The Detroit Lions entered this past Sunday's home game against the Minnesota Vikings with +700 odds to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Following an impressive 34-23 victory, the team's fifth win in six games to improve to 6-7, that number has dropped to +280 at Caesars Sportsbook with No at -340. Detroit visits the New York Jets this Sunday, with the game currently a pick 'em.
Sunday went about as well as possible for Coach Dan Campbell's team. Not only did the Lions win, but fellow wild-card contenders in the Seahawks and the Giants both lost. The Lions still sit eighth in the NFC, a game behind the Seahawks and two games back of the Giants in the loss column – but both those clubs appear to be fading.
Should Detroit win out, it almost surely will get in. That's quite possible as after the Jets, the Lions visit Carolina in Week 16, host Chicago in Week 17 and visit Green Bay in Week 18. None of those teams have close to winning records and the Packers probably will have shut down Aaron Rodgers by then, assuming they are eliminated from postseason contention. The SportsLine Projection Model gives the Lions a 13.4% chance of the playoffs, which equates to +646 on the moneyline, so clearly the model is more pessimistic than Caesars oddsmakers.
When the Lions fell to 1-6 with a home loss to Miami on Oct. 30, there were rumors that Campbell's job was in some jeopardy. There was little doubt around the league that Detroit would prepare to move on from Jared Goff and take a quarterback high in the first round of next year's draft either with its own pick or the one the team got from the Rams in the Goff-for-Matthew Stafford deal. Now?
Goff might be in line for an extension. Over the past seven games, the former No. 1 overall pick has thrown for 1,769 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception. He has a 104.6 passer rating over that time and a season rating of 97.9 that is seventh in the league. His four 300-yard games are tied for third in the league and his 26 completions of at least 25 yards are tied for fifth, as are his five games with a rating of at least 100.0. Goff is still only 28.
While Detroit's defense is still a major question mark, the team has scored at least 25 points in five straight games for the first time since 1954. That's tied for the single-season franchise record. The team has seven games this year with at least 30 points, tied for the most 30-point games in franchise single-season history.
Detroit had been +12500 to win Super Bowl 57 – the Lions are the only NFC team to never make the big game – but is now down to +10000 in part because two separate $1,000 wagers on the team when it was +12500 came in at Caesars since the Minnesota win. Campbell's Coach of the Year odds have swung from all the way from +10000 at one point this year to a +750 second favorite behind Philadelphia's Nick Sirianni (-360).
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