Draft Kings has released the opening odds for Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season, and no team in the NFL is a bigger favorite than the San Francisco 49ers. If you recall, we did this dance last year. The Niners were more than a touchdown favorite over their divisional foes in the Arizona Cardinals.
That felt high. If you can ever get that many points within the division, you take the points. Perception in the NFL is everything. The largest opening line of Week 1 belongs to the Niners, who opened as 7.5-point favorites over the Detroit Lions. Despite the 49ers finishing with one more win than the Lions in 2020, Vegas expects the road team to handle business.
The difference? Health and expectations. We’ll discuss your record predictions a little later on Thursday, but I imagine there won’t be many people selecting the 49ers to win fewer than ten games. On the flip side, would the biggest Lions homer pick them to win double-digit games? That’s doubtful.
You have the excitement of your rookie quarterback Trey Lance, but he’s unlikely to begin the season as the starter. Here are the players' San Francisco returns who missed a large chunk of 2020 due to injury:
That’s far from the entire list. Each of those players would be an upgrade over the Lions' current starters. New head coach Dan Campbell is attempting to change the culture in Detroit. While I believe he’ll fare better than most people give him are willing to give him credit, downgrading at quarterback is a tough way to start your career.
The 49ers have an opportunity to set the tone to start this season, and this large spread set by Vegas is evidence that’s the case.