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Lions vs Chiefs Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Sep 7, 2023

The Kansas City Chiefs will lift their Super Bowl banner and then turn the page to open their season against the upstart Detroit Lions in the 2023 NFL Kickoff on Thursday at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs are the 18th reigning champ to host the season-opening game since 2004, and this is the second time they will host the kickoff game. The Lions are coming off a 9-8 season where they won eight of their final ten games after a 1-6 start.

This should be a highly entertaining affair. Let’s take a look at the odds for the season opener.

Lions vs Chiefs Odds

NFL odds used for this Detroit vs KC preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 9 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Chiefs (-230) • Lions (+190)
  • Spread: Chiefs -6.5 (-105) • Lions +6.5 (-115)
  • Total: Over 54.5 (-112) • Under 54.5 (-108)

The total is extremely high, which is to be expected given the high-octane offenses in play. KC’s defense, which allowed just 21.7 points per game in 2022, could throw a wrinkle into that.

Detroit’s defense finished fifth-worst in points-against per game (25.1) in 2022 but averaged almost 27 points per game last season.

Lions vs Chiefs Predictions

Score Pick: Chiefs 34, Lions 16

The Chiefs lost elite offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and top receiving target TE Travis Kelce just sustained an injury scare that put his status into Thursday’s opener in doubt. Still, this is Mahomes we’re talking about here, and the Chiefs averaged almost 30 points per game last season while going 17-3 and winning the Super Bowl.

The Lions should be the favorite to win the NFC North, but that’s more a statement about the division than it is about the organization. Plus, consider QB Jared Goff will still be without second-year WR Jameson Williams due to a six-game suspension.

Frankly, I cannot believe Goff and the Lions are ready to walk into a hostile environment like Arrowhead in primetime, with the reigning champions raising a banner and walking away with a victory. I honestly can’t envision them keeping the game close.

As the continued favorites in Super Bowl odds, KC should force Goff into a few mistakes. Then Mahomes should be able to spread the ball to weapons like Kadarius Toney and JuJu Smith-Schuster and control the clock in the second half with a ground game keyed by second-year back Isiah Pacheco.

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Lions vs Chiefs Best Bets

Chiefs -6.5 (-105)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

This line is a gift that continues to be a gift.

The fact this spread opened as Chiefs -7 and has somehow become more favorable despite the fact the Chiefs should be favored by at least double-digits. A touchdown victory will cover, not even push.

The reigning champion is 15-3 straight-up in NFL Kickoff games since 2004, with nine victories by at least seven points. When you consider the Chiefs pedigree and the Lions’ shocking lack thereof, this is clearly my NFL bet of the day.

Under 54.5 Points (-108)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Detroit surely doesn’t want to get into a shootout against Mahomes and the Chiefs in the season-opener. Look for the Lions to try and run the ball with David Montgomery and first-round draft pick Jahmyr Gibbs to control the clock and keep Mahomes off the field.

Plus, the Chiefs defense may be middle of the road, but it’s a bit unheralded, especially at home. KC did not allow 30-plus points in a game at Arrowhead last season and actually surrendered 20 or fewer points in six of its final seven home games.

Plus, 55 points is a tall bar to clear, even with Mahomes and the high-flying Chiefs in the game.

Author

Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times, NHL.com, Bleacher Report, Sportsnet.ca, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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