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What no home fans could mean for Lions point spreads in 2020

The Lions are not expected to have fans in the stands to start the 2020 season. We take a look at their current home point spreads and what it might mean.

A view of Ford Field during the coronavirus pandemic on April 12, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a stay at home order for non-essential workers on March 24th and has banned all gatherings, public or private. Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images

UPDATE Oct 2: The Lions will not have fans through at least November, according to reporter Kyle Meinke.

The NFL should be able to open its 2020 season on time, but some or all of their teams can expect to be playing home games with a small percentage of fans or without fans in the stadium. Each locale is implementing different rules, and today we learned that the Detroit Lions will play with no fans at Ford Field in their season-opener against the Chicago Bears and then in Week 4 when they face the New Orleans at home, followed by a re-assessment, per the team’s website.

“Lions fans have traditionally created an intimidating environment for visiting teams at Ford Field and, even in a reduced capacity, will be missed when we kick off the season against our division rival, the Chicago Bears. We are hopeful for an opportunity to host fans at the remaining six 2020 home games.”

This will result in an adjustment for their home opener and second home game lines and more lines will change if the team continues with no fans. DraftKings Sportsbook has provided a few lines for the Lions Week 1-16 home games.

Here is where they currently stand:

vs. Bears: -1.5
vs. Saints: TBD
vs. Colts: TBD
vs. Washington: TBD
vs. Texans: TBD
vs. Packers: TBD
vs. Buccaneers: TBD
vs. Vikings: TBD

In sports betting, home field advantage is viewed as being worth roughly 2.5 to 3 points. Some teams like the Broncos, Seahawks, Saints, and Chiefs have a more significant advantage than other teams.

DK Sportsbook oddsmaker Johnny Avello said he would cut a home field advantage in half with no fans in the stands. There is still benefit of knowing your home stadium and locker room, and not having to travel, so you still get some boost playing at home. But, it will not be nearly what it would be if there were fans in the stands.

If the Lions lose 1.5 points in home field advantage, they would become a pick ‘em game against the Bears for Week 1. Detroit gets their starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford, back after his strong 2019 before going down with an injury. Many pundits are getting on the Lions bandwagon this season and a pick ‘em game against the Bears to start the season would seem to favor the home team.

Of course, not all lines are created equal so this is just a basic projection for the time being. However, sportsbooks have yet to make a move with the potential for no fans in the stand, so there could be some value to be found in early lines.

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