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‘Hard Knocks’ Trends: Does History Tell Us Anything About Win Total for Detroit Lions?

‘Hard Knocks’ Trends: Does History Tell Us Anything About Win Total for Detroit Lions? article feature image
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Nic Antaya/Getty. Pictured: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions.

This year’s NFL preseason edition of “Hard Knocks “will feature the Detroit Lions, who had a disappointing 3-13-1 season under first-year head coach Dan Campbell.

If there’s anything positive that can be taken from the campaign it’s that all three wins came in the last six games of the season, offering a bit of momentum that Detroit can carry into the offseason.

Even though we’re months away from this iteration of “Hard Knocks” kicking off, we thought we’d take a look at how “Hard Knocks” participants have fared in terms of betting trends and see if there’s anything of note to consider with this Lions team.

In terms of team win totals, there isn’t much of a trend when it comes to “Hard Knocks” squads, and it’s a reflection of how sharp NFL oddsmakers are. Teams that have participated in the show are 8-8-1 versus their projected win totals.

With teams that have had smaller win totals, there isn’t enough of a sample size to establish a true trend, but six-win total teams have gone 2-1 versus the total while expanding that total to 7.5 wins or less reduces the record to an even 3-3-1.

The Lions have a preseason win total of six games, per DraftKings.

“Hard Knocks” Preseason Team Win Total* Over/Under Record
Overall 8-8-1
6 Wins 2-1
7 Wins or less 3-1-1
7.5 Wins or less 3-3-1

*Does not include the Indianapolis Colts, who participated in the first mid-season “Hard Knocks”

If you’re looking to bet on the Lions to make the playoffs, you may want to hold off on that. “Hard Knocks” teams with similar win totals don’t have a track record of reaching the postseason.

The lone team to achieve the feat with a preseason win total of 7.5 wins or less is the Cincinnati Bengals, who overcame a 7-win preseason total to make the playoffs at +300 odds. However, that doesn’t make up for the losses a bettor would’ve had on all of the other teams.

“Hard Knocks” Preseason Team Win Total Make/Miss Playoffs Record Make Playoffs ROI*
6 Wins 0-3 -100%
7 Wins or less 1-4 -20%
7.5 Wins or less 1-6 -43%

*Assumes bets made on a one-unit scale

If you were to bet on each of these teams to miss the playoffs, we don’t know the exact return on investment as archived preseason win totals aren’t available prior to 2009, but it can be assumed that you would have made an extremely modest profit based on available odds.

That’s because the vig discrepancy with these long-shot teams doesn’t offer a tolerable route to fading them for most bettors.

In the end, the answer to the question of “Hard Knocks” betting trends is that generally, there isn’t much to be gleaned. Sharp NFL oddsmakers have set solid lines for years, and as time goes on, those odds are only getting sharper.

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