The Detroit Lions will travel to Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, opening the NFL 2023 season. With this being the first NFL game of the year, things can often be a bit unpredictable. Therefore, in this installment of Lions player prop bets—odds courtesy of the good folks over at DraftKings Sportsbook—we will be focused on keeping things simple.
David Montgomery, Over 68.5 rushing + receiving yards (-120)
One Lions offensive player not being talked about enough is Montgomery. A steady, reliable starter with the ability to contribute both by rushing between the tackles and as a receiving option out of the backfield. He may end up being the main catalyst in the Lions' offensive game plan.
The Lions will want to keep the ball out of Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes' hands, and that means ball-control football. The Chiefs defensive line is replacing both defensive ends and they will (likely) be without star defensive tackle Chris Jones, making them vulnerable to a Lions top-three offensive line that has five healthy starters for the first time in two seasons.
Asking Montgomery to produce a combined 68.5 yards or more—both rushing and receiving yards—seems like one of the safer bets to consider this week.
Jahmyr Gibbs, Over 31.5 receiving yards (-115)
While Montgomery is going to be the Lions bell cow, No. 12 overall pick, rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, is the player the Chiefs appear to be most focused on and concerned about.
“You’ve kind of just got to go off of the little bit of tape you have from college, a little bit of preseason,” Chiefs’ LB Nick Bolton told the media earlier in the week. “When you watch the tape, obviously you can tell he’s dynamic—speed is definitely his friend. When he’s able to get the ball, he gets upfield, make one cut, and then it can be a house call. So, we understand the challenge up ahead of us. Again, there’s not much tape out there, so we don’t know how he’s going to be used or how they plan on using him early. So, they’ll have to get him a bunch of touches early, get him involved, and see what he can do with the football.”
As Bolton noted, NFL tape on Gibbs is limited as he only played one-quarter of preseason football before the Lions shut him down. In that quarter, Gibbs rushed six times for 19 yards (behind a reserve offensive line) and caught one pass for 18 yards. Look for the Lions to get the ball in his hands in a variety of ways, and even if he only catches a few passes in this game, he is dynamic enough after the catch to eclipse 31.5 yards through the air.
Jared Goff, Under 0.5 Interceptions (-130)
This seems less of a sure thing than the above two prop bets, as interceptions can be unpredictable. But Goff has been very careful with the football and has not thrown an interception in 324 passing attempts—the fifth-longest streak in NFL history. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were not as apt at taking the ball away last season and only had 11 interceptions over 17 games in 2022. Look for the Lions to stress ball security in this game and Goff not to take too many chances, thus keeping a clean sheet.
Reason 102938124 KC needs Chris Jones: Jared Goff was very good last year, but struggled vs pressure--his QBR dropped from 75 to 25, and he had the 2nd worst CPOE in the NFL.— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) September 5, 2023
With his OL, vs that DL...will it even matter?
This week's pod w/ @foxworth24: https://t.co/25po4Tj9rF pic.twitter.com/7inZlRilj5
For more betting odds coverage, with a specific focus on the Lions, make sure to check out our own Meko Scott and Ryan Mathews’ video breakdown on Pride of Detroit’s YouTube feed: