The Detroit Lions have underperformed in the past two seasons. After back-to-back 9-7 seasons under head coach Jim Caldwell in 2016 and 2017, the Lions decided to make a bold move firing Caldwell, in the hopes they could move beyond mediocrity and make a true title run.
Unfortunately for Detroit, that transition to become an elite team has completely backfired. Under Matt Patricia, the Lions have disappointed their way to a 6-10 and 3-12-1 in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
And although there are reasons to believe the Lions could finally make a jump in Patricia’s third season with the team, the national perception of this team remains extremely low, and there’s no better reflection of that than the action in Vegas.
Our friends over at DKNation put together some data on how football bettors are spending their money as it relates to the over/unders in 2020 win totals. Right now, Vegas has set the Lions’ win total at 6.5 for the upcoming season, but according to DK Nation, 59 percent of the wagers are on the under, meaning nearly three-fifths of football bettors believe the Lions will win six or fewer games this year.
To put this into some sobering context, let’s look across the NFC North. The Chicago Bears’ win total is set at 7.5, but 71 percent of bettors are taking the over. The Green Bay Packers’ win total is 8.5, but 91 percent of bettors are taking the over. Finally, the Minnesota Vikings’ total is 8.5, and 84 percent of the wagers are on the over.
In fact, when you look around the entire NFL, there are only five other teams with the majority of wagers on the under (Jaguars, Bengals, Chargers, 49ers, Rams). That makes sense, of course, because this is the point in the offseason where optimism runs rampant.
It makes sense that optimism hasn’t swept over Detroit given the results of the past two seasons. But that affords the Lions the opportunity to prove a lot of people wrong. It’s been 10 years since the Lions had three consecutive season with 10 or more losses. If the Lions have truly turned a page on those ugly aughts, now is the time to prove it.