For a lot of 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. Via 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 robust towards among the best groups within the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles, Week 2 noticed the Lions soar out to a giant lead early on the Washington Commanders. Whereas the Commanders did claw their method again to convey the rating inside single digits, most onlookers agreed that the Lions by no means actually misplaced management. They seemed stable.
Now, anybody who’s been watching the Lions in recent times might’ve advised you that their report wasn’t indicative of how good the staff really was. In 2021, the Lions had the second-worst report within the league. Nevertheless, they have been additionally 1-6-1 in one-possession video games final 12 months. That’s not regular. You’d count on a staff to be about .500 in these conditions. Detroit wasn’t anyplace shut. Couple that with a extra wholesome offensive line, improved passing sport weapons, and an improved move rush, and it’s no marvel that the Lions are all of a sudden wanting like kings of their jungle. They’ve additionally obtained one of many best schedules within the NFL, with 10 video games towards groups that have been beneath .500 final season. Yeah, they’ll most likely get smoked on nationwide TV on Thanksgiving Day towards the Buffalo Payments. That can most likely flip lots of people away from the Lions, however hey, the Rams additionally obtained smoked by the Payments on nationwide TV and I don’t see anyone fading the Rams proper now.
Sports activities bettors are probably the most intrigued by the Lions so far. This complete week, the Lions have been a favourite at sportsbooks. On Tuesday, the Lions obtained 16.7 p.c of bets to win the Tremendous Bowl. That tied them with the Payments for the second-most, behind solely the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, who obtained 25 p.c of all Tremendous Bowl bets. That is surprising. Relating to particular person video games, it’s regular to see bettors again the underdogs in hopes of huge payouts. Nevertheless, that just about by no means occurs in terms of championship bets. The phrase is “any given Sunday,” not “any given season.”
Hell, the Lions nonetheless aren’t anticipated to even attain the playoffs. In keeping with OddsChecker US, the Lions are listed at -350 to overlook the playoffs, that means they’re being given a 77.8 p.c likelihood to overlook the playoffs altogether. Regardless of their scorching begin, they nonetheless have +10000 odds to win the Tremendous Bowl, placing them tied for twenty third within the NFL with the likes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Washington Commanders. Ought to these odds be larger? Completely, 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 when it comes to Tremendous Bowl odds is a slap within the face to Detroit’s early-season accomplishments.
It’s not simply the Tremendous Bowl odds that bettors love although. The Lions are probably the most backed underdog to win this Sunday, receiving 66.7 p.c of moneyline bets as six-point underdogs to their division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. Now, the Lions haven’t gained in Minnesota since 2017, however I perceive why so many individuals might see Detroit strolling away with a victory this Sunday. The obvious cause is how every staff fared of their video games towards the Philadelphia Eagles. Whereas neither staff obtained out to a scorching begin, the Lions confirmed battle, clawing again to make it an in depth sport by the ultimate whistle. In the meantime, the Vikings couldn’t get something going. They seemed outclassed towards Philadelphia, like a deer in headlights — or Sam Darnold towards the Patriots. Based mostly 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 all know that isn’t how soccer works.
The Vikings must 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 count on a repeat efficiency of final week. This sport must be a shootout, and so long as Irv Smith Jr. continues dropping positive landing passes, the Lions could have a reasonably good shot at shifting above .500.