The first episode of Hard Knocks dropped on HBO Tuesday night, and if football fans weren’t already enamored of Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, they almost certainly are now.
That, a few more takeaways from the Lions’ first time on Hard Knocks, along with some potential sports betting spots …
Campbell is awesome
Campbell (Coach of the Year odds at BetMGM are +1200, though he can be had for as high as +2000 on PointsBet) was clearly the star of the show. For one thing, he says “man” as much as, if not more than, Jeff Lebowski, the Dude himself. (In fact, Campbell even sounds a little bit like Jeff Bridges.) (And sheesh, he even looks like him.)
Campbell is clearly a player’s coach, as evidenced by him doing 40 “up and downs” with the team before a practice. Plus, he speaks in weird metaphors, including mentioning items such as “one ass cheek and three toes,” “we’ll go to a f*ckin’ landfill,” and, perhaps most memorably when discussing their future opponents, “We’ll tread water as long as it takes to f*cking bury you.”
Heart and soul
Jamaal Williams appears to be the heart and soul of the players. The sixth-year running back — who not-so-incidentally set a personal-best rushing yardage total for himself last year in his first season in Detroit — led the team in a post-practice speech where he ended up crying.
While betting on Williams to lead the league in rushing — that’s 200/1 at BetRivers — is probably lighting money on fire, perhaps taking the under on D’Andre Swift’s rushing yard prop (850.5 at -115 on DraftKings) may be a sharp play. Swift will obviously see plenty of the field, and his rushing/receiving yardage prop (over 1399.5 at -115 at PointsBet) clearly points to a robust pass-catching role. But between Williams’ role last year and the fact that Campbell clearly loves him, there could be a bigger backfield split than some are currently imagining.
Hutch — and Hutch’s mom
Aidan Hutchinson already has the respect of the coaches, as evidenced by a scene where they all agree he’s got “it.” He also has the respect of his teammates, as he led them in a truly rousing version of “Billie Jean.”
Hutchinson, after starting the preseason as the second favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year behind Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, is now the favorite at +500 at Barstool to take home the iron.
Also notable: Hutchinson’s mom got some screen time.
Yeah, well, the Lions visit the Jets on Dec. 18, (Lions +2.5 at DraftKings) and uh … well, maybe it’s best if the Lions brass makes sure Zach Wilson doesn’t stop by the visiting team’s family section, m’kay?
Photo: Junfu Han/USA TODAY