Detroit Lions Odds and Win Totals
Super Bowl 2021 Odds: +6600
Lions Win Total: Over 6.5 -150, Under 6.5 +125
Lions Odds to Win NFC North: +600
Lions Odds to Win NFC: +3200
Lions Odds to Make Playoffs: Yes +240, No -310
2019 was a massive step in the wrong direction for Detroit under Matt Patricia, finishing 3-13. It feels like a long time ago that the Ford family committed to a coaching change despite having success under Jim Caldwell. After losing Matthew Stafford for the last 8 games of the season, Detroit focused on the development of young players and improving draft position.
The Lions had a relatively strong draft and have lots of young talent in the defensive line and options for Matthew Stafford on offense. The question is, did the Lions truly improve enough to be a fringe playoff contender because Patricia and GM Bob Quinn need to show signs of success this season before they are canned and the franchise takes a different direction once again.
Lions Odds Analysis
Last year, the 49ers went from 2-14 in 18-19, to reach the Super Bowl this past season. However, the Lions do not have the same amount of talent on defense that the 49ers had last year, and the offensive line on the 49ers was masterful that led to a wonderfully balanced offense.
Under Darrell Bevell at offensive coordinator, the Lions have strived for a more balanced offense predicated on a strong running attack and play-action passing but did not have the talent on the offensive line that the 49ers had to have the same amount of success they did last year. However, the Lions invested in the interior offensive line in the draft and drafted D’Andre Swift, one of the best running backs in the draft. The Lions will be improved on offense in the second year in Bevell’s system with their improved running game, but will it be enough to carry the team?
The Lions win over/under is set at 6.5, which is modest and achievable. The Lions need a 4 win improvement from a year that did not have Matt Stafford for half the year. If Stafford can stay healthy, the Lions should be able to win 7 games or more relatively easily.
Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia are aware of the criticism of their struggles and know that they have a hot seat. They were aggressive with Detroit’s available cap space, signing veterans on defense that fit within Patricia’s defensive scheme, such as Jamie Collins and Duron Harmon.
In the draft, the Lions walked away with a strong haul that saw a dedication to the defensive backfield and running game. In the first round, the Lions walked away with arguably the best defensive player in the draft, Jeff Okudah, who will be Detroit’s lockdown corner for years to come.
The Lions spent the middle rounds of the draft improving their run game. They drafted arguably the best running back in the draft, D’Andre Swift to pair with Kerryon Johnson, and took two strong run-blocking guards in the 3rd and 4th rounds to improve the line after the departure of Graham Glasgow.
In my opinion, the Lions should have spent more of their draft capital on defensive backs to help Okudah after the Lions were one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The free-agent signings should help improve the defense but is it enough to make tangible improvements in the win-loss column for Detroit.
2020 Season Prediction
I think it is impossible for the Lions to take another step back after being the 3rd-worst team in the NFL last year, but the Lions always find ways to surprise us in disappointing ways. However, I am optimistic about the Lions next year as a team that could be frisky under a strong offense led by Stafford. He has been a great QB for a long time, and he finally has a balanced offense around him that can take some of the stress off him.
However, the Lions were one of the worst defensive teams in the league last year and traded their best defensive player, Darius Slay. They replaced Slay with Okduah, but it could have been quite neat to see them together for a year and try to convince Slay to stay. The free-agent signings should help the defense too, but I don’t think it is enough to make the Lions legitimate playoff contenders for at least another year.
I think the Lions will surpass the win total of 6.5 but will fall short of reaching the playoff. They will finish 8-8, just outside of the wildcard spots for the playoff. The offense will keep the Lions in games throughout the year but will have to abandon the run game if they fall behind because of the weak defense.
Game by Game Predictions
Week 1– vs Bears: W
Week 2– @ Packers: L
Week 3– @ Cardinals: L
Week 4- vs Saints: L
Week 5- Bye
Week 6- @ Jaguars: W
Week 7- @ Falcons: L
Week 8- vs Colts: W
Week 9- @ Vikings: L
Week 10- vs Redskins: W
Week 11- @ Panthers: W
Week 12- vs Texans: L
Week 13- @ Bears: W
Week 14- vs Packers: L
Week 15- @ Titans: L
Week 16- vs Bucaneers: W
Week 17- vs Vikings: L
Overall Record: 7-9