It’s been quite some time since the Lions were favored to win their division. Even during the Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson Era, Green Bay was still the favorite almost every season because of the Aaron Rodgers factor. Alas, the time may finally come for Detroit after years and years of suffering. Currently, the Lions are favored to win the NFC North at +130, per BetMGM.
The biggest strength for Detroit last season was their offense by a large margin, and for the most part, that remains intact heading into 2023. The addition on David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs at the running back position is sure to help QB Jared Goff. D’Andre Swift was injured too often to be a real contributor, but the loss of Jamaal Williams’ TD production will have to be filled.
Another question that has to be answered is whether or not Goff can sustain that type of stellar play he showed in 2022. The problem with him is that his performance really takes a hit when he plays outdoors. He is noticeably better when he is playing inside, and lucky for him, he plays in a dome for half the season at least. Amon-Ra St. Brown figures to be a massive piece again, and we’ll see if he can repeat his breakout campaign this season.
It isn’t really the offense that will determine the Lions’ fate in 2023, but rather, the defense.
Last season, this was one of the worst units in the entire league. Detroit had the third worst passing defense, giving up a whopping 4,179 yards and 26 touchdowns. That should improve in 2023 with several improvements in the secondary, and with Aiden Hutchinson primed for a huge sophomore year on the defensive line.
I think if Detroit is going to match their hype, it’s defense that needs to be looked at the most. You can get Hutchinson to record 12+ sacks at a nice +110 price, and there is also some real value in him to win DPOY at +3300.
As for the Lions as a whole? BetQL simulated every game this season 10,000 times and Detroit is projected to win 9.1 regular season games with a 58% chance to make the playoffs. If they're going to overachieve, it'll be due to their defense stepping up.