2020 Is Weird: Odds Say Smart Money Moving Toward Detroit Lions

Posted on May 15, 2020

Sounds the alarms, Detroit Lions fans: Matthew Stafford listed his house on the market.

The franchise quarterback listed his lakefront Bloomfield Township home for $6.5 million on Thursday, shortly after meeting with reporters for a Zoom call that was more relaxed than his typical cookie-cutter media sessions.

Does this mean that, like Tom Brady and Philip Rivers with their longtime teams, Stafford’s days in Detroit are numbered?

(Later, Matthew’s wife, Kelly Stafford, took to Instagram to say the family is selling the house to avoid having their young children near a lake and the pool. So, crisis averted. For now.)

Alas, just another reason for tortured Lions fans to get worked up about this team.

On that note, on to the odds.

Oddsmakers: Matt Patricia’s third season will be his best

Hey, let’s be positive.

According to oddsmakers, the third season in the tenure of head coach Matt Patricia is likely to be his best in Detroit.

After a disappointing 6-10 debut and a pathetic 3-12-1 sequel, the over/under win total for this season is notched at 6.5 wins, according to FanDuel, PointsBet and William Hill.

A closer look shows the smart money could be coming in on Detroit, as the over at all three books is juiced up: -150 at FanDuel and PointsBet, and -130 at William Hill.

That suggests smart money is coming in on the over. Recently, FanDuel’s juice rose from -135 and William Hill’s from -125 on April 27, two days after the NFL Draft.

At DraftKings Sportsbook, the number is set at 7 with the over at -106 and the under at -115 – nearly even.

Detroit Lions slated to start 1-0 after Week One line moved

William Hill opened Detroit’s Week One home game against the Chicago Bears as a pick‘em.

However, the line has already moved more than a full point in the week since then with the Lions as 1.5-point favorites on Friday morning (same spread at DraftKings). FanDuel has Detroit as a 2.5-point favorite against Chicago.

The Lions are then less than a touchdown underdog against Green Bay (6 1/2 at William Hill and 6 at FanDuel) at Lambeau Field, traditionally a house of horrors for Detroit.

DraftKings has the Lions as 1-point home dogs against Indianapolis and 2.5-point favorites at home against Houston on Thanksgiving.

Stafford in line for a comeback season

In his comments to the media on Thursday, Stafford said his back is healthy and he was working out (pre-COVID-19 pandemic) with teammates such as Detroit Lions wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola in preparation for the season.

The quarterback, who has three young children and a fourth on the way, said even in workouts he’s taking necessary precautions.

“I’m honestly making a conscious effort to try not to lick my fingers before I get the ball, throw it,” he said. “All those are kinds of things I never thought I’d have to think about. At the moment, I am. Just trying to make sure we limit our contact.”

FanDuel has Stafford with 9-1 odds to win Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year after missing the final eight games of last season.

Stafford is tied for fifth-best odds with Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green, trailing Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (favorite at -250), Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski (-300), Houston defensive end J.J. Watt (+550) and free agent quarterback Cam Newton (+750).

FanDuel has Stafford at 44-1 to win league MVP, tied for 15th-best odds with Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins and Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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