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Lions Starting NFL Preseason As Underdogs

Detroit takes on Atlanta at Ford Field as 1-point underdog




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The Detroit Lions begin the 2022 season Friday night with their first preseason game, a home tilt against the Atlanta Falcons that’s set to kickoff at 6 p.m.

And while preseason games don’t count in the standings, they can certainly count for your wallet. With that in mind, the best bang for your moneyline buck on the Lions is +100 at both FanDuel and DraftKings. If you’re interested in getting a point, it’s -110 at the two sportsbooks above, as well as at Caesars.

Are total points your bag? Here you’ve got choices, with BetMGM offering -110 on either side of 34.5, and PointsBet, Caesars, and DraftKings posting -110 at 35. Meanwhile, 35.5 can be found at -105 on the over at BetRivers and Barstool, and -110 on the under at FanDuel and WynnBET.

Of course, betting on preseason games is more of an information game than anything else. For instance, it pays to know who’s going to play. Which is tougher than it sounds, as coaches are notorious for … well, not exactly being forthcoming about the who’s and the when’s.

That said, a quick perusal of Google News does yield a few notes.

Goff to play

For instance, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported earlier this week that the Lions starters are expected to play most, if not all, of the first quarter.

I’d like to get our starters some reps in this game, maybe a quarter because, there again, you just can’t mimic game speed and game intensity,” Campbell said in the article. “And the only way to get ready for a season is to stimulate that intensity. But at the same time, I want to be smart, too. And so, we’re going to meet as a staff [Tuesday] night, really go through this and talk about it.”

On the other side of the field, the Falcons team site reported that Marcus Mariota will start at quarterback, but rookie Desmond Ridder will also see time. And they will be out there a lot.

“The quarterbacks need to feel the pocket,” head coach Arthur Smith said in an Athletic article. “There’s a risk every time you go out there, but we’re not going to sit here and live in our fears. Marcus and Des need to feel the pocket. You try to simulate as much as you can. We have these pressure periods, but at the end of the day they know they may get bumped into, but they’re not going to get tackled. It’s a little bit different when it’s live.”

Something else to watch out for: According to another Birkett piece, the Lions and Jared Goff are expected to embrace the deep ball this year, so look out for a couple of big shots downfield in the first quarter. And while there are no first-quarter bets up anywhere at this point, it might be worth watching to see if an over 7.5 first quarter or Lions first quarter moneyline bet pops into existence.

Photo: Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press