The NFL 2023 season kicks off at Arrowhead Stadium in the early hours of Friday morning when the Kansas City Chiefs begin the defence of their title when they host the Detroit Lions in what should be an entertaining match.
The Chiefs are already the favourites to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy once again but the Lions are seen by many as dark horses and they have the chance to showcase their credentials in a high profile clash.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the most dominant teams in the regular season for as long as Patrick Mahomes has been in the league. They are used to playing primetime matches on high profile stages and this will all be second nature to them but they will know that they are at home in what feels like a much more competitive season, if not in the AFC West then certainly in the Conference as a whole.
The Chiefs do have a couple of absences to overcome in this match. Travis Kelce being out will probably grab all of the headlines because he is Mahomes’ favourite target but there are other offensive weapons that he can use to get the home side over the line. The bigger issue will be the contract issue with Chris Jones which is going to impact the defence and probably mean that the Chiefs are going to rely on their offense to get the job done.
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The Detroit Lions have been a work in progress for the last couple of seasons under Dan Campbell and now they are probably being looked upon as a playoff team for the first time in a while. That will bring pressure and expectation and it will be interesting to see how they cope with that. In a lot of ways they have a free shot here. They are not going to be dictated by how they do away to Kansas City but if they can show what they’ve got it will bode well.
The big thing for the Lions in this match is that we see what they can offer offensively. The NFC North has been blown wide open for them to step in and come through and if they can put in a strong offensive display here, whether they win or lose, it will bode well because they can dominate their division with their offense this season. There are some exciting playmakers on the offensive side of the ball and it would be great if they use the stage to show that.
I’m not in a position where I want to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, or to back the Detroit Lions in a match like this where the eyes of the world are on them and the bright lights are shining down on them. Those Chiefs absences are enough of a concern for me not to get involved in them. In fact, it makes me like the Detroit Lions offense a lot more and rather than get involved in any bets that need both teams to tango I’ll side with just one.
That comes in the total points of the Detroit Lions where the line is 23.5 which I certainly think is achievable. The absence of Chris Jones is going to give Jared Goff more time to move the Lions down the field, not to mention two very good running backs who are going to play their own part of this match. The Chiefs defence has been the weaker part of their team for a while and I just don’t see it getting better without Jones. I’ll back the Lions to put 24 points on the board, whether that is enough to win or cover a spread or not.
Back Detroit Lions – Over 23.5 points for a 3/10 stake at 1.87 with Bet365