Week 6 NFL Betting Preview: Lions, 49ers square off at Ford Field

San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions
Sunday, 10/16/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Detroit -4.5
Current Betting Line:  Detroit -4
Opening Total:  47
Current Total:  46
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

49ers vs. Lions NFL Preview
San Francisco QB Alex Smith has a better passer rating than Detroit's Matthew Stafford this season.

The Detroit Lions are one of two unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL following an impressive 24-13 win over the Chicago Bears in their first Monday Night Football in 10 years.  The Lions (5-0) have been the darlings of the league so far this season and now have to guard against a letdown this Sunday against a team flying under the radar in the San Francisco 49ers (4-1).

Detroit (-4, O/U 46) has won nine straight regular-season games dating back to last year and is off to its best start since 1956.  However, the team has lost the last seven meetings with the 49ers, going 1-4-2 against the spread in those games.  The Lions had lost six consecutive meetings with the Bears too though before ending that skid on Monday night with a victory.

San Francisco has also gotten off to a great start and was 0-5 at this point last year.  The team’s only loss this year came against the Dallas Cowboys at home in overtime 27-24 in Week 2.  Former top overall draft pick Alex Smith is having the best season of his seven-year career under center for the 49ers with seven touchdown passes and only one interception to go along with a 104.1 passer rating.

However, Smith lost one of his top receivers in a 48-3 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week when Joshua Morgan went down with a broken leg.  Morgan joins Braylon Edwards (knee) on the sidelines and leaves San Francisco with little depth at wide receiver.  The team signed Brett Swain to a one-year deal but will probably look more to the running game after seeing what Chicago running back Matt Forte did to Detroit.  Forte rushed for 116 yards and likely would have had a lot more if the Bears had not been playing from behind in the second half.

The Lions busted some big plays against Chicago and have been an exciting team offensively, rallying from deficits of 20 points or more twice in the past three games.  Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson leads the league in touchdowns with nine and scored on a 73-yard catch against the Bears, catching five passes overall for 130 yards.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford is also a former top overall draft pick and has managed to stay healthy so far, which has been another key to the team’s success.

This could be a high-scoring affair if the trends continue for each team.  The OVER is 10-3 in the last 13 games on turf for the Lions and 12-3-1 in the past 16 against NFC opponents for the 49ers, although the UNDER has cashed in the last seven meetings.  Detroit is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games against teams with a winning record and has not lost a game vs. the line since Week 12 of last year.

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