49ers Lions Spread Pick for Week 6 NFL

For the first time since 1956, yes 1956, the Lions have started off the season 5-0. The Lions walked out of Monday night tied with the Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North. In front of an electric crowd, the Lions took care of the Chicago Bears, 24-13, thanks to a smothering defense and quick hit offense. The Lions haven’t been the only surprise team of 2011, though. The team they will be playing on Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers, are fresh off a 48-3 drubbing over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 49ers are 4-1 on the season, and are playing with plenty of confidence under Jim Harbaugh. This is an intriguing matchup to say the least.

The Lions are looking to feed off the energy of the home crowd once again on Sunday. Ford Field was as loud it has ever been, and forced the Bears into false start after false start. They committed nine false-start penalties, which played a pivotal role in throwing them out of sync. Not only was it from the crowd, but the Lions defensive line certainly can make any offensive line get a little antsy. The Lions don’t have to rely on just four defensive lineman, they have a full lineup of seven or eight players that can continually rotate through. With it appearing Nick Fairley is completely healthy; the sky is the limit for this unit. It’s an easy concept, if you want to beat the Lions, the offensive line is going to have to block. If a quarterback has time, there are definitely holes to exploit in the secondary, but that is a big if. Statistically, the Lions are a middle of the pack defense, but they do have big play players that can change the dynamics of a game quickly, just things that can’t be seen in a box score. Speaking of changing the dynamics of a game quickly, the offense can do that as well. Simply looking at the time of possession from Monday can indicate that, as the Lions had the ball for just over 20 minutes, compared to the Bears 40 minutes. The Lions got big plays out of Calvin Johnson once again, and Jahvid Best had a breaking out party of sorts. Best rushed for 163 yards on only 12 carries, and he also chipped in with a touchdown. The touchdown was an 88-yard untouched run right up the middle, the second longest in Lions history.

While Best and the Lions cut through the Bears with ease, I believe it will be a different story against the 49ers. The Bears defense is heading downwards, while the Niners are on the rise. They have a top-5 rush defense, only surrendering 76 yards a game. Even after playing the top rushing team in the league, the Eagles, the 49ers still have a top-5 rush defense statistically. The problem with the 49ers is their defense against the pass, which is not a recipe for success against a pass happy offense like the Lions. The 49ers rank 23rd in the NFL, giving up 264 yards a game.

The offense has been performing surprisingly well. Before the season started, many people believed a Harbaugh, Andrew Luck reunion was going to be in the works, but Alex Smith has made a last ditch effort to save his job. It appears that Harbaugh has sprung some new life in Smith’s step, and the coaching change has definitely paid off. Smith has passed for 965 yards, with 7 TDs, and only 1 interception. The often conservative 49ers offense looked anything but against the Buccaneers, as they put up 48 points on the board.

49ers vs. Lions Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:
San Francisco 49ers +4.5
@Detroit Lions -4.5

Game Total:
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)

49ers vs. Lions Pick:

After the Lions victory on Monday night, which felt like a Super Bowl victory to most Lions fans, I think the Lions are in a letdown spot here. The Lions are on a short week, and still high from Monday night. I believe the 49ers feel like they have been left out of the part in a way. All the talk from the national media is about the Lions and their 5-0 start. I’m fairly certain the 49ers want to prove that they should be getting some recognition here.
There are a few glaring things that point out to me. First, the 49ers are 2nd in the NFL in regards to kick and punt returns, whereas the Lions are 29th in kicking. In addition, the 49ers offensive line absolutely destroyed the Buccaneers defense. They have been a unit flying under the radar a little bit. The offensive line the Lions played against last week was in complete shambles. And while I believe the Lions defense will get their shots in, the offensive line should hold up just enough to give Frank Gore room to run and Alex Smith time to pass. Lastly, the 49ers have won the last 9 out of 10 games against the Lions. Also note that the line is moving down with the public on the Lions. I think this is a game that does three points either way.

PICK = 49ers +4.5

Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.