Michigan, National Bettors Jumping On Lions Heading Into Divisional Playoffs

Written By Drew Ellis on January 19, 2024
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. The Lions have been a hot ticket for Michigan and US sports bettors heading into their second-round playoff game.

The Detroit Lions have certainly taken over the attention of Michigan sports bettors.

But, the Lions are also drawing the eye of sports bettors around the country.

As Detroit gets set to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, the wagers keep pouring in.

After a raucous home environment last week against the Los Angeles Rams, ticket prices for Sunday’s game are also setting playoff records.

It’s clear that Lions fever may be at an all-time high as they seek their first conference championship appearance in over 30 years.

Lions garnering big wagers in Michigan

The state of Michigan has been quick to show its support for the Lions at the betting window.

According to BetMGM Sportsbook, the Rams-Lions was only the third most-bet game nationally last week. However, in Michigan the game had the most bets by 25% more than any other game.

But, the online sports betting hasn’t been limited to just last week’s playoff game.

Currently, the Lions are the biggest liability to win both the NFC and the Super Bowl for BetMGM. The Lions have the most tickets and handle to win the NFC. They have the second-most tickets to win the Super Bowl behind the San Francisco 49ers.

Since the regular season concluded, the Lions have received the most tickets and handle to win the NFC in Michigan and nationwide.

Also, once the regular season concluded, the Lions have brought in the most tickets to win the Super Bowl nationally. In Michigan, the Lions have the most tickets and handle to win the Super Bowl.

DraftKings Sportsbook has seen similar results, as the Lions are the most bet team to win the Super Bowl, both by handle and wagers, in Michigan.

Lions, Goff growing interest in futures markets

BetMGM has kept close track on the Lions’ wagers for the NFC Championship and Super Bowl.

BetMGM has the Detroit Lions odds listed at +325 to win the NFC entering the week. The Lions are getting 36.5% of the wagers in the market and 32% of the handle. Both are tops of any team in the conference.

In the Super Bowl market, the Lions have +900 odds to win right now. Detroit is getting 8.3% of the wagers and 7.4% of the handle.

The growing support for Jared Goff (above) is also moving beyond Detroit.

Goff entered the week at +2500 to be named Super Bowl MVP by BetMGM. He has the second-most handle of any player in the market right now. Goff is getting 15.9% of the handle on 3.6% of the wagers. Only Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson has a higher handle (32.0%).

Bettors like Lions to cover vs. Bucs

Coming into Sunday’s 3 p.m. contest at Ford Field, Lions bettors aren’t afraid of a lofty spread.

The NFL odds are currently listing the Lions as a 6.5-point favorite at home against Tampa.

At BetMGM Sportsbook, the Lions are getting 63% of the wagers as the favorite, as well as 71% of the handle.

Despite being a large favorite, Detroit is still getting 73% of the moneyline handle for the game as a -275 favorite to win outright.

FanDuel Sportsbook is seeing similar results. Detroit is getting 79% of the spread handle and 68% of the wagers. The Lions are also getting 67% of the moneyline handle for the game.

Lions vs. Bucs playoff tickets setting records

Earlier this week, FOX NFL reported that the average ticket price for Sunday’s game between the Lions and Buccaneers is $1,186.

That is the highest-priced average for a divisional playoff game ever.

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as last Sunday’s game at Ford Field was an environment few have ever seen.

John Maakaron of All Lions was on hand for the game and tried to put it into words.

“Everyone had a vision in their mind about what a Lions home playoff would be like. Fans of Detroit sports are among the most loyal and passionate in the country. Walking into Ford Field hours before kickoff, the sense of anticipation and excitement was palpable,” said Maakaron.

“Being in attendance for that game and that outcome is a memory that will be hard to top, because it was the first time experiencing such intense emotions. A first home playoff game at Ford Field, the first time Matthew Stafford returned in a different uniform and a first playoff win in 32 years, in a game that was extremely close.”

The lively crowd was able to get the volume up to 133.6 decibels, a new stadium record. That level of volume is equivalent to the sound of a jet engine.

“The threat of being eliminated gave fans just enough anxiety that the end result was exhilarating. Fans cheered and booed loudly and were invested in a team that represents the city perfectly,” Maakaron added. “Being at Ford Field Sunday evening was historic, as the team shed old narratives and gave their fans an injection of hope that the present and future are as bright as ever.”

Things could get just as loud on Sunday.

Should the Lions win, sportsbooks get expect a lot more action from the state heading into conference championship weekend.

Photo by Duane Burleson / AP Photo
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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