The last time the Detroit Lions won a playoff game, George H.W. Bush was President of the United States. The year was 1991, and the Lions posted a 12-4 record. They rolled all the way to the NFC Championship and blew out a Dallas Cowboys team that was on the way to dynasty status not once, but twice. Last year, the Lions went 9-8, but they went 7-2 down the stretch and were one early loss to Seattle away from winning a tiebreaker to get a wild-card playoff berth. That was the first winning season for the Lions since 2017. Can they start 2023 as hot as they finished 2022? We’ll see when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs – the defending Super Bowl champions – in their opener. Don’t miss our NFL betting preview of this prime-time showdown.
Week 1: NFL Lions vs Chiefs Betting Odds | Bet NFL Football Lines by Xbet Sportsbook
When: Thursday, September 7, 2023, 8:20 pm ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
Radio: Westwood One
Live Stream: Peacock
NFL Odds: Detroit +6.5 / O/U 54 // Detroit +228 / Kansas City -285
Why should you bet on the Lions?
The Lions’ 9-8 mark in 2022 was a huge improvement in Dan Campbell’s second season leading the team after his first campaign finished 3-13-1. The Week 18 victory at Lambeau Field, denying the Green Bay Packers a playoff spot, represented a huge step forward for a Lions team that has established a reputation for failing to compete in its own division. Tailbacks Jamaal Williams, Justin Jackson, and D’Andre Swift are all gone, though, with rookie Jahmyr Gibbs and free agent David Montgomery looking to fill those shoes. On defense, the team boosted the secondary by adding Cameron Sutton, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and Emmanuel Moseley.
The Lions were fifth in the NFL in scoring offense last year (26.6 points per game), while their defense ranked 28th (25.1 points permitted per game). Jared Goff threw for 4,438 yards with a 29:7 TD:INT ratio, a serviceable set of numbers for an NFL starter. Gibbs ran for 926 yards and seven scores with Alabama last season while catching 44 passes for 444 yards and three scores, and he will be a dual threat this year as well. Amon-Ra St. Brown was the top receiver with 106 catches for 1,161 yards and six scores. Can Goff find him down the field against a Kansas City defense that usually starts the season a bit less than intensely?
Bet on the Lions to Win Today
Why should you put your money on the Chiefs?
The Chiefs struggle early in the regular season against other potential playoff teams. Last year, they needed a late pick-six to hold off the Chargers at home, 27-24, and lost in Indianapolis the next week. In 2021, they barely beat Cleveland at home by four and then lost three of their next four. So while the Chiefs come in off a 14-3 season and a Super Bowl title, having to rebuild their wide receiver group and replace losses on defense and the O-line will take some time. The new receiver group is young, and both offensive tackles are new.
Kansas City led the NFL in passing offense last year, throwing for 297.8 yards per game, but it will take time for Patrick Mahomes to build chemistry with this new group. With tight end Travis Kelce questionable (hyperextended knee), the passing game could struggle, and the rushing game doesn’t have a real star at this point – Isaiah Pacheco is the featured back. On defense, lineman Chris Jones continues to hold out as of this writing, and Charles Omenihu starts the season with a six-game suspension after violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Bet on the Chiefs to Win Today
Final Score and Prediction
While the Chiefs will hang their championship banner before opening kickoff, this is a team that the home team will be looking to survive more than to dominate. I see Detroit coming in and making hay against the Chiefs’ defense and Kansas City needing all of Patrick Mahomes’ magic to win. I predict a final score of Kansas City 24, Detroit 20.
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