The Lions come in is the biggest underdog this season to win the NFC North division. LVH Sportsbook in Las Vegas has them as +700 underdogs this season, and even though they were wildly overvalued last year, the Lions are going to be no laughing matter in 2013.
With that being said I do not think they have an ounce of divisional future odds value here at 7/1. This division is going to be a tight race, and even if there are some injuries to other teams, I don't see the Lions having enough to beat all three of the other teams in this division straight up. The Lions have a great offense, but with the opposing offenses they have to play in this division let alone in the NFC, I don't think their defense is worthy of the future odds bet like this.
With that being said that doesn't mean that they cannot improve upon their 6–10 ATS season from a year ago. I actually think the Lions could be slightly undervalued in the right scenarios the season, but in the end I do think they end up around .500 against the spread.
Detroit's over inflation came when they were favorites a year ago. The Lions were 2–6 against the spread as favorites in 2012, and they were only 2-4 ATS and 0-6 SU facing their division. That does not bode well for a team trying to win that division this season at 7 to 1 betting odds.
Like most teams trying to rebound from a bad season, it all starts at home for Detroit. Detroit was only 3-5 ATS at home in 2012 and they will have to start there if they want to become more than a four win football team.
There was one area of value where the Lions were almost better than everyone else at last season, and that was cashing the over. The Lions were 10–5–1 cashing the over just a season ago, and considering everything else, this is where we’re going to find value with the Lions again this season. The addition of Reggie Bush is just going to make this offense more potent, and their lack of upgrades on defense this off-season could lead way to the Lions giving up more points, and having to throw because they're behind.
While I like their safeties, especially the signing of Glover Quin, the Lions’ depth at cornerback is not that strong, and they will likely be giving up points to their division and their other opponents as well. Even though I doubt the books undervalue their offense and overvalue their defense as much this season, I can definitely still see some value from Detroit betting the over for our NFL picks in 2013.
The Lions cashed the over at 7-1 when they were favored in 2012, and they cashed the over in all four of their games against AFC opponents a year ago.