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Lions Slight Underdog In Preseason Game Against Jacksonville

Detroit beat the Jaguars 40-14 during last year’s regular season




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The Detroit Lions demolished the Jacksonville Jaguars last season, defeating Trevor Lawrence 40-14 in arguably the Lions’ best performance in 2022.

Saturday, the two teams square off at Ford Field in a decidedly less important game. The two franchises, which appear to be trending in the right direction, will meet in preseason action this weekend. 

Sadly, the matchup between the two teams with big-cat mascots won’t feature a live lion on the field. Detroit head coach Dan Campbell recently went on Pardon My Take, a podcast where he previously suggested the Lions should have a live mascot, and said the NFL “frowns” upon the idea. Detroit will go at least another year without its fiery head coach leading his team steps away from a jungle cat.

Perhaps the lack of a giant animal roaming the sidelines is the reason the Lions are short underdogs in the preseason game, with most mobile sportsbooks giving the Jaguars about a field-goal edge in the game. BetMGMBetRivers, and FanDuel list the Lions as 3.5-point underdogs in the team’s second preseason contest of the year. 

The Lions are +145 moneyline underdogs on FanDuel. The total is hovering around 40 points across most mobile sportsbooks. 

Roster battles to monitor

Preseason games don’t bring the same intrigue as regular-season matchups, but these games matter for the guys battling for roster spots. 

Detroit quarterback Nate Sudfeld looks like an odd man out with the Lions signing Teddy Bridgewater to join a quarterback room with Jared Goff and Hendon Hooker. For Sudfeld to keep his job, or audition for another one, he’ll need improved play. In Detroit’s first preseason game against the Giants, Sudfeld threw two interceptions and completed just over 50% of his passes. 

On the defensive side, edge rusher Julian Okwara tallied three sacks against the Giants in a stock-boosting performance. He’s among the Lions seeking to secure spots on the 53-man roster ahead of Week 1. 

Wide receiver Jameson Williams is in no danger of being cut, but he’s expected to miss Saturday’s game. The former first-round pick is dealing with a hamstring issue. Williams may miss the rest of the preseason due to the injury, and he’ll miss the first six games of Detroit’s season for violating the NFL’s gambling policy

Lions futures update

While the outcome of preseason games really don’t matter — don’t tell that to the Baltimore Ravens — regular-season games begin in less than a month. 

Detroit opens the season against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 7. Most mobile sportsbooks list the Lions as 6.5-point underdogs in the matchup, with the total set at 54.5. 

The Lions, while not viewed in the same light by oddsmakers as the Chiefs, are the NFC North favorites across sportsbooks. Caesars Sportsbook lists Detroit at +120 to win the NFC North and +2000 to win the Super Bowl. 

Winning the Super Bowl might be a big leap for Dan Campbell’s team, as the Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1991.

Photo: Mike Mulholland/Getty Images