Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:07 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Kansas City -4½ -109 over Detroit
8:20 PM EST. There is A LOT to digest here on this opening night of the 2023 NFL season. It's been a long offseason, full of change, both on and off the field for both of these two teams. However, it is the Detroit Motor City Lions that we are going to kick things off with because, well, they look like a lot more fun to dissect, no?
Head coach Dan Campbell became a media and market darling during last season's run on HBO’s popular series, Hard Knocks, where his honest, no-nonsense style made him into a very likable figure. Subsequently, the mood changed on the Lions, who have been perennial losers for longer than most of you have been alive. There are many reasons for this that we won't get into today. Instead, we will focus on the task at hand, which is to point out just how otherworldly the Lions' stock is at the moment despite not taking a single snap.
For the first time ever, the Lions are favored to win the NFC North (what could possibly go wrong?!) and perhaps most notably, they have a season ticket waiting list for the first time since moving to Ford Field, which just so happened to open 21 years ago this season. We get the hype behind the Lions, too, and to be honest, we like Dan Campbell, too, a lot. That said, this is a brand new season, and now would be a great time to remind anyone who's been here for a while or anyone who is new in the back (hey, we see you, welcome) that it matters not what we think, feel, or do when it comes to “handicapping” games.
The task for us this NFL season, like it is on any given day, is to mine for value and back the side that is going to give us the best prospects to make a trip to the pay window. The way in which we are going to apply that in this game is to highlight that not only are the Lions getting hype in the media and the market, but it's not just all talk, as this line has dropped from the Lions taking back better than a touchdown to just the +4½-points you see now. If you bet Detroit today, indeed you may win but you would also be playing them at a bad number. In other words, you missed the boat on Detroit at +6½ or even +6 and we are always urging folks not to play bad numbers.
Let's move to the Kansas City side, which is stuck here at the bottom for a reason, namely, the Chiefs are a rock-solid foundation. They aren't sexy, at least not on opening night. While all eyes and most wagers appear to be on the visiting Lions, we're looking longingly at Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champions and asking what they did to be so wholly disrespected like this. Before you say "injuries," as the Chiefs are expected to be without Travis Kelce, injuries are a part of the game, and more often than not, there is an overreaction in the market to a star player being injured. That is exactly what we have here. We call it "injury chasing," and it's one of those sins of wagering that you want to remove from your toolbox if you're predisposed to make a bet based on a "short-handed" lineup. Perhaps most importantly, we are getting Kansas City at a discounted rate and that is always an influential factor, as they are priced lower today than at any time since the number came out.
It's a long season, and there are many ups and downs along the way, but we will do our damndest to instill good wagering strategies and discourage you from making the many wagering sins that are bankroll killers. Many of you are already here with us and just need a reminder, but again, for those in the back, we'll be discussing "zig-zagging," situational spots," "in-game variance," over and underreactions and so much more. So hang on, it's going to be a hell of a ride, and we are going on this NFL journey together. You got this. Oh, and if you ever have any questions or anything else, don't hesitate to follow us on Twitter/X and ask. We're @sportswagers3. See you at the pay window.
Kansas City -4½ -109 (Risking 2.18 units - To Win: 2.00)