On December 29, 1957, the Detroit Lions defeated the Cleveland Browns 59-14 to win the NFL Championship.
Over the course of the next 65 seasons, the Lions won one more playoff game — beating the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card round in 1991.
Of course, with each new season brings new hope, and 2023 is no exception for the Lions’ faithful.
This time around, the sportsbooks share the optimism. DraftKings has the team as a -165 favorite to at least get to a playoff game, and the Lions have the shortest odds to win the NFC North, with Barstool and BetRivers both making them +130 to do so.
But perhaps the biggest shock in all this? DraftKings currently favors the Lions in 12 of their 17 regular-season games, which is notable due to the fact the team’s win total is pegged at 9.5.
Five easy pieces?
The Lions kick off their season with a tough one on Thursday, Sept. 7, in Kansas City, where they are 6.5-point underdogs against the Super Bowl champion Chiefs.
But after that? They play five straight games for which they have been installed as preseason favorites: at home against the Seattle Seahawks (-2.5), home against the Atlanta Falcons (-5), at the Green Bay Packers (-1.5), home against the Carolina Panthers (-5), and on the road at Tampa (-2.5).
The Lions are 2.5-point underdogs when they visit the Baltimore Ravens, but they come back home as -3.5 favorites against the Las Vegas Raiders before the bye.
Post-bye, they head to California to play the Los Angeles Chargers, where the Lions are getting 2.5 points. After that, it’s home against the Chicago Bears (-5), home against the Packers (-4), and then a pair of back-to-back road games in which the Lions are 1.5-point favorites in both: first against the New Orleans Saints, and then against the Bears. The Lions return home as 2-point favorites over the Denver Broncos.
The Lions then close out the year as 1-point dogs at the Minnesota Vikings, 2.5-point dogs at the Dallas Cowboys, and 2.5-point favorites at home against the Vikings.
Outside of the Chiefs game, the Lions — again, representing a franchise that has one playoff win in the last 65 years — aren’t even a field goal underdog in any lookahead line heading into the 2023 season.
As one might expect based on these very positive lines, some other Lions betting options are interesting.
For instance, Dan Campbell is the Coach of the Year favorite at FanDuel, at +1000.
Jared Goff has odds of +4000 to win NFL MVP at BetMGM. He’s behind 13 other players, but it is worth noting that a quarterback has won the last 10 MVP awards. If the Lions do well, it’s not so far-fetched to think Goff’s odds will start to tighten as the season wears on.
Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs is +1000 at BetRivers to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year. (Running back Bijan Robinson of the Atlanta Falcons is the favorite at +300.)
On the other side of the ball, Aidan Hutchinson is +3300 at BetRivers to be named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
And the Lions’ chances to win the Super Bowl? Those odds are +2200 at Barstool, good for ninth best in the league.
Only 107 days until kickoff.
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