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Lions vs. Chiefs: Thursday Night Football picks, odds, more for Week 1

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Let us rejoice. We have made it to the 2023 NFL regular season, which will kickoff when the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football.

The Lions enter this season with something completely foreign to their franchise- expectations. After winning eight of their final 10 games in 2022, the Lions added a ton of talent to their secondary, brining in the likes of Cam Sutton, Emmanuel Mosely, and C.J. Garnder-Johnson. They also added Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round of the draft to aide in the run game as they look to capture their first NFC North championship.

For the Chiefs, it’s business as usual. They are coming off their second Super Bowl win in four seasons, and have returned the majority of their roster from a season ago. The elephant in the room, though, continues to be the holdout of star defensive tackle Chris Jones. He and the Chiefs were unable to agree to terms on a new deal, and so he remains away from the team. Travis Kelce’s status is still unknown at the time of writing after he hyper-extended his knee during practice. That said, when you have Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, you always have a chance.

How to watch Lions vs. Chiefs

Date: Thursday, September 7

Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Kickoff time: 8:20 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: Peacock

Odds and predictions for Lions vs. Chiefs

Point spread: Chiefs -5
O/U: 53.5
Moneyline: Chiefs -230, Lions +190

Point Spread

Without Chris Jones, the Chiefs’ defense is marginally worse, especially up the middle. His vacancy leaves a large whole that Lions’ offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will look to attack with runs up the middle. If successful, watch the mixture of play action to make the Chiefs over-commit to the run to set up big plays to Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Chiefs’ offense will be their usual selves, but the lack of Kelce will hurt. Plus, if the Lions hang around long enough ,Mahomes will get aggressive and potentially make a mistake. The Chiefs will win, but the Lions aren’t just going to roll over. Detroit was 12-5 against the spread in 2022, and I think we see that carry over to begin the new season.

The pick: Lions +5

Point total

Both of these teams have the capability to drop 30 points relatively easily, but in different ways. Mahomes and the Chiefs are a collective walking big play waiting to happen. The Lions are more methodical- death by 1,000 cuts, if you will. Regardless, these are two defenses that will each be missing one of their expected top contributors, and two offenses that each have a great offensive mind and playcaller on their respective sidelines. Even if Kelce is out, the Chiefs will still put up points, and the Lions will counter with their balanced offensive attack. We may be in for a shootout in Arrowhead.

The pick: Over 53.5

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.