions, you might look at tight end T.J. Hockenson, who will be trying to one-up friend and fellow Iowa product George Kittle, a Pro Bowler.
Hockenson enters his third year having scored a touchdown in each of his first two Week 1 appearances. He’s the first tight end in NFL history to score a touchdown and gain 50 or more yards in his first two Week 1s.
Kittle missed half of last season with a broken foot but gained more than 1,000 receiving yards and 80 catches in each of the two previous seasons.
NFL Week 1 odds at Michigan sportsbooks
Other 2021 Detroit Lions NFL Game Odds
DraftKings is among the outlets that have also offered early lookahead spreads and moneylines for select games the rest of the season. Here’s a look at what’s available in Detroit terms.
Lions 2021 Week 2 Odds
Detroit’s fate doesn’t get any easier in Week 2, with the first road game of the season at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. The Lions opened as a 10-point underdog on Sept. 19 for a Monday night game. Latest odds are below.
Lions 2021 Week 3 Odds
The Lions will take on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens next, settling in as 7.5-point underdogs at home on Sept. 26. Latest odds are below.
Lions 2021 Week 4 Odds
Detroit hits the road on Oct. 3 for the Chicago Bears where the Lions are 5.5-point underdogs.
Lions 2021 Week 5 Odds
The Lions have a second straight NFC North road game at the Minnesota Vikings, an Oct. 10 game that is currently off the board at DraftKings.
Lions 2021 Week 6 Odds
Oddsmakers think Detroit has a chance to win in Week 6, hosting the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 17. The Lions are only a 1-point underdog against Joe Burrow and crew.
Lions 2021 Week 7 Odds
The Goff-Stafford game we referenced above takes place in Los Angeles in Week 7, on Oct. 24. The lines only get larger against the Lions here, as Detroit was a 10.5-point underdog. The Lions were +420 on the moneyline.