The Detroit Lions Are Underdogs For The First 16 NFL Games This Season

Written By Matt Schoch on July 21, 2021 - Last Updated on August 26, 2021

Football Sundays are a highlight of the sports calendar, more so here this fall with the first full NFL season for the Michigan online sports betting industry. In Michigan that means NFL odds will focus on the Detroit Lions.

As they say: Are you ready for some football?

On cue, BetMGM Sportsbook released lines for the first 16 Lions games on Wednesday, including the Oct. 24 road showdown with old friend Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams. DraftKings Sportsbook also has most of the NFL’s regular season games posted.

Interestingly, both books have identical spread for the first 16 games of the Lions season.

The books have not yet released odds for Week 18, the 17th and final game of the season. BetMGM says that is “due to the uncertainty” of the final week of the regular season.

As expected, oddsmakers are not so high on the Lions this season. And that, my friends, is an understatement.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you should bet your bankroll now. But if you think a line is out of whack, there could be an early opportunity for you. Plus, we’ll now be tracking how these move throughout the season, as first-year coach Dan Campbell leads his team into a new era.

Highlights of the 2021-22 Detroit Lions season

The Stafford return game is going to be the biggest one on the slate for the Lions, and there should be some national buzz around that one.

Detroit is a 12-point underdog for that game, which is in LA for a 4:05 p.m. start.

The Lions are also the biggest Week 1 underdog on the slate, currently 7.5-point home dogs against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 12.

We all know about the history of the Lions and Thanksgiving, too. Oddsmakers think it might be a sad one for Detroit on Nov. 25 against the Chicago Bears. Detroit is a 3.5-point underdog at home there.

Another NFL subplot is the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay’s odds will be interesting to watch as the situation resolves itself over the next few weeks.

For now, the Lions are 8-point underdogs at Lambeau Field on Sept. 20 in Detroit’s only Monday night game. In the return game on Jan. 9 at Ford Field to close the season, BetMGM has not posted lines “due to uncertainty” for the wild situations that Week 18 might present.

Lions underdogs in first 16 games

You might want to hide your eyes if you’re optimistic about the 2021-22 season.

Along with the Houston Texans, the Lions are one of two teams listed as underdogs in each game this season.

Again, Week 18 is not listed yet because of uncertainty.

Will the Lions duplicate 2008 and throw a goose egg up in the win column? It’s doubtful.

Oddsmakers do see some reasonable chances for victories, most notably as 1-point underdogs at home in Week 6 against Cincinnati and two weeks later at home again against Philadelphia.

Lions 2021 schedule and lines

WeekDateOpponentTime (ET)BroadcastSummer (Lions)Game week (Lions)Kickoff line (Lions)Result
1Sun. Sept. 12vs. San Francisco 49ers1 p.m.FOX+7.5+7.5+9.5L, 41-33
2Mon. Sept. 20at Green Bay Packers8:15 p.m.ESPN+8+10.5+11.5L, 35-17
3Sun. Sept. 26vs. Baltimore Ravens1 p.m.CBS+7.5+9+7.5L, 19-17
4Sun. Oct. 3at Chicago Bears1 p.m.FOX+5.5+3.5+3L, 24-14
5Sun. Oct. 10at Minnesota Vikings1 p.m.FOX+8.5+8+10L, 19-17
6Sun. Oct. 17vs. Cincinnati Bengals1 p.m.FOX+1+3.5+3.5L, 34-11
7Sun. Oct. 24at Los Angeles Rams4:05 p.m.FOX+12+15.5--
8Sun. Oct. 31vs. Philadelphia Eagles1 p.m.FOX+1----
9Bye week
10Sun. Nov. 14at Pittsburgh Steelers1 p.m.FOX+7.5----
11Sun. Nov. 21at Cleveland Browns1 p.m.FOX+10----
12Thu. Nov. 25vs. Chicago Bears12:30 p.m.FOX+3.5----
13Sun. Dec. 5vs. Minnesota Vikings1 p.m.CBS+4----
14Sun. Dec. 12at Denver Broncos4:05 p.m.FOX+7.5----
15Sun. Dec. 19vs. Arizona Cardinals1 p.m.FOX+6.5----
16Sun. Dec. 26at Atlanta Falcons1 p.m.FOX+7.5----
17Sun. Jan. 2at Seattle Seahawks4:25 p.m.FOX+9.5----
18Sun. Jan. 9vs. Green Bay Packers1 p.m.FOXN/A----

Editor’s note: NFL lines are dynamic and subject to change. Where available, live odds are listed and actionable in chart form below.

Lions 2021 Week 1 odds: vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Lions open the season with the 49ers at Ford Field. Detroit opened as a 7.5-point underdog against San Francisco on Sept. 12, against a team that also had feelers around Stafford in trade negotiations.

Lions 2021 Week 2 odds: at Green Bay Packers

Detroit’s only game on Monday Night Football, the Lions are back in Green Bay at the scene of the controversial flags against Trey Flowers on the winning Green Bay drive last year, which was also a Monday night game.

The Lions opened as 8-point dogs in this one on Sept. 20.

Lions 2021 Week 3 odds: vs. Baltimore Ravens

Detroit is back home for the third game of the season and are more than touchdown underdogs for the third game running, including two at home.

The Lions opened as 7.5-point home underdogs against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 26.

Lions 2021 Week 4 odds: at Chicago Bears

Hey, at least the Lions are expected to stay within a touchdown in this one.

However, they are still second-best in their second NFC North matchup, as 5.5-point underdogs at the Bears on Oct. 3.

Lions 2021 Week 5 odds: at Minnesota Vikings

Back on the road, back to more than a touchdown underdog.

The Lions opened as 8.5-point underdogs at the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 10, as you might expect Dalvin Cook to run wild.

Lions 2021 Week 6 odds: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Even a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals couldn’t give the Lions their first opportunity as a favorite.

Detroit began as a 1-point underdog against Joe Burrow & Co. on Oct. 17.

Lions 2021 Week 7 odds: at Los Angeles Rams

This is the game that many eyeballs will be on, and the Lions will almost surely be limping into LA to face Stafford.

Detroit was first listed as a 12-point underdog at the Rams on Oct. 24.

Although this was the biggest opening spread of the season for the Lions in terms of NFL odds, it is not near the top of the whole league. The biggest opening-line spread this season at BetMGM is the Buffalo Bills as 14-point favorites in Week 4 against Houston.

Lions 2021 Week 8 odds: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Back home at Ford Field on Halloween afternoon, the Lions opened as 1-point underdogs against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 31.

Lions 2021 Week 9: Open

It’s a bye week for the Lions. If everything goes according to how the oddsmakers project it, Detroit will be 0-8 headed into the rest week.

Lions 2021 Week 10 odds: at Pittsburgh Steelers

Detroit is back at it at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 14.

Expectedly against this storied franchise, the Lions started as heavy underdogs here at 7.5 points.

Lions 2021 Week 11 odds: at Cleveland Browns

The Lions will then visit the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 21.

Detroit opened as a double-digit underdog, with the spread at 10 points in favor of Baker Mayfield and the Browns.

Lions 2021 Week 12 Thanksgiving odds: vs. Chicago Bears

Nov. 25 is Thanksgiving Day, and the Lions were first listed as 3.5-point underdogs against the Bears.

Pass the turkey, and a possible 0-11 start to the season.

Lions 2021 Week 13 odds: vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are at Ford Field for a Dec. 5 rematch with the Lions.

Michigan State product Kirk Cousins and his team were listed as opening 4-point favorites there on the road.

Lions 2021 Week 14 odds: at Denver Broncos

On Dec. 12, the Lions opened as 7.5-point underdogs at the Denver Broncos for a 4:05 p.m. start.

Who will the Denver quarterback be? It’s Teddy Bridgewater to start the season, but Drew Lock is waiting in the wings as a former starter who had an impressive preseason.

Lions 2021 Week 15 odds: vs. Arizona Cardinals

After tying the Arizona Cardinals to open last season, the Lions began as 6.5-point home underdogs against Kyler Murray this season on Dec. 19.

Lions 2021 Week 16 odds: at Atlanta Falcons

On the day after Christmas, the Lions are at the Atlanta Falcons in a rematch of a crazy Detroit win last season.

For the Dec. 26 road game, Detroit opened as a 7.5-point underdog.

Lions 2021 Week 17 odds: at Seattle Seahawks

On Jan. 2, the Lions are at the Seattle Seahawks with a new year and a new chance to generate a win.

However, oddsmakers initially pegged Seattle as 9.5-point favorites in this one, which is a 4:25 p.m. start.

Lions 2021 Week 18 odds: vs. Green Bay Packers

The Lions close the season on Jan. 9 at home against the Green Bay Packers.

No lines have been posted at BetMGM for any Week 18 NFL games “due to uncertainty,” according to the book. The lines are not up at DraftKings Sportsbook, either.

Photo by Paul Sancya/AP
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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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