Is there a more exciting team in the NFL right now than the Detroit Lions?
They have an explosive, pass-first offense — and one that will only get better as the offensive line, one of the best in the league, returns to health — and their defense can best be described as “really, truly, monumentally awful.”
Add it together, and what you get are back-and-forth games featuring big plays and plenty of nail-biting moments.
This Sunday, the Lions take to the road for a divisional matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, who just got their helmets handed to them by the Philadelphia Eagles — a team, you might remember, that almost lost to these upstart Lions in Week 1. (Seriously: That was an objectively great comeback, and if they managed to wrap up Miles Sanders on that third down … well, wish in one hand, as they say.)
At any rate, the Lions enter Sunday’s matchup still not getting respect from Michigan’s sportsbooks, as they are 6-point dogs across the board, with the best action at PointsBet at -107. On the moneyline, the best bang for the betting buck comes from DraftKings and BetRivers, where the Lions are +215 to win outright.
On the field, the game appears set to go one of two ways: either the back-and-forth offensive explosion that has been the two-week norm, or, if things go south for the Lions, the Vikings and Dalvin Cook controlling the line of scrimmage and the clock, and the Lions’ whip-fast offense spending a good chunk of the afternoon on the sidelines.
If you think that’s in the cards, overs on Cook rushing yards would seem to be the way to go, and the line is 76.5 at Caesars and DraftKings.
Of course, it’s possible Cook breaks out of his early-season slump and takes one or two to the house, and the Lions offense gets back on the field quick. Perhaps then it might be Amon-Ra St. Brown — the Cooper Kupp of the north — who puts up another round of gaudy numbers.
After all, he’s seeking to break the NFL record this week for most consecutive weeks of 8+ receptions, a record he currently shares with Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown. As of Friday morning, the books had yet to post a reception number for St. Brown.
But narratives being narratives, and Dan Campbell seemingly being the alpha and omega of player’s coaches, it would certainly surprise if the team didn’t scheme to continue to get St. Brown the ball. As a result, a reception prop of 7.5 would seem like a fair bet. And if it’s somehow 6.5, well …
Despite not having a reception prop anywhere, St. Brown’s yardage prop is set at 69.5 at -114 on FanDuel. He’s exceeded that number in seven of his last eight games, with his low coming in Week 1 this year (64 yards).
As for other props, Jared Goff’s passing yardage is the highest it’s been all season at 240.5 at PointsBet at -115. It goes all the way up to 246.5 at Caesars (over -110, but under -117, meaning there’s a six-yard window for a middle at a slightly steep vig).
Lastly, the other explosive Lions skill player — D’Andre Swift — is expected to be back to his normal snap count after last week’s smaller, yet wildly successful, role. Perhaps his most interesting prop is total rushing and receiving yards — set at 90.5 at Underdog, although the traditional sportsbooks haven’t yet come out with their number.
Photo: Junfu Han/USA TODAY