We don’t want to look towards the end, particularly when the NFL pre-season is just starting, but it’s hard not to get invested in the Super Bowl futures market. You’ll find the usual suspects atop the board. The defending champion Los Angeles Rams, Tom Brady, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the unstoppable Kansas City Chiefs, have some of the shortest odds on the board, and rightfully so. However, some teams further down the list head into the season with an implied value that exceeds their betting price.
One of those teams is the Detroit Lions, who have seen their win total odds move substantially towards the over. Granted, that’s not a true reflection of their Super Bowl expectations, but it does suggest that this iteration of the Lions heads into the season undervalued by pro bettors.
We’re diving into the deep end, looking at the Lions’ Super Bowl odds.
Improved Roster on Both Sides of the Ball
The 2021 version of the Lions came up short, as evidenced by their 3-13-1 record, but they were painfully close in most contests. Four of their 13 losses came by four points or fewer, with the tide turning late in several of those games. Moreover, Detroit was exceptional at covering the number, exceeding the betting market’s expectations, and covering 11 of 17 games.
More importantly, the Lions spent the offseason getting better. General Manager Brad Holmes drafted a trio of defensive starters who should make immediate contributions and form a core nucleus that could help the Lions compete for years to come. Similarly, they added standout wide receiver Jameson Williams, who is expected to become the preferred option for Jared Goff once he’s cleared to return from his ACL injury.
Easy Strength of Schedule
Underachieving in the NFL has benefits, and the Lions can take advantage of weaker opponents in the upcoming campaign. Detroit enters the 2022 season with the fifth-easiest strength of schedule, facing opponents with a combined 135-154 record last year.
Schedule makers have the Lions, and the rest of the NFC North, facing off against AFC East opponents in non-conference matchups. Although that means that they have an impending matchup with the Buffalo Bills, it also means they get to try their hand against the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and, to a lesser extent, the New England Patriots, who aren’t the imposing force they once were.
When the league added a 17th game to the season, it was noted that the matchup would come against a non-conference opponent from a division the team wasn’t scheduled to play. The NFL’s brass threw the Lions a bone this season, aligning them with the Jacksonville Jaguars for their “17th game of the season.” The Jaguars enter the season with one of the lowest win totals on the board, with the under 6.5 juiced to -125, giving the Lions an implied advantage at the outset.
Low win totals are a common theme among Lions’ opponents this season, as 13 of their 17 opponents enter the year with win totals of 8.5 or lower, five of which have win totals equal to or below Detroit’s. That’s a good omen for a team that is a sharp favorite.
Detroit Lions Super Bowl Analysis
Currently, the Lions are priced as +12500 longshots at BetMGM to win the Super Bowl. Given their improved roster and easy schedule, these odds should be on the move as the season progresses. Closing line value notwithstanding, there could be several considerable hedging opportunities if the Lions’ are competitive towards the end of the season or make a surprise run to the playoffs. The best part of the Lions’ Super Bowl price remains on the table, and like their win total, we could see sharp bettors getting a piece of the pie before the public follows suit.
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