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Sportsbooks Cast Wary Eye On Dan Campbell’s Pronouncement Of Lions Starters Playing

Dan Campbell is insisting the Lions won’t be resting starters, but the point spread tells a different story




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Fact: The Lions are division champions for the first time in 30 years.

Fact: The Lions last won a playoff game in 1992 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Fact: Before that, the Lions’ last playoff win was when they were crowned NFL champions by defeating the Cleveland Browns in … 1957.

Fact: Ergo, the Lions have won one playoff game in 67 years.

Fact: Unless the Cowboys and Eagles both lose — and the Lions beat the Vikings — the Lions are locked into the #3 seed in the NFC. They’ll play either the Rams or the Packers.

Fact: As of this writing, despite the Week 18 game against the Vikings meaning almost literally nothing, Dan Campbell says he will be playing his starters.

It appears as if America’s sportsbooks believe him. Sort of. The home Lions are 3.5-point favorites over the Vikings, with FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings all offering -105 odds. On the moneyline, Caesars is offering the best odds on the Lions at -178.

We say “sort of” because two short weeks ago, in Minnesota, the Lions were 3-point favorites. The Vikings certainly have not gotten any stronger in the two weeks since, so while the Lions are the favorites, it appears the sportsbooks are hedging their bets a bit.

The total for the game is at 45.5 across the board, down from the 47 it was two weeks ago. Again, it appears the sportsbooks aren’t totally taking Campbell at his word.

Props? Hello?

Yet another reason to think the sportsbooks aren’t wholly convinced the Lions starters will see the field the whole game? Outside of touchdowns, there are no props listed anywhere – for either team.

For touchdowns, the normal Lions are all listed at FanDuel: Amon-Ra St. Brown is at +130, David Montgomery at +125, Sam LaPorta at +155, and Jahmyr Gibbs at -110. None of the backups — including running back Craig Reynolds, who would get the bulk of the carries if Montgomery and Gibbs were to sit — have touchdown props up at any Michigan sportsbooks, but it may be something to watch for in the coming hours and days, especially if you also are casting a wary eye on Campbell’s “everyone is playing” pronouncements.

Fact: No one really knows what Campbell has planned for Sunday.

Photo: Perry Knotts/Getty Images