Earlier in the week, we highlighted how the Detroit Lions are gaining some national respect after about half of NFL analysis put them in the top half of the league in their Week 3 power rankings. Given the Lions’ impressive win over the Washington Commanders, a bump in rankings was certainly warranted, but Lions fans are so accustomed to a Detroit win typically being interpreted mostly as a failure of their opponent that the positive attention is a bit startling.
Well, it appears that national optimism is carrying over into the Lions’ Week 3 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions divisional foe may be six-point favorites over Detroit—down from the 7.5-point opening line—but as the early “expert picks” roll in, the Lions are being highlighted as one of the biggest potential upsets of the week.
Take the staff over at Football Outsiders. Of their nine panelists, five of them picked the Lions as their “Upset of the Week.”
“Dan Campbell’s Lions are tough and have played their way into the top 10 in DVOA,” Ian O’Connor wrote. “The offense has been exciting, putting up 35-plus in each of the first two games. They have the guns to run with the Vikings on offense and face a defense that’s 30th through two weeks. This game is tied for the highest total of the week, as of my writing, and I expect it to meet expectations. This one will come down to the wire, and Detroit has a great shot to pull the upset.”
Football Outsiders is far from alone. Over at CBS Sports, five out of seven analysts are taking the Lions’ against the spread (+6), while two are picking them to win straight up. Over at MMQB, two of five analysts have the Lions winning this week. According to our friends at Tallysight, 73 percent of analysts are predicting the Lions to beat the six-point spread, while a healthy 32 percent are picking Detroit to win the game outright.
If the Lions are able to pick up the upset, it would be their first time having a winning record in the division at any point in the season since 2018.