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Will Detroit Lions Make NFL Playoffs Against All Odds?
The Motor City is rockin’, the Lions are rollin’, and I was bandwagon jumpin’ early, sports fans.
I dig this Detroit team, as I wrote during the preseason, picking Dan Campbell to win Coach of the Year and Aidan Hutchinson to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, while also adding this: “I believe the Lions, who were 3-13-1 last season, are going to win at least seven games and possibly even as many as nine or 10, which would definitely get them into the playoffs. If that happens, I believe Campbell is a shoo-in.”
After Detroit’s dismal 1-6 start, that looked like the silliest bet since the Segway.
The Lions have reeled five wins in their last six games and are 6-7 with eyes on the playoffs, which seemed unthinkable a month ago.
The momentum is certainly on Detroit’s side and the exuberant Campbell has his team believing.
“It’s an unshakable group of players and coaches,” Campbell proudly tweeted “Sports Illustrated” writer Albert Breer after the Lions beat the Vikings 34-23 Sunday. “They never wavered—none of them!”
Lions QB Jared Goff, who had his second straight 300-yard game Sunday, agreed: “The feeling in our locker room is so fun right now because these guys have had so many hard times and it was so difficult early on, and now there’s this feeling of, We can beat anybody and we can play with anybody.”
Two big reasons to like Detroit to do the seemingly impossible and reach the postseason: Rookie wideout Jameson Williams played his first game of the season against Minnesota and scored on the first pass ever thrown to him. It gives Goff another weapon on offense.
Second, the Lions have a favorable schedule, the fourth-easiest in the NFL, in their final games, all of which look winnable. First up is on the road against the playoff-hungry, defensive-minded Jets. That game currently is Lions -1, according to FanDuel, one of our favorite sports gambling sites, along with BetMGM, DraftKings, and many more. Also, be sure to check out all the great gambling options and awesome offers available in your state.
Back to Detroit’s schedule: After playing in New York, the Lions are on the road again against Carolina, followed by a home game against the Bears and their season finale at Green Bay.
Going 4-0 is doable but, unfortunately, because of tiebreakers involving the Commanders (No. 6 NFC seed), Giants (No. 7) – both of whom Detroit beat earlier this season – and the Seahawks (No. 8), who beat the (No. 9) Lions, are all currently ahead of them, they’re likely going to need to do exactly that.
Still, with the Giants and Seahawks both sputtering – to put it charitably – down the stretch, a 3-1 record might get it done.
However, there’s a reason that FanDuel lists the Lions at +270 to make the playoffs and -350 to miss out. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Detroit has just a 20 percent chance to make the postseason.
It’s that damn tie with Seattle that could doom Detroit.
But the Lions have finally found their groove and have bought into Campbell’s philosophy and positive energy.
So even at that nearly 3-1 against price, that’s worth a small wager. Strange things happen down the stretch in the NFL. But bet accordingly and don’t go big.
Against all odds, from a 1-6 record to the playoffs, Detroit damn well could do it.