Coach Dan Campbell brings the Lions into Arrowhead Stadium to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Kickoff Game, the first regular season game of the 2023 season. The Lions are coming off a 9-8 season and are favored to win the NFC North division title behind quarterback Jared Goff, but they are underdogs at most Michigan sportsbooks against quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champs. The Lions haven’t won a season opener since 2017 and haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, but with an improved defense led by Aidan Hutchinson, they are in the conversation to play for the Super Bowl title.
NFL: Detroit Lions vs. KC Chiefs – Odds, Predictions & Picks
Lions vs. Chiefs Analysis
Detroit won five of their last six games last year to emerge as a contender this season for a playoff spot. They have made some changes on offense, bringing in running back David Montgomery from the Bears and drafting running back Jahmyr Gibbs out of Alabama. The defense brought in safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson who had six interceptions with the Eagles last season.
Injury Report: The Lions listed four players on their injury report Monday: DB Emmanuel Moseley, DT Isaiah Buggs, DB Ifeatu Melifonwu and OL Frank Ragnow.
Kansas City has been the premier franchise in the NFL since Mahomes took over as quarterback. He is a two-time NFL MVP. The Chiefs have won seven straight AFC West division titles and appeared in three of the last four Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl LVII over the Eagles and Super Bowl LIV over the Niners.
Injury Report: The Chiefs listed seven players on their injury report Monday: WR Richie James, DB L’Jarius Sneed, WR Kadarius Toney, DT Tershawn Wharton, OL Nick Allegretti, DB Nic Jones, DE BJ Thompson.
Lions vs. Chiefs Key Points and Trends
- As teams in different conferences, the Lions and the Chiefs only play every four years. The Chiefs have won three of the last five match-ups and lead the all-time series 9-5.
- The average margin of victory in the five games is 23.4 points. So whenever these two teams play it’s a blowout on one side.
- The Chiefs, as defending Super Bowl champions, earn the right to host the NFL Kickoff Game. Defending Super Bowl champs are 13-4 all time in the Kickoff Game. This is the first time the Lions have played in the NFL Kickoff Game.
Lions vs. Chiefs Prediction
All signs point to a Chiefs win Thursday night, but there are reasons for optimism for Lion fans. The first is the Chiefs have usually started slow in the regular season until Mahomes finds a groove with his wide receivers. Also, the Lions match-up well with the Chiefs. If the Chiefs have a weakness, it would be their offensive line. How do you stop Mahomes? Pressure up front.
The Lions had 39 sacks last year, they’ll need 3-4 against Mahomes. I won’t be surprised if the Lions take an early lead and even lead the game into the fourth quarter, but that always seems to be when Mahomes does his magic and engineers a late scoring drive. I like the Chiefs to win, but the 6.5 points for the Lions is enticing (KC was only 5-11-1 against the spread last year) and I love the over, because I think both teams will score a lot of points.
Detroit Lions vs. KC Chiefs Best Bet
The Chiefs averaged 29.2 points last season and the Lions averaged 26.6. Both teams have weapons on offense. Look for the Chiefs to score some touchdowns early, the Lions to answer and for it to come down to the last few minutes of the game.
Last year the Lions went over on 10 of their 17 regular season games and the Chiefs were over in eight.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.