Week 16 NFL Picks: Bet Lions -9 In Home Finale vs. Dreadful 49ers

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 8:11 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 8:11 PM UTC

There are several game with playoff ramifications on the penultimate Sunday of the NFL regular season. I'd like to tell you San Francisco at Detroit is one of them ... but that's not true. The Lions are -9 on Bookmaker's NFL odds with a total of 43.

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NFL Pick: Lions -9 & Under 43

Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


49ers Are Boring!
San Francisco (4-10) lost a second straight last week, 24-14 at home to Cincinnati. The Niners finished with four turnovers and went 2-for-14 on third down, failing to convert on their first 12 attempts. This team is dead last in total offense (291.4 ypg) and scoring (14.4 ppg).

That was the sixth straight start by backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the 49ers are 2-4 under him. They have topped 20 points in just one of those games. Against the Bengals, Gabbert was 30-for-50 for 295 yards, one  touchdown and three picks while being sacked four times. So basically what you'd expect.  He's simply not a starting quarterback in this league so the Niners have to decide what to do with Colin Kaepernick this offseason, although many think he will be gone.

At this point, it behooves San Francisco, which has clinched last place in the NFC West for the first time since 2005, to lose out and get as high a draft pick as possible. Right now the Niners are at No. 6. They might have a shot at their pick of quarterbacks if they don't fall any lower; perhaps they would be interested in Jared Goff, who plays in the neighborhood at  Cal. The team hasn't drafted a quarterback in the first round since 2005 when it took Alex Smith at No. 1 overall. There was another pretty good Cal quarterback available that year. His name was Aaron Rodgers.

The 49ers might be down to about their sixth-string running back this week as Shaun Draughn hurt his knee against the Bengals. That means San Francisco would rely on guys like Travaris Cadet and Kendall Gaskins vs. Detroit. If you can tell me where either of those guys played college football without looking it up, you win my respect. The team has had eight running backs have at least one carry this year.

The San Francisco media refers to the 49ers as the NFL's most boring team. I'd agree with that. Just a couple of years ago with Jim Harbaugh at coach and Kaepernick playing well, this was one of the league's marquee franchises.

San Francisco is 6-8 against the spread on NFL odds and 6-8 'over/under.'


Home Finale For Lions
Detroit (5-9) may have lost by winning on Monday night in New Orleans in ruining a chance at a Top-5 draft pick. But win the Lions did, 35-27 over the Saints to end a two-game losing streak. Detroit tried to blow it as it led 28-3 midway through the third quarter and gave the Saints a chance with a late Hail Mary try. Matthew Stafford had one of his best games of the season, completing 22-for-25 for 254 yards, three scores and no picks.

And we actually saw a Lions running game Monday. They were last in that category entering Monday but rushed for 150 yards on 23 carries. Rookie Ameer Abdullah had nine carries for 77 yards and a score, while Joique Bell had eight for 71 and a TD. Helps to face that pathetic Saints defense.

What's going on with Detroit's Calvin Johnson? Yes, he is dealing with an ankle injury but everyone is hurt this time of year. He has just five total catches in his past three game and one each in the past two. If Megatron is that battered, why not shut him down?

Could Sunday be Johnson's final home game with the Lions? He carries a cap number of around $24 million next season. That's obviously not going to happen. If Johnson won't rework that deal, the Lions probably dump him. Johnson has been surpassed on his own team by Golden Tate, who has back-to-back games with at least two touchdowns and five straight with at least six catches.

I can all but guarantee this will be Jim Caldwell's final home game as the team's head coach. The new front office will want to hire its own guy, with many reports pointing to  Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

Detroit is 5-9 ATS on NFL picks and 8-6 'over/under.'


Last Meeting
Doesn't mean much to the current rosters, but the 49ers beat the visiting Lions 27-19 in Week 2 of the 2012 season. Smith was San Francisco's starting quarterback then. Stafford was 19-for-32 for 230 yards, a touchdown and a pick. Johnson caught eight balls for 94 yards. The Lions have lost nine straight games in this series. The last win was at the old Pontiac Silverdome on a Monday night in September 1995.

Love the 'under.' Take Detroit on the side as the 49ers have been awful on the road with just one win and five blowout losses. The 49ers are 2-6 ATS in their past nine vs. teams with a losing record. The 'under' is 6-2 in San Francisco's past eight. The 'under' is 8-3 in Detroit's past 11 games after totaling more than 350 total yards in their previous game.

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