Lions Week 1 Pick

2-14 last year, 0-16 the year before; there’s only one way for the Detroit Lions to go…right?

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One of the NFL’s most maligned teams, the Lions haven’t really had anything to cheer about since, well, the last time they made the playoffs, which was in 1999 (sportsbooks had them as a 7-point dog in that Wild-Card game, which they lost 27-13 to the Washington Redskins).

Will the Lions be Kings of the Jungle again? Let’s say that’s highly unlikely this year and the current NFL Future odds posted at online sportsbooks are evidence of that.

They are longshots to take the NFC North division, currently listed at +1400, longer shots of course to win the NFC championship (+5000) and off the charts when it comes to the Super Bowl (+20,000).

Brian Taylor, sportsbook manager at, said of the early betting volume on the NFC North, they actually do have some clients who are taking a chance on Detroit in 2010.

Of all the betting action on the future bet “To win the NFC” 9% of the money is on the Lions at +1400 (a $100 wager pays $1,400 if they win).

It might be a little optimistic and a year or two early, but remember the Dallas Cowboys were in rough shape before Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin came together to lead them. And it took Tom Brady supplanting Drew Bledsoe for the Patriots to really emerge as a consistent championship caliber team.

But do the Lions have a QB that can step forward and turn this franchise around? I think they do.

Matt Stafford had a very good rookie season…as good as Mark Sanchez, despite the numbers and Sanchez’s playoff performance.

In 10 starts in his rookie campaign, Stafford threw for 2,267 yards and 13 TDs but also was intercepted 20 times as well – not the prettiest of stats but then again, look at the team in front of him.

The Lions had the worst defense in the league, in terms of yards allowed, as opposing teams amassed 6,274 yards against Detroit’s defense.

To that end, the Lions selected DT Ndamukong Suh in the first-round of this year’s draft.

If the Detroit Lions are to really make a push for the postseason though, they are going to have to improve their record against divisional opponents.

The Lions have lost 15-consecutive games to fellow NFC North teams, 0-15 straight up (SU), and have gone 4-10-1 against the spread (ATS) at the same time.

They can start to turn the tide Week 1, when they’ll open the regular season in Chicago against the Bears. has the lines up for Week 1 games and the Lions are currently listed as 7-point underdogs.

Looking at the numbers, Detroit is only 3-8 SU in their last 11 overall against the Bears and they aren’t much better against the spread at 4-7 ATS. In their last 20 when listed as underdogs of 8-points or less, they are only 4-16 SU and 5-15 ATS.

That said, I like the Lions plus the points in the opener.

I expect them to take a big step forward in 2010, winning six or seven games, maybe more.

Written By Chad Rogers

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Posted: 6/25/10 2:55PM ET


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