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Why the Detroit Lions will and won’t go over 2022 win total

The Lions have made meaningful strides under Dan Campbell, but they still have a lot of room to grow.

Nov 14, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) reacts leaving the field after the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

One of the NFL’s worst teams each of the last four seasons, the Detroit Lions enter 2022 with some guarded optimism. The team made some meaningful roster improvements during the offseason and no longer has a rookie head coach directing the operation. That probably doesn’t provide enough boost to make a playoff run, but it makes their win total far more interesting.

Let’s take a look at the latest DraftKings Sportsbook lines and predict if the Lions can surpass their 2022 win total of 6.5.

2022 Lions schedule with odds

Lions schedule/odds

Week Date Opponent Spread
Week Date Opponent Spread
1 Sep. 11 Philadelphia Eagles +4
2 Sep. 18 Washington Commanders +1.5
3 Sep. 25 at Minnesota Vikings +6.5
4 Oct. 2 Seattle Seahawks -1
5 Oct. 9 at New England Patriots +6.5
6 BYE
7 Oct. 23 at Dallas Cowboys +7
8 Oct. 30 Miami Dolphins +3
9 Nov. 6 Green Bay Packers +6
10 Nov. 13 at Chicago Bears +1.5
11 Nov. 20 at New York Giants +1.5
12 Nov. 24 Buffalo Bills (Thanksgiving) +8
13 Dec. 4 Jacksonville Jaguars -2
14 Dec. 11 Minnesota Vikings +2
15 Dec. 18 at New York Jets +2.5
16 Dec. 24 at Carolina Panthers (Sat) +2.5
17 Jan. 1 Chicago Bears -1.5
18 Jan. 7/8 at Green Bay Packers +8
.
Implied record 3-14

Why the Lions will go over their win total

While the Lions finished 2021 below every other NFC team in the standings, the team looked competitive more frequently than their record suggests. In particular, the offense took significant strides over the final six games of the season, averaging a respectable 25.2 points and helping notch wins over the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers over that stretch. While the unit finished the year ranked 29th in DVOA, the weighted version of the metric that emphasizes more recent performances ranked the group 16th in the NFL.

Why the Lions will go under their win total

Just because the Lions finished last season with a respectable offense doesn’t necessarily mean they will maintain that level of play into 2022. Their biggest addition to the unit, first-round wideout Jameson Williams, tore his ACL in January and his return date remains unclear. And while the defense adds a potential top-end pass rusher with Aidan Hutchinson, expecting a rookie to lift an entire group seems like an overreach.

Prediction: Under 6.5 wins

To no one’s surprise, the Lions enter 2022 with plenty of concerns. At the same time, they finished the previous season on an upswing and play in a division that, outside of the Packers, offers plenty of opportunities for wins. The rest of Detroit’s schedule looks favorable too, with matchups against the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and Carolina Panthers all coming within a few weeks of each other.

The Lions don’t need to turn that many more games into victories in order to exceed their win total. Still, that figure seems just a tad too high to take the over.

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