Maximize Your Odds of Winning with SportsLine Model and Our Top-Rated Picks
Maximize Your Odds of Winning with SportsLine Model and Our Top-Rated Picks
Maximize Your Odds of Winning with SportsLine Model and Our Top-Rated Picks
With Travis Kelce officially ruled out, this line took one last dive and it marks perhaps the first time in NFL history that a spread moved two points because of the absence of a tight end, even if he's one of the best to ever play the position. The Chiefs are also depleted on defense amid the holdout of Chris Jones, and upstart Detroit should offer a competitive contest. Even so, the Chiefs are rarely on sale in the point-spread market, and this bargain is too sweet to ignore.
The Lions will run it. Nick Bolton is a tackling machine. This line is simply too low. Let’s not overthink it. take the Over.
No Travis Kelce tonight for Kansas City. However, the Chiefs have such an explosive offense that Patrick Mahomes will find other outlets. Since 2011, Detroit has hit the over 12 times in week one. Mahomes have also been averaging 33 points per game, or more, in week one since 2018.
This got much more expensive with Travis Kelce out but we'll throw a half unit on Gray as he should get at least a handful of targets now. Gray actually topped this number in a majority of 2022 games even with Kelce. I was able to get this number because I assumed Kelce was going to sit and was ready (also why I played DET +5.5 yesterday) but it's now up to 33.5 yards. I would still play that.
I'm not sure I know a single person who is on the Lions, and yet, the line seems to be frozen at 4.5 (and at one major book down to 3.5). The Chiefs are a different team without Chris Jones and the Lions have enough firepower in the running and passing game to avoid getting blown out (back door cover anyone?). The Lions also added some pieces on defense in the off-season that may contribute to some stalled drives for this young WR corps and the Kelce-less Chiefs.
The Lions have a bully offensive line that dominates a Chiefs front without Chris Jones. Plus, this slows the game down, which means more rushes and fewer plays. That’s the gameplan for Detroit. The Lions stick to the plan long enough to keep this number Under.
The NFL is back, and so are Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. While the Lions have returned to respectability, they are meeting the defending champions trying to win their ninth straight opener. Here's what Mahomes has done in Week 1 games thus far in his young career: 18 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. Here's what Reid has done as head coach of the Chiefs in Week 1: 9-1. (He also wins nearly 90% of his games with extra time to prepare.) While the potential loss of Travis Kelce and the absence of Chris Jones are important, Kelce is not worth a two-point line shift under a touchdown in a game like this. Detroit may be improved, but covering a Week 1 road game vs. Kansas City? Nuh-uh.
He exceeded this total eight of 11 games last season (excluding the two games he had his injured ankle). Plus, without a healthy Travis Kelce, Mahomes may have to take off and run when the timing isn’t there.
D'Andre Swift had at least three receptions in 12 of 14 games last year. Jahmyr Gibbs now plays that role, and 1) He’s a better receiver than Swift and 2) Kansas City was the NFL’s worst defense at defending running back receptions.
Josh Reynolds 2023 season likely will not surpass his production of last year’s 479 receiving yards. Yet, for game one there will be opportunities. Expect Amon Ra St. Brown to see plenty of attention from the Chiefs defense after his breakout year. Additionally, Jared Goff has an established connection with Reynolds from their long history with the Rams. Play Reynolds over receiving yards.
In Patrick Mahomes' five Week 1 starts, the Chiefs are averaging 37.8 points per game and haven't scored less than 33 in a game. Meanwhile, the average total points in Lions' Week 1 contests since 2015 is 63.6. Two explosive offenses (even if Travis Kelce is limited or doesn't play for KC) and two middling defenses in this matchup. Based on the trends and other factors, the over seems like the safest play.
If Thursday night's game goes as I predict, Detroit will need to throw A LOT in the second half to try and rally against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. It's a good thing they drafted an elite pass catching running back with the 12th pick overall in Gibbs. He was top-10 in yards per route run in his final three collegiate seasons and he faces a Chiefs defense which allowed the most receptions and fourth most receiving yards to running backs last season. I'll gladly take the chance on the rookie Gibbs to exceed his projection tonight.
Jerick McKinnon took on a larger role in the Chiefs offense late in the 2022 season, and could be the primary beneficiary in the passing game if Travis Kelce misses the game tonight. Even if he doesn't, I still like his chances to get over this total.
With or without Travis Kelce, you aren't going to catch me out here betting on the Detroit Lions in a primetime game at Arrowhead Stadium against Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs.
Even if Chiefs TE Travis Kelce can't play the Chiefs offense still has plenty of weapons. #1 Patrick Mahomes is as focused as any player in the NFL. Back up TE Noah Gray is a stud but there is still a small 1.5 point dropoff if Kelce is out. The key to the game going over is that Detroit's offense is well above average but their defense is well below average. This will be a fun opening night game to watch.
The first thing I have to break down here is whether the Chiefs win or not and I’d say opening day has gone well for the Andy Reid era going 9-1 and Patrick Mahomes has 18 TDs and no picks in his five opening day games. They scored no less than 33 points in every opener since 2017 and put up 44 against the Cardinals last season. But they’re 19-21 ATS the last two seasons despite winning 31 of those games. The Lions are 23-11 ATS in the last two seasons. In non-conference games, the Chiefs are 11-0 and 9-2 ATS the last two seasons. I think the Chiefs will win and also bet them to cover.
Amon-Ra St. Brown’s target volume is extremely reliable. He’s seen a target on 29% of his routes, the second-highest rate in the league behind only Tyreek Hill. His targets come at a shallow depth as well which isn't great in real life but good for receptions props. His 21% first read target rate ranks in the 96th percentile. With the Lions’ offense set up for a strong outing, St. Brown is as good a fantasy play as you’ll find this week. The Chiefs throw the ball as much as any team in NFL, which creates a a lot of high-volume passing environments -- opponents averaged 36.9 passing attempts per game, second-most in the NFL last season.
This line is still suppressed because of the concerns with Travis Kelce, who's a game-time decision thanks to a knee injury he suffered earlier this week in practice. My gut says he'll go so I'll take the discount on the Chiefs here. Andy Reid off a bye is one thing, Andy Reid with a whole offseason? Yes please, even if Patrick Mahomes weapons are limited.
I would make this line -6.6 for Kansas City if Travis Kelce does NOT play. If he does play, I would make this line -8. Noah Gray isn't Travis Kelce, but he's a very capable tight end who is familiar with the system. The Chiefs will be forced to delve a little deeper into the playbook without Travis Kelce, which isn't always a bad thing when Patrick Mahomes is the one throwing the football. Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jerick McKinnon, and Richie James are all capable of making big plays against a Lions defense that projects as one of the worst in the NFL. Primetime home games at Arrowhead Stadium remain one of the biggest home field advantages in the NFL.
Sportsline AI is predicting 3.3 receptions for Marquez Valdes-Scantling with Travis Kelce playing. MVS averaged 2.5 receptions per a game in the regular season last year. Kelce averaged 6.5, if Kelce doesn’t play those 6.5 catches have to go somewhere. It’s a strong lean for now and a great bet if Kelce doesn’t play.
Sportsline AI is predicting 61.9 yards for Montgomery. Besides the prediction this comes down to game plan. If I am the Detroit Lions, I am keeping the ball out of Patrick Mahomes hands and running the ball. Plus, with no Chris Jones in the defensive line the Kansas City Chiefs are going to realize they need to give him a raise.
First-round rookie Jahmyr Gibbs lined up in the slot and out wide during training camp, as the Lions looked for ways to use the explosive running back. He caught 104 passes in three seasons at Alabama, his receptions increasing each year. The Chiefs ranked dead last in allowing catches to opposing RBs last season while giving up the second-most RB targets. Expect Gibbs to make at least four catches Thursday.
Liked this regardless but now definitely do considering both RJ and Larry are on the same play (this will essentially replace my Travis Kelce prop pick, although I'm still waiting for him to officially be ruled out to delete). Montgomery isn't the biggest dude but was Chicago's goal-line guy for the most part and surely will be Detroit's as well because Jahmyr Gibbs is even smaller. Jamaal Williams was a goal-line monster in 2022 with the Lions and that's now Montgomery's role with Williams in New Orleans.
If you've already locked in a play on the Chiefs at -6.5, here's a prop that can help cover that bet. It looks like Chris Jones is going to miss Week 1 barring a big change in his contract situation on Wednesday, and that should mean more room to run in the middle for the Lions behind an outstanding offensive line. I'd put Montgomery's chances of scoring a TD at better than 50%, so grab this prop if you have plus odds available.
It sure seems like Travis Kelce isn't going to play after injuring his knee Tuesday (I'll delete my prop play on him when official); obviously, the Chiefs don't need to push the future Hall of Famer to get back on the field two days later. Can't see KC's best defender in Chris Jones playing, either, since he has been away from the team for weeks holding out. I do think the Lions are overhyped somewhat but if they can't at least stay within 5 with those two out ... FanDuel is the only book still with 5.5. Half unit with so many unknowns, but I want the hook in case we finish 28-23 or something.
Jamaal Williams led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns last season, and now he's in New Orleans. Replacing him is David Montgomery. The 26-year-old is set up for a big Lions debut against a Chiefs team missing defensive anchor Chris Jones (holdout). Williams received 68 percent of the rushing attempts in Detroit. The Lions will use first-round rookie Jahmyr Gibbs extensively, but some reports indicate Gibbs will get more chances as a receiver, possibly even running deep routes in Jameson Williams' absence. Look for Montgomery to score at least one touchdown for this potent Lions' offense.
The total seemed on the high side from the start, given Detroit's stingy defense during its 8-2 run to close out last season. The Lions held five opponents to the teens and another to single digits. Now, with Chiefs TE Travis Kelce iffy after a knee injury, the number appears overly inflated. Kielce is QB Patrick Mahomes' go-to. Even if the old reliable logs snaps, he might be deployed more as a decoy. Detroit imported three new DBs to repair its oft-shoddy pass coverage in 2022.
Historically no two teams in Week 1 are better at hitting Overs than the Lions and Chiefs. The last 12? Lions games are 12-0 to the Over while KC sits at 10-2. However those outcomes have nothing to do with this season and I think we see a moving clock and just a *touch* less scoring. Certainly not calling for any type of 10-7 game, but we don't need much less to cover the Under. Both teams definitely like to air the ball, but the groundwork will be the focus. Should be a fun game, best of luck to everyone this season!
I love getting plus money for Mahomes to do things he routinely does. In his five season openers he has a 136.86 rating, completing nearly 73% of his passes for 308 yards/game and 18 TDs (3.6 per) to no INTs. He’s getting a defense that was brutal a year ago and might have to chase some points with the Lions top four in offensive TDs a year ago and with Chris Jones still mired in a holdout. The Lions allowed a 101.7 QB rating in nine games against playoff QBs. They were dead last in allowing 10.5% of all passes to TEs to go for a score, and we know Travis Kelce (four TDs in last three openers) will be up for this primetime game.
Andy Reid became much more balanced offensively in the second half last season. Pacheco emerged as his most trusted back, averaging 14 carries for 70 rushing yards in his final nine regular season games. He had at least 10 rushes in all three playoff games, going for 95, 26 and 76 yards, with only the Bengals – who like the Titans have some secret sauce vs. this offense – keeping him from shattering this total. The Lions allowed 22 runs of 20 yards or more and 16 runs of 25 yards or more last season, most in the NFL and nearly twice the league average. Pacheco breaks one of those and we are already halfway home to the total.
McKinnon was a major red-zone force for this offense down the stretch. He closed with six straight regular-season games with a TD, with nine total TDs in that span. He had at least two targets in each of the final seven games of the regular season. The Lions struggled like heck to cover TEs around the end zone a year ago, and I suspect they sell out to stop Travis Kelce. I see McKinnon benefiting most from that focus, especially with Kadarius Toney (another small and shifty player) missing so much time to injury this summer. Mahomes clearly loves him and he is a guy to look for on the other end of some improvised jump passes and off-script QB wizardry around the goal line.
Andy Reid has won eight straight season openers, and won five of the last six by 10 points or more. This will be a distinct home field advantage celebrating another Super Bowl title – that’s worth at least 3.5 points to me – then you factor in what Reid and Patrick Mahomes have done in season-opening games, and a dome team outdoors with a defense that was utterly suspect and remains as such to me until proven otherwise, and I will take the Chiefs -6.5. Detroit’s unique rushing attack averaged 145 yards/game indoors on a fast track in 2022 and just 102 outside (Lions had 412.5 yards/game indoors and 337.2 in the elements). I don’t think they can keep pace with KC’s scoring.
Update: The Travis Kelce injury matters. But is his potential -- and I say potential because there's still a chance he plays as of Wednesday morning -- absence worth two points to the line? That's typically more than any non-quarterback is worth, and you should only back the Lions at +4.5 if you already liked them at +6.5 but hadn't locked in a bet yet. I'm going to trust Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes' dominance in Week 1, and there's enough quality depth at receiver that I still think the Chiefs score 30-plus points as usual in their opener. My initial power ratings projection had the line at Chiefs -8.5, and I still believe it should be at least Chiefs -7. Lay the 4.5.
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