Lions vs Chiefs NFL Preview & Free Pick [9/7/2023]

Detroit (0-0) at Kansas City (0-0)
When: Thursday, September 7th, 2023
Where: Arrowhead Stadium,
Kansas City, MO

Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Kansas City -7/53.5

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The NFL season is upon us and we get things started with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football. This will be the third time the Chiefs have played in this game. They opened the 2017 season with a win at New England and beat visiting Houston to kick off the 2020 COVID season. Defending Super Bowl champions are 14-4 in these games.

Detroit is in the game for the first time. Why you say? That the Lions were chosen for this based on the fact that experts think they are a team on the rise. Sportsbooks have been printing a lot of future tickets on Detroit despite the fact they haven’t even won a division title since 1992. The Lions are the only NFC team to never play in the Super Bowl.

These teams have played just once since 2015 and that was a wild 34-30 Kansas City victory at Detroit during the 2019 season. There were a combined 885 yards of total offense and Pat Mahomes threw for 315 yards without a touchdown or interception. Matt Stafford was the QB for Detroit then. Kansas City is 7-3 straight up and ATS in the past 10 in the series.

The Lions had a terrific second half of the season last year after starting out 1-6. It looked like the same old Lions, but the offense started clicking. Detroit closed the season on an 8-2 run and just missed the playoffs. Jared Goff threw 15 touchdowns and zero interceptions over the last nine games.

The Lions signed free agent tailback David Montgomery and drafted Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12 overall. Unfortunately, rising second-year receiver Jameson Williams is suspended the first six games for gambling. The biggest issue with this team is the defense, but if they can just improve that a little, the Lions have a great chance to win the NFC North.

The Chiefs are the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl once again and will be a force as long as Mahomes is under center. He won the regular season MVP award and his second Super Bowl MVP. He is 5-0 all-time in Week 1 games and has thrown at least three TD passes in each, while not throwing a pick. Kansas City has won eight straight season openers overall – the longest active streak in the league.

Tight end Travis Kelce caught 110 passes for 1,338-yards and 12 TDs last season, but is questionable for Thursday’s opener. All-Pro defensive lineman Chris Jones is doubtful while he holds out for a new contract. The Chiefs have mad the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons and have won seven straight AFC West crowns.

This line held steady at 6.5 for several months, but yesterday went down to -4.5 with the news of Kelce’s injury. Yes, Jones won’t play either on the defensive side, but Mahomes can win games by himself. Detroit is improved, but remember, their defense was horrible. The Lions are not ready for this type of marquee time slot quite yet.

Week 1 NFL Staff Selections

Pick: Chiefs -4.5