Detroit Lions fans are pretty much defined by their endless amount of hope. After all, continuing to follow this franchise at all after decades upon decades of fruitlessness is an ultimate show of faith and hope.
And while the Kool-Aid is definitely still flowing through the Detroit river this year, it doesn’t quite match the optimism harbored by fans of other NFL teams.
This week, SB Nation sent out surveys to fans of all 32 teams through our NFL Reacts program. (If you’d like to be a part of the weekly surveys, you can sign up here.) The question: Will your team win more or less games than the Vegas win total?
It’s an interesting question, because the Vegas win total seeks to accurately represent the national perception of each team. The goal of the Vegas over/under total is not to predict what happens, but to try and get an even amount of wagers on each side of the bet, therefore guaranteeing a win for the house no matter the outcome.
For the Detroit Lions, that win total for 2020 is 6.5 wins, a three-win bump from last year’s 3-12-1 season. So, how many Lions fans are expecting seven or more wins this season?
Of course, 80 percent of fans expecting a three-win improvement sounds like significant optimism, but remember: this is August. Everyone is optimistic right now.
I took the results from all 32 teams, and, on average, 85 percent of a team’s fan base believes their team will win MORE games than their Vegas win total. In terms of optimism, the Lions’ 80 percent mark ranks 23rd in the league. Lions fans are well behind the confidence levels of their in-division rivals, as well. The Packers were first (8.5 win total, 100% taking the over... of course), then the Vikings (8.5, 94%) and finally the Bears (7.5, 91%).
The Packers aren’t the only fan base completely black-out drunk in optimism. Fans of the Bills (8.5 win total), Bengals (5.5), Rams (8.0) and Saints (10.5) all had 100% taking the over.. Only two teams—the Panthers (5.5) and Chargers (7.5)—had the majority of fans taking the under.
It’s easy to see it both ways for the Lions. Last year, the team was extremely competitive with Matthew Stafford, earning a 3-4-1 record that could’ve easily been better than that. With better injury luck and maybe some improvements on defense, it is not a stretch to view this team as one capable of winning eight or nine games.
That being said, this coaching staff hasn’t warranted much optimism through two seasons. The defense, this staff’s supposed strong suit, has looked lifeless since Matt Patricia came to town. It would be understandable if Lions fans are living by the “I’ll believe it when I see it” code.
Where do you all stand on the Lions’ win total?
How many wins will the Lions have in 2020?
This poll is closed