Tune in to the “Ultimate Betting Show” on NESN on Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET for daily NFL training camp previews. Next up: the Detroit Lions.
The Detroit Lions didn’t have the desired record in the 2021 season, but there is still plenty of optimism within the organization, and it starts with head coach Dan Campbell. The former NFL tight end is entering his second year at the helm, and he has promised to bring the “grit” to the Motor City. And if you’ve been tuning into “Hard Knocks,” that message has translated to the players with running back Jamaal Williams’ speech defining where the Lions want to be in 2022.
The young roster of Detroit also has fans excited about what the future of the team could look like. The group contains exciting players on offense like D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams and T.J. Hockenson, and on the defensive end, the Jacksonville Jaguars gifted the Lions Aidan Hutchinson, who was not drafted with the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and dropped to Detroit’s lap at No. 2. The No. 3 pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, Jeff Okudah, will get his chance to rebound after rupturing his Achilles tendon in 2021.
The Green Bay Packers are the team to beat in the NFC North, but with uncertainty with the Minnesota Vikings and a bleak Chicago Bears squad, the door is open for the Lions to make some noise in the division.
Here’s what bettors need to know about the 2022 Detroit Lions, with odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
2021 In Review
3-13-1, last in NFC North
11-6 against the spread
Key offseason additions
WR D.J. Chark
WR Jameson Williams (draft)
DE Aidan Hutchinson (draft)
CB Mike Hughes
S DeShon Elliott
Key offseason losses
OLB Trey Flowers
Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn
Look ahead to 2022
Super Bowl: +15000
Win total: 6.5 (Over -120, Under +100)
To make playoffs: Yes +400, No -550
2022 award contenders
Coach of the Year: Dan Campbell +1800
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jameson Williams +2000
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aidan Hutchinson +500
Campbell’s old-school attitude has many riled up, but the 46-year-old is a lot more forward-thinking than he leads on. The Lions led the league in fourth-down conversion attempts with 41, per Stat Muse. Granted, Detroit being behind had a role to play in this, but it could signal the aggressiveness Campbell wants in the offensive play-calling, and it’s what led the Lions to be a plus .500 club against the spread.
It’s likely why bettors are high on Detroit. According to Caesar Sportsbook’s Max Meyer, the most popular bet in July was Lions “over” six wins. He adds Campbell had drawn the most money overall to win Coach of the Year, and Swift had drawn the most money overall to lead the NFL in rushing yards — the running back has +5000 odds on Caesars and DraftKings.
Jared Goff showed last season he can be a competent quarterback outside of Sean McVay’s system — the seventh-year signal-caller put up near identical numbers in 2021 than he did in 2020.
Goff will have Taylor Decker and second-year lineman Penei Sewell protecting him, and that will likely be all he needs to put the ball into the hands of the exciting skill players on the roster. Whether the Lions can achieve the hype they have received from fans and bettors will be a big question, but there’s little doubt the hype will die down as long as Campbell has a mic.