Detroit Lions vs Kansas City Chiefs Preview (9/7/23): Prediction, Betting Odds, Depth Chart, Best Bets
The 2023 NFL season kicks off on Thursday night (9/7/23) with a matchup between the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs at 8:20pm EST at Arrowhead stadium. Kansas City is currently a -6.5 favorite with -278 odds on the moneyline while the total is set at 54. Read on for more Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs best bets and predictions as the Lions offense should have no issue putting points up on the board.
Detroit Lions Vs. Kansas City Chiefs Prediction
The Kansas City Chiefs open the season as the reigning Super Bowl champions against one of the most explosive offenses in the nation in the visiting Detroit Lions. Aspirations are high to repeat but the path is never easy as it’s a long season ahead. Especially when the Chiefs have question marks on the defensive side of the ball with a weak secondary facing injury concerns and the looming contract status of star defensive tackle Chris Jones.
While the Chiefs offense is more than capable of carrying the team to success, the defense will need to step up against the high-powered Lions offense. Chris Jones plays a major part for the defense, generating a pass rush as one of the best defensive tackles in football. With Jones holding out until he gets a new contract, the Chiefs defense takes a major hit as Jared Goff will find himself with ample time in the pocket to let his reads develop. Brutal for a unit that finished league average in Def DVOA.
Until it’s reported otherwise, the Chiefs are preparing for the real scenario of Chris Jones holding out for a majority of the season. That plays towards Detroit’s team total over as the Lions should face little resistance against the weak Chiefs defense. With OC Ben Johnson returning to man the Lions play calling, there is little reason to believe that they cannot repeat the same offensive success that they were accustomed to last year.
Even more intriguing is that the Lions have revamped their offense this offseason to be even more versatile. After finishing fifth in total scoring, the Lions will look to repeat that same success behind a new cast of weapons. They drafted Jahmyr Gibbs to play a dual back role while also bringing in bull back David Montgomery to replace Jamaal Williams redzone production. Factor in Sam LaPorta giving them a productive tight end presence and the Lions should have no issue with picking apart the Chiefs defense.
Detroit Lions Vs. Kansas City Chiefs Betting Odds
Even with question marks all over the defense, oddsmakers still believe the Chiefs comfortably win as they opened Kansas City as a -7 favorite. The Lions spread was instantly hit by bettors from the open, now residing under the key number of +7 as they are widely available at +6.5. Anything lower than +7 is a pass from the Lions perspective as seven is a key number when it comes to betting football.
As for the total, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a lightning quick pace as they opened the number at 54. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the number, keeping the total the same as the opener. Some books have dipped to 53.5 as we near kickoff, backing a belief that the Lions revamped secondary may be able to at least slow down the Chiefs pass attack long enough for the under to hit.
Detroit Lions Injuries: Amon-Ra St Brown (Q), Jameson Williams (O)
Kansas City Chiefs Injuries: Chris Jones (O), L’Jarius Sneed (Q), Travis Kelce (Q)
Lions vs Chiefs Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Detroit Lions vs Kansas City Chiefs below.
The Lions Offensive Line vs Chiefs Defensive Front
Not only do the Chiefs have to deal with Chris Jones potentially being out, but now they need to find answers against a top-5 offensive line. The Lions field production and depth at all five positions on the line, especially at tackle in an effort to mitigate opposing pressure in the backfield.
This is vital as Jared Goff struggles playing on the road and outdoors, now getting much needed time in the pocket to make the right read and limit his ill-advised throws. Turnovers are more detrimental when going against the Chiefs as matching their scoring pace is already a tall task.
Chiefs wideouts vs Lions Secondary
The Detroit Lions recognized their biggest weakness heading into the offseason was their secondary and they made it their mission to improve it. They bring in CJ Gardner-Johnson and Cameron Sutton from free agency while also drafting Alabama’s safety Brian Branch.
Branch made his presence known in the preseason, putting up highlight type hits as he flew across the field. The Lions secondary will need to match that speed and have a nose for the ball in order to keep the Chiefs playmakers in front of them.