Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Detroit Lions (2-12) 4-9-1 ATS, 7-7 O/U at San Francisco 49ers (6-8) 8-4-2 ATS, 5-9 O/U, NFL Week 16, Sunday December 27, 2009 4:05 p.m. EST
By Wilson of

Point Spread: Detroit +12/San Francisco -12
Over/Under: 41

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The San Francisco 49ers have missed the playoffs once again after a promising 3-1 start to the season. The 49ers head coach, Mike Singletary is frustrated but he remains convinced that his guys are capable of being a playoff team real soon. The goal this season was to make the playoffs but that goal will have to carry over to next season as the 49ers now focus on finishing at .500 which would be an improvement. The Niners have had 6 straight losing seasons and they are trying to erase a possible 7th by winning their last two games. Their chances are good as they face two struggling teams with poor records in the Lions (2-12) and the Rams (1-13).

Detroit is limping into San Francisco after a valid but losing effort to the Cardinals last week 31-24. The Lions were down 17-0 and rallied to make a game out of it albeit not enough. The big question in Lion land is who will start at QB? With rookie Matt Stafford ailing from a sore shoulder it might be Drew Stanton over veteran backup Daunte Culpepper. Stanton has waited patiently for over 2 years to get his first start and he might just get it.

The Lions are averaging 16.1 points per game and 296 yards of total offense with 196 yards passing and 100 yards on the ground. Detroit averages just 13 points per game on the road. Defensively, the Lions allow 31.2 points per contest to their opponents. They give up 396 yards of total offense with 268 yards in passing and 127 yards rushing. On the road, the Lions give up even more points at 35.6 per game. They allow 276 yards passing and 149 yards on the ground while on the road. During the last three games the Lions have given up an average of 34 points to their opponents.

Detroit is 1-5-1 ATS and 4-3 O/U on the road this season. San Francisco is 5-2 ATS and 2-5 O/U at home this year. Both teams have an ugly record in their last ten games as Detroit has only won 1 game in their last ten while the 49ers have won just 3 games in their last ten.

The line on this game opened at San Francisco -10 with a total of 42. Nearly all offshore sportsbooks have the Niners -12 with a total of 41. The Las Vegas bookies are showing anywhere from -11.5 (Hard Rock Sportsbook) to -12.5 (Las Vegas Hilton, Mirage Sports Books).

The over is 11-3 in Detroits last 14 games in the month of December. The 49ers are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games.

San Francisco QB, Alex Smith has QB rating of 78.5 to go along with his 1,898 yards passing and 60 percent completion rate. Smith has 16 TDs and 12 INTs on the season while averaging 6 yards per completion.

Detroits QB, Matthew Stafford has a QB rating of 61 to accompany a 53 percent completion record. Stafford has 13 TDs and 20 INTs on the season and also averages 6 yards per completion, but those 20 picks are a concern even though San Frans Smith is in double digits as well. Any time you have more picks than TDs or about the same number of picks as TDs it is a bit nerve racking for the coaching staff. Both teams will look to finish the season on a positive note, but it will be the 49ers who play tough at home that will earn the win.

Wilsons Pick: San Francisco 24, Detroit 10. Luck to ya.