Not that they needed it, but the Buffalo Bills' shellacking of the Rams should motivate the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco is in a prime position to get off to a 1-0 start against the Chicago Bears in Week 1.
The Niners are 7-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total on the game the lowest of any Week 1 contest by two points at 40. Vegas predicts the 49ers will win somewhere in the neighborhood of 23-16.
Kyle Shanahan and company have advantages all over the field. None more significant than the matchup in the trenches defensively. Teven Jenkins, who will be a good player, moves from tackle to right guard. Braxton Jones, a Day 3 rookie, will start at left tackle. Lucas Patrick, who started 13 games for the Packers last season, will be another new starter at center.
Chicago is inexperienced at the offensive skill positions and will have two rookies starting in the secondary. Unfortunately, youth generally leads to mistakes early in the season.
Hopefully, that's not the case for the 49ers, who aren't exactly over the hill when you look up and down the roster. Two first-time starters at guard, and there's a 22-year-old starter under center.
Unlike the Bears roster, the 49ers have depth and talent everywhere that should help mitigate perceived weaknesses elsewhere.
If I were a betting man, I'd play it safe and use the Niners as a teaser leg this weekend, likely with the Vikings or Ravens.