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Thursday Night Football: Lions at Chiefs Expert Pick – September 7, 2023

Thursday Night Football: Lions at Chiefs Expert Pick – September 7, 2023

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: LIONS AT CHIEFS EXPERT PICK – SEPTEMBER 7, 2023 – The Detroit Lions will travel to Kansas City to open the NFL season on Thursday night.

Lions head coach Dan Campbell has brought a gritty attitude to the team and built a squad that could contend for the NFC North. He will have the task of trying to stop the Chiefs offense led by reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes. The spread is already moving due to injury news about a big-time player.

Related: NFL Week One Fantasy Sleepers

The Odds







(0-0 SU, 0-0-0 ATS)






(0-0 SU, 0-0-0 ATS)






When: Thursday, September 7th at 7:20 p.m. EDT

Where: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO


Public Bets: 55% on Chiefs

Public Money: 75% on Lions

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, correct as of August September 6th, 2023.

Detroit Lions Offseason

The Lions made several big moves this offseason, but the biggest may have been drafting Jahmyr Gibbs with their first overall selection.

They drafted Gibbs with the twelfth pick out of Alabama and plan to utilize him in many ways. They also added David Montgomery to replace D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.

There has been much talk surrounding Gibbs throughout camp, with most being about his hands and pass-catching ability out of the backfield. He would be a solid weapon alongside Montgomery and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

St. Brown will be the primary target for Jared Goff again this season and will be alongside Josh Reynolds and Marvin Jones Jr., who returns to the team where he spent five seasons.

Another target to pay attention to is Sam LaPorta, a rookie tight end from Iowa. He did not have much competition throughout camp and should start and could see some targets, especially with Jameson Williams out for six games due to suspension.

Kansas City Chiefs Offseason

The primary loss for the Chiefs in the offseason was losing Orlando Brown, who protected Mahomes blind side for the last two seasons.

They also lost wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman in free agency. They signed Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor to protect Patrick Mahomes and bolster the offensive line.

They added Rashee Rice in the draft with the second-round selection. He has made an impression on the organization in training camp and, most importantly, has caught the eye of Mahomes. He could be a vital addition to the receiving corp, which consists of Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Skyy Moore.

Travis Kelce will still operate as Mahomes’ top target, but there has been a lot of turnover on the offensive side of the ball. Eric Bieniemy, the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator for the past four seasons, will now call the plays in Washington. Andy Reid is an excellent coach and should transition seamlessly, but without another top offensive mind, he has had for a while.

Travis Kelce Injury

On Tuesday, Andy Reid told reporters that Travis Kelce hyper-extended his knee at practice, and his status for the game is uncertain. It is important news, especially in regard to the odds.

The spread opened at Chiefs -7 but has moved to -5.5 since the news broke. Travis Kelce is extremely important to this offense, especially with their thin receiving group.

With a knee-related injury, the Chiefs will likely take precautions before sending one of their best players onto the field hurt in week one. At the time of writing, his status is still uncertain, and the extent of the injury has not been made public.

Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs Head-To-Head

The Lions and the Chiefs have not played each other since week four of the 2019 season, and the Chiefs won 34 to 30. The Chiefs scored with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter to secure the win. This Lions team has been completely revamped since that time, however.

The Lions were an efficient offense last season due to Jared Goff. He did a terrific job of taking care of the football. He completed 65.1% of passes on his way to throwing for 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Twenty-nine touchdowns tied for fifth most, and seven interceptions were the fewest among quarterbacks who threw for more touchdowns.

Their weakness came on the defensive side of the ball. They were bottom-five in the league, allowing 25.1 points per game. They also allowed opponents to convert on 45.1% of third downs, which was bottom three league-wide. They need to be better at getting off the field, which could help if Mahomes does not have his top target to find on crucial plays.

The Champs

The Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champs, and it’s because they had the number-one offense in the league last season. Their defense played better as the season progressed, but the Chiefs will only go as far as Mahomes takes them. Things will be different this season, but as long as they have Mahomes, they are Super Bowl contenders.

The keys to victory for the Chiefs come on the defensive side of the ball. They need to force turnovers and make Jared Goff uncomfortable. Chris Jones is still not with the team due to contract issues, and it looks unlikely that he will suit up on Thursday. If Kelce does not play either, they could be short-handed on both sides of the ball against a much-improved Lions team.



The total is at 53.5 in most places and 52.5 at other sportsbooks. I will not give a definitive pick because there is no data for this season. My lean is the over on this total, given these teams’ defensive woes last season, but not with much confidence.


If you took the Lions at +7 or +6.5 before the Kelce news, then good for you. If not, I would still play the Lions at +5.5 and look for a better number following any more information surrounding Travis Kelce.

Player Prop

Jahmyr Gibbs is a relative unknown going into this game, and we can take advantage of that. No one is quite sure how they will utilize him, but I suspect it is in the passing game, with Montgomery being the in-between-the-tackles back. Over 30.5 receiving yards at -115 is a solid play for Gibbs.


Trent’s Picks

Lions +5

Gibbs Over 30.5 Receiving Yards (-115)

FUN My Pillow

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