For many moons, the Detroit Lions have been the laughingstock of the NFL. They’ve been the Cleveland Browns of the NFC, the clowns on the circus, the Packers’ little brothers who simply need to get a seat on the grownup desk on Thanksgiving — however not anymore. Through two weeks, the Detroit Lions have proven life. They’ve proven grit. They’ve been pleasurable, and so they’ve impressed quite a few individuals throughout America. After Week 1 noticed the Lions battle powerful in opposition to probably the greatest groups within the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles, Week 2 noticed the Lions leap out to an enormous lead early on the Washington Commanders. While the Commanders did claw their approach again to carry the rating inside single digits, most onlookers agreed that the Lions by no means actually misplaced management. They appeared stable.
Now, anybody who’s been watching the Lions in recent times might’ve advised you that their document wasn’t indicative of how good the workforce really was. In 2021, the Lions had the second-worst document within the league. However, they had been additionally 1-6-1 in one-possession video games final 12 months. That’s not regular. You’d anticipate a workforce to be about .500 in these conditions. Detroit wasn’t wherever shut. Couple that with a extra wholesome offensive line, improved passing recreation weapons, and an improved move rush, and it’s no surprise that the Lions are abruptly wanting like kings of their jungle. They’ve additionally received one of many best schedules within the NFL, with 10 video games in opposition to groups that had been beneath .500 final season. Yeah, they’ll most likely get smoked on nationwide TV on Thanksgiving Day in opposition to the Buffalo Bills. That will most likely flip lots of people away from the Lions, however hey, the Rams additionally received smoked by the Bills on nationwide TV and I don’t see anyone fading the Rams proper now.
Sports bettors are probably the most intrigued by the Lions so far. This entire week, the Lions have been a favourite at sportsbooks. On Tuesday, the Lions acquired 16.7 % of bets to win the Super Bowl. That tied them with the Bills for the second-most, behind solely the Kansas City Chiefs, who acquired 25 % of all Super Bowl bets. This is surprising. When it involves particular person video games, it’s regular to see bettors again the underdogs in hopes of huge payouts. However, that just about by no means occurs with regards to championship bets. The phrase is “any given Sunday,” not “any given season.”
Hell, the Lions nonetheless aren’t anticipated to even attain the playoffs. According to OddsChecker US, the Lions are listed at -350 to overlook the playoffs, that means they’re being given a 77.8 % likelihood to overlook the playoffs altogether. Despite their scorching begin, they nonetheless have +10000 odds to win the Super Bowl, placing them tied for twenty third within the NFL with the likes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Washington Commanders. Should these odds be larger? Absolutely, particularly given the truth that the Lions beat the Commanders convincingly of their house opener final weekend.
That’s most likely why so many individuals are inclined to guess on the Lions this week. They seen how laborious the Lions laid the smack down on Washington, and the truth that they’re nonetheless tied with the Commanders by way of Super Bowl odds is a slap within the face to Detroit’s early-season accomplishments.
It’s not simply the Super Bowl odds that bettors love although. The Lions are probably the most backed underdog to win this Sunday, receiving 66.7 % of moneyline bets as six-point underdogs to their division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. Now, the Lions haven’t received in Minnesota since 2017, however I perceive why so many individuals might see Detroit strolling away with a victory this Sunday. The most evident cause is how every workforce fared of their video games in opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles. While neither workforce received out to a scorching begin, the Lions confirmed struggle, clawing again to make it a detailed recreation by the ultimate whistle. Meanwhile, the Vikings couldn’t get something going. They appeared outclassed in opposition to Philadelphia, like a deer in headlights — or Sam Darnold against the Patriots. Based on the transitive property, it’d be a slam dunk house run guess, proper? Math has by no means failed us earlier than, however we all know higher. We know that isn’t how soccer works.
The Vikings ought to be a favourite, however I’m additionally glad to see everybody giving Detroit the credit score they deserve. Detroit doesn’t have the identical protection that Philadelphia does, and everyone knows that Kirk Cousins struggles mightily in primetime video games. Thus we shouldn’t anticipate a repeat efficiency of final week. This recreation ought to be a shootout, and so long as Irv Smith Jr. continues dropping sure touchdown passes, the Lions may have a reasonably good shot at shifting above .500.