Earlier in the week, we highlighted how the Detroit Lions are getting some national recognition after half of the NFL analysis put them in the top half of the league in the Week 3 power rankings. Given the Lions’ impressive win over the Washington Chiefs, the ratings bump was certainly to be expected, but the positive attention is a bit of a shock since Lions fans are so used to a Detroit win being mostly interpreted as a loss for their rival.
Well, it looks like the Nationals’ hopes are shifting to the Lions’ Week 3 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions’ division foe may be six-point favorites over Detroit – down from a 7.5-point opening line – but early “expert picks” show the Lions as one of the biggest upsets of the week.
Take the staff outside for football. Five of the nine panelists chose the Lions as their “upset of the week.”
“Dan Campbell’s Lions are strong and have played to finish in the top 10 in DVOA,” writes Ian O’Connor. The offense was entertaining, putting up 35-plus in each of the first two games. They have guns to run with the Vikings on offense and a defense that is 30th through two weeks. This game is tied for the highest total of the week as I write and I expect it to live up to expectations. This will come down to the wire, and Detroit has a good shot to pull off the upset.
Footballers are not alone. Five of seven analysts on CBS Sports are taking the Lions spread (+6) and two are picking them to win outright. At MMQB, two of five analysts have the Lions winning this week. According to our friends at TalSite, 73 percent of analysts are predicting the Lions to win the six-point spread, with a healthy 32 percent picking Detroit to win the game outright.
If the Lions can pull off the upset, it will be the first time since 2018 that they have a winning record at any point in the division.