The NFL season is finally here. Things will kick off on Thursday Night Football when the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions. It is the start of what should be a very exciting 2023 season thanks to a stacked AFC and a new-look NFC.
There is a lot of ground to cover in this one, especially since it is the first game of the season. Here are the basics for the game on Thursday.
Bet on Lions vs. Chiefs
Lions vs. Chiefs Odds
|Lions Moneyline Odds||+185|
|Chiefs Moneyline Odds||-225|
|Spread||Lions +4.5 (-110), Chiefs -4.5 (-110)|
|Over/Under||53.0 points (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Sept. 7, 8:20 p.m. ET|
|TV||Broadcast: Amazon Prime|
About the Kansas City Chiefs (2022: 14-3 SU, 5-11-1 ATS, 8-9 over/under)
What is there to say about the Chiefs at this point? They have reached the Super Bowl three times in the last four seasons, winning two in that span. There is little doubt that head coach Andy Reid’s crew has their sites set on a second consecutive title and third in five seasons. It would elevate them into dynasty talk.
The Chiefs are led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who managed to capture his second NFL MVP last year. He can make every throw and makes plays look easy that most quarterbacks can’t even dream of attempting. No matter his supporting cast, Mahomes is perennially among the best quarterbacks in the league.
Though there hasn’t been a lot of change on the roster, the biggest question is whether the Chiefs can hold off the challengers in the AFC. The Bills, Bengals, Ravens, Chargers, Jaguars, Jets, and Dolphins all have lots of hype this year and could make a run in the AFC to challenge the Chiefs.
About the Detroit Lions (2022: 9-8 SU, 12-5 ATS, 10-7 over/under)
The 2022-23 NFL season was an interesting one for the Lions. The team began 1-6, seemingly on its way to another classic Detroit season. But then Dan Campbell’s crew ripped off 8 of 10 wins down the stretch, even eliminating the Green Bay Packers from playoff contention.
The Lions have been a chic pick in the NFC North this season, especially with the departure of Aaron Rodgers from Green Bay. They are everyone’s favorite to not only win the division for the first time since 1993, when it was the NFC Central, but also to win a playoff game for the first time since 1991.
The offense is among the more talented in the league and there is good, young talent on the defensive side of the football. The real question is whether the Lions can handle the unusual hype and deliver the most successful season for the franchise in 35 years.
Patrick Mahomes to exceed 286.5 passing yards
Betting Mismatch of the Week: Mahomes vs. the Lions Secondary
Facing Mahomes is a challenge for any defense but this one is especially glaring. Granted, the young defense has a year under its belt but this group finished dead last in total yards per game last year (392.4) and third-last in passing yards per game (245.8).
Mahomes can pick apart even elite defenses, so the Lions will have their hands full. They are going to need to get Mahomes off the field a few times in order to give the offense a chance to not only keep pace but potentially walk away with a win.
Use Bet365 for Lions vs. Chiefs
Knowing everything about the two teams at this point, it’s time to get down to the picks. Keep reading to find out the betting trends, player prop trends, and more. Whoever you plan on taking, make sure that bet365 Sportsbook is the way that you do it. With great promotions and some of the best odds around, bet365 is one of the top sportsbooks in the world.
Key Injuries for Chiefs vs. Lions
There are a few players that currently have a questionable status on the Lions roster. Corner Emmanuel Moseley was limited in practice and a knee injury has him listed as questionable heading into the game. Linebacker Julian Okwara is on the injured reserve following a knee injury, though he is more of a utility player than anything.
For the Chiefs, receiver Kadarius Toney and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed are both dealing with knee injuries from camp but participated in practice in a limited capacity. The biggest issue is defensive tackle Chris Jones. Jones is holding out in hopes of a new deal and has not been seen in practice. His absence leaves a glaring hole in the Chiefs’ defense, especially the pass rush.
Key Factors for Chiefs vs. Lions
There are several key factors and trends to be aware of heading into the first game of the season. Though the results of last year are certainly important, a lot has happened and time can change teams. Let’s get into it and get a closer look at the first game of the 2023 NFL season.
One of the best things about the opening week of the season is that the weather is largely perfect. Things are expected to be a little warm in Kansas City when the Lions and Chiefs take the field for Thursday Night Football.
The high for the day will be 88 degrees with the nighttime low of 63 degrees. The skies are expected to be clear with no rain and minimal wind. Players will probably be a bit sweaty throughout the course of the game but that’s the worst of it from a weather perspective.
The line has been pretty consistent across the board. Right now, the line remains the same (Chiefs -4.5) across the major books. It is interesting that the line hasn’t shifted much, even with Chris Jones being absent from camp and very likely to miss the game.
There could be a late shift to come but it shouldn’t be more than a half-point one way or another. The Super Bowl champions by a touchdown are drawing even money (-110) from all the major sportsbooks as well.
- Last season the Chiefs, despite going 13-4, were relatively pedestrian in the regular season when it comes to covering the spread (just 5-11-1). But in the playoffs, the Chiefs went 3-0 against the spread, putting them closer to the .500 mark. The Chiefs were also 3-5-1 ATS as home favorites last year, including the playoffs.
- The Lions, meanwhile, were good on the road. They went 5-2 ATS as road underdogs, going 12-5 ATS as a whole. The line is fairly large for a Week 1 matchup and the Lion’s recent history covering as road underdogs should get a long look.
Player Prop Trends
- Mahomes is -110 to clear 286.5 passing yards in Week 1. Over the final 12 weeks of the regular season, Mahomes was a machine. He crossed the 300-yard plateau 9 times in 12 games. That’s a good indication that he can take advantage of a questionable Detroit secondary on Thursday night.
- David Montgomery, the new addition to the Lions backfield, has his rushing yardage total set at 53.5 yards (-110). He was up and down a year ago, hitting the mark in 8 of 14 games. It is interesting to note that he only topped 70 yards twice – 79 yards in Week 12 and 122 yards in Week 2. It’ll be interesting to see how Montgomery does with no Chris Jones in the middle of the Chiefs defense.
Wagers to consider
It’s tough to know what either team will look like in Week 1, so recent trends are our friend.
Take the Lions +4.5 (-110) and if you’re feeling spicy, take them to win outright with the Lions ML (+185). The lack of Jones on the Chiefs’ defense will leave them susceptible to a Lions offense that was one of the best in the league a year ago. The champs are more likely to win, but covering this line is a tough ask in the first week of the season.