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. By two weeks, the Detroit Lions have proven life. They’ve proven grit. They’ve been pleasing, they usually’ve impressed quite a few folks 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 soar out to an enormous lead early on the Washington Commanders. Whereas 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 seemed stable.
Now, anybody who’s been watching the Lions lately might’ve advised you that their file wasn’t indicative of how good the crew truly was. In 2021, the Lions had the second-worst file within the league. Nonetheless, they have been additionally 1-6-1 in one-possession video games final 12 months. That’s not regular. You’d count on a crew 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 go rush, and it’s no surprise that the Lions are instantly 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 have been below .500 final season. Yeah, they’ll in all probability get smoked on nationwide TV on Thanksgiving Day in opposition to the Buffalo Payments. That can in all probability flip lots of people away from the Lions, however hey, the Rams additionally received 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 up to now. This entire 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 stunning. On the subject of particular person video games, it’s regular to see bettors again the underdogs in hopes of large payouts. Nonetheless, that just about by no means occurs on the subject 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. Based on OddsChecker US, the Lions are listed at -350 to overlook the playoffs, which means they’re being given a 77.8 p.c likelihood to overlook the playoffs altogether. Regardless of their sizzling 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 greater? Completely, particularly given the truth that the Lions beat the Commanders convincingly of their house opener final weekend.
That’s in all probability why so many individuals are inclined to guess on the Lions this week. They observed how arduous the Lions laid the smack down on Washington, and the truth that they’re nonetheless tied with the Commanders by way of Tremendous Bowl odds is a slap within the face to Detroit’s early-season accomplishments.
It’s not just the Super Bowl odds that bettors love though. The Lions are the most backed underdog to win this Sunday, receiving 66.7 percent of moneyline bets as six-point underdogs to their division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. Now, the Lions haven’t won in Minnesota since 2017, but I understand why so many people could see Detroit walking away with a victory this Sunday. The most obvious reason is how each team fared in their games against the Philadelphia Eagles. While neither team got out to a hot start, the Lions showed fight, clawing back to make it a close game by the final whistle. Meanwhile, the Vikings couldn’t get anything going. They looked outclassed against Philadelphia, like a deer in headlights — or Sam Darnold in opposition to 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 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 count on 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 could have a fairly good shot at transferring above .500.