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Detroit Lions Hoping To Make The Sportsbooks Look Smart In 2023

The woebegone Lions are the NFC North favorites, and the Super Bowl is within reach




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We may as well start at the top here: The Detroit Lions — a team that has won the sum total of one playoff game in the last 65(!) years — have odds as short as +2100 on FanDuel to win the Super Bowl this year.

Yes, the nation’s online sportsbooks have posted odds suggesting that the Lions have a 1-in-22 shot at hoisting the Lombardi Trophy next February. 

This must be dizzying to any Lions fan born before about 1950 or so, as 1957 marked the last time the Lions won a championship, beating the Browns 59-14.

But here we are, calendar year 2023, and the Lions — the Lions! — are ascendent, heading into their nationally televised Thursday night opening tilt against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs as 6.5-point underdogs.

And while the Lions aren’t expected to win at Arrowhead, just imagine for a moment what will happen if the Lions pull an upset — those +2100 odds (as high as +2500 at BetRivers) would certainly shorten up.

Meanwhile, the Lions are the fourth favorites to win the NFC outright, with odds of +1100 at DraftKings. The Eagles are the favorites, at +330, followed by the 49ers at +400 and the Cowboys at +600.

And the Lions are clear favorites to take the NFC North crown, with odds as short as +120 at Caesars (and as high as +145 at FanDuel). The Vikings are next up at +290.

Lions in line for awards?

If the Lions win the division, Dan Campbell has an excellent shot at being named Coach of the Year. He’s currently the favorite for the award, at +1200 at BetRivers.

On the player side, you want a longshot MVP candidate? Look no further than Jared Goff — a man who once led a team to the Super Bowl — with odds as long as +4000. Of the last 16 MVP awards, 15 have gone to a quarterback. And if the Lions are the NFC North champs and a high seed entering the playoffs, well, there’s Goff, who will undoubtedly have had a major role in the Lions’ success.

Looking for another player who may put the Lions over the top? First-round running back Jahmyr Gibbs is relatively attractive in the Rookie of the Year markets, sitting in fifth place at +1000 odds at Caesars and DraftKings.

Of course, the Lions’ offensive engine is wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is a robust +2500 to win Offensive Player of the Year — good for 12th overall. St. Brown — who is fantasy expert Matthew Berry’s “ride or die” this season — has a touchdown total set at 5.5 at DraftKings, at -135 on the over. 

All in all, there are high hopes for the Lions this year, and their win total is set at 9.5 across the board. And it all starts in Kansas City after two more sleeps. 

Photo: Michael Owens/Getty Images