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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

2023 Detroit Lions Season Betting Preview

As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.


In its last 10 games, Detroit finished 8-2 with a 2nd-ranked EPA offense. In that stretch, the Lions averaged 28 and scored 30 or more points five times. The offense was electric, propelling a playoff push that ended in a Week 18 overtime loss to Seattle. If Goff is anywhere near what he showed at the end of last season when he finished 6th in EPA, Detroit’s resurgence should continue. After all, they had the 6th worst rank in adjusted games lost and signed a plethora of talented players to fortify their weak secondary. The Lions also went from one of the most difficult schedules last season to a top-10 easiest one this year. Dan Campbell clearly has this team believing in itself - despite starting 1-6, The Lions finished 2022 above .500.


The Lions have been the perennial laughingstock of the league for years. Dan Campbell used the underdog moniker as a rallying cry to motivate his team. It was an incredible turnaround last season by all accounts, but Detroit has spent the offseason hearing about how it is favored to win their division. How this newfound optimism plays in the locker room remains to be seen, but it is something the Lions are unaccustomed to. The Lions may have bolstered their secondary, but the entire defense was pretty terrible last year. Detroit finished bottom-6 in EPA per play, pass EPA, rush EPA, and success rate. It is also worth questioning whether Goff’s stellar 2022 campaign is repeatable. Is he due for negative regression in 2023?


The Lions should be the favorites to come out of the NFC North, but aren’t bettable at this price point. Their Jekyll-and-Hyde routine last year leaves one to ponder which Lions team will emerge in 2023. Their offense was dynamic while their defense was porous, but they finished second in ATS and ATS margin. One would have to think the offense gets a little worse, the defense better, and the market finally catches up to the Lions. I am not enamored with Detroit's betting opportunities, but with Goff’s success against bottom-tier defenses, I targeted the Raiders in Week 8. Las Vegas finished with the 2nd-worst Defensive Pass EPA last season. The Lions have a bye the following week and I show a little value simply based on my power ratings.

Best Bet: Week 8 DET -4 (pass at -4.5)


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