Team Capsules: Detroit Lions

August 4, 2023

A look at every NFL franchise heading into the 2023 season

Since the hiring of Dan Campbell, the Lions have been on the rise. In the first season with Campbell as the head coach, the team was just 3-13-1. However, fans could sense something positive brewing. And they were right.

In 2022, the Lions improved to 9-8 and missed the playoffs by just one game. This year, the upward trend is expected to continue as their over under for wins is 9.5.

The offseason for the Lions was nothing short of eventful. They let go of both of their top-two running backs in D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams but added David Montgomery in free agency and Jahmyr Gibbs in the draft. They also added linebacker Jack Campbell, who is showing out in training camp.

All in all, the Detroit Lions are making headlines for all the right reasons and should be fun to watch in 2023. Dan Campbell’s run-first offense and hard-hitting defense is poised to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

What to like about the Lions…

  • Detroit is thriving under Dan Campbell and is only getting better with each season. Last year, the Lions scraped together nine wins, so it only makes sense that 10 should be the baseline for this season.
  • Detroit has decent odds to make this year’s playoffs. The Lions finished just outside of the top seven last year and are looking to flip that script this year. It also helps that the Lions play in the NFC, where the competition got significantly weaker following Tom Brady’s retirement and Aaron Rodgers’ transition to the New York Jets in the offseason.
  • Aidan Hutchinson was drafted as the second-overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-7 defensive end out of Michigan made an immediate impact as he had 9.5 sacks and 3 interceptions. As he heads into his second year, he is arguably in the prime of his career and Defensive Player of the Year is not out of the realm of possibility. He currently has the ninth-best odds to win the award at +2500.
  • Campbell is currently tied with Sean Payton for the best odds to win Coach of the Year at +900. If he can take Detroit to the playoffs for the first time in seven years and even win 10 games in the process, it would be almost a lock for the same guy that had a chance to win the award last year.

What not to like about the Lions…

  • The Lions are currently the favorites to win the NFC North at +160. The Vikings, who won the division last season with a record of 13-4, are not far behind at +285. That may seem like a good thing, but from a betting standpoint, it really isn’t. The Lions are in good shape to win the division, but so is Minnesota, and the Vikings have a track record of success.
  • The Lions picked Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th-overall pick in this year’s draft. It was a surprising pick to say the least, but Gibbs does have the potential to be a star running back. However, with David Montgomery in the backfield as well, it’s difficult to gauge just how well Gibbs will do in his rookie season. He is currently +800 to win the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award. That puts him as the fifth-best odds to win it behind Bijan Robinson and the first three quarterbacks picked. Robinson is poised to have a bigger role than Gibbs and the quarterbacks have a chance to shine, as well.
  • The expectation of the Detroit Lions this year is to make the playoffs. Anything more than that is just icing on the cake. A Super Bowl win for that matter would be enough icing to open up a bakery next door. The Lions currently have the 13th -best odds to win the Super Bowl at +3000. Anything can happen in the NFL, but it just seems too unlikely to place a bet on.

Steve Quinne’s Pick: Dan Campbell wins Coach of the Year (+900)

The best bet to make on the Detroit Lions for the 2023 season is Dan Campbell to win

Coach of the Year. He is currently the co-favorite for the award and a playoff berth would almost cement his chances of taking it home. Campbell was in the running for the award last year. He would be more than deserving, having turned around an utterly abysmal franchise and is a huge part of the Lions future.