Heading into the 2023 NFL season, the Detroit Lions playoff chances looked strong as the team was the consensus favorite to win the NFC North. Coming off a 9-8 campaign in 2022, during which they scored 453 points, third best in the NFC, the Lions’ fortunes within their division were boosted by star quarterback Aaron Rodgers moving from division-rival Green Bay to the AFC’s New York Jets.
In 2022, coach Dan Campbell’s second season in charge, the Lions rebounded from a 1-6 start to win eight of their last 10 and reach the brink of playoff contention.
However, even with that all that preseason optimism being expressed for the Lions, Detroit’s early-season performance has even bookmakers at Michigan sports betting apps taking a closer look.
2023 Detroit Lions Surging
The Lions are 5-1, in first place in the NFC North by two games. Detroit is second in the NFC in scoring with 168 points, second only to San Francisco (194 points). On defense, a weak point last year, the Lions are much improved, ranking No. 10 in the NFL for fewest points allowed per game (18.83). And after a weekend that saw the league’s last two undefeated teams take their first losses, Detroit is being taken more seriously than it has been in years.
That goes for oddsmakers, too.
The Lions’ projected win total at BetMGM Michigan Sportsbook has moved to 11.5 wins, up from 9.5 wins at the beginning of the season. As far as wagering is concerned, the Lions’ Over has 75% of the handle (as opposed to 25% on the Under), and the Over has 59% of the tickets. Granted that some, or even most, of that Over wagering occurred when the Lions’ win total number was below its current level of 11.5 victories. But in general, it speaks to gamblers’ confidence in Detroit.
In truth, the Lions have earned the confidence of the betting public. Detroit is not only 5-1 in the standings, it’s also 5-1 against the spread. You can track Detroit Lions Super Bowl odds with us at BetMichigan.com all season.
In 2022, the Lions were 12-5 ATS (9-8 in the standings). And in 2021, the overachieving Lions – at least from a gambling point of view – were 11-6 ATS while going 3-13-1 in the actual standings. So, over the last two-plus seasons, the Lions are 28-12 against the spread.
Detroit Lions Wins Total Rising
Getting back to this season’s win total, as mentioned, the Lions’ mark currently stands at 11.5 wins at minus-140 odds, and the Under is plus-115 odds. In other words, bettors who are optimistic that the Lions will exceed the 11.5-win mark, have to wager $140 at Michigan sports betting operators to win $100. On the flip side, skeptics who think Detroit will fall below 11.5 wins (with odds of +115) would win $115 on a $100 bet if the Lions don’t make the mark.
To exceed the 11.5-win total, Detroit would have to go 7-3 through the rest of its schedule. Currently, only two of the Lions’ remaining 10 games are with opponents who have winning records.
Then there’s this: Of the 34 NFL teams that started exactly 5-1 from the 2013 team season up to 2022, 29 of them made the playoffs, or 85.3%. In fact, only five of those teams missed the playoffs and five others reached the Super Bowl, with four claiming the Vince Lombardi Trophy, after winning five of their first six.
Sharpen your pencils. And check out the best Michigan sportsbook promos right here at BetMichigan.com all season.