You could feel this one coming. Just like in Week 14, the Detroit Lions opened the week as underdogs to a team with a winning record, only to see the betting line shift to their favor in less than 24 hours.
The 7-6 New York Jets opened as one-point home favorite of the Lions on Sunday night, but by Monday afternoon, the Lions were the team favored by a single point. It has since shifted back in forth, but as of Tuesday morning, the Lions remained the favorite.
So why the shift?
There are likely a few factors at play, the first being how the national audience’s perception of the Lions is evolving. Yes, there are still plenty of people who see the Honolulu Blue Lion logo and think of the team’s struggles, but the positive national attention is growing on a daily basis and it’s likely influencing betting. It’s one thing to hear positive reports from local writers on how the team is performing, but when this many national writers are singing the Lions’ praises, it draws attention.
And let’s face it, the betting line isn’t shifting 2 points in less than a day because of a few Kool-Aid drinkers. This indicates significant, national money is being put on Detroit to continue their six-game hot streak.
The second reason for the shift could be the uncertainty surrounding injuries to two of the Jets' most important players, quarterback Mike White and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. As of this moment, both are expected to play, but if White is unable to play, they’d be forced to turn to Joe Flacco—who was 1 for 3, for 1 passing yard as White’s replacement last week—or benched Zach Wilson, who is taking some time to reflect on his leadership skills.
Betting lines can be fickle, though. So don’t be surprised to see this line continue to shift throughout the week and as we get closer to game day.