Lions vs Chiefs Player Props: How to Bet David Montgomery on Thursday Night Football
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images. Pictured: David Montgomery.
Let's state the obvious: No player on the Lions is receiving more hype than rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs.
While the excitement deserves attention, it wouldn't be fair to overlook newly signed third-round pick David Montgomery in a revamped backfield.
After signing him to a three-year, $18 million deal, the Lions are committed to utilizing the veteran running back in an important Week 1 meeting vs. the Chiefs.
Both Gibbs and Montgomery will be upgrades, as it's assumed Montgomery will inherit Jamaal Williams’ traditional lead-back rushing role while Gibbs takes on D'Andre Swift's pass-catching role. Last year's Lions duo rushed for an average of 97.4 yards per game. According to Pro Football Focus, Williams accounted for 61.9% of the total carries.
Montgomery has had four consecutive seasons with over 800 rushing yards, but he's never played with an offensive line as talented as the Lions'.
According to Pro Football Focus, this group ranks fifth among all teams. The return of RG Halapoulivaati Vaitai from last year's season-ending injury is expected to further improve their performance compared to 2022-23.
Matchup-wise, the Chiefs' 4.4 average opponent yards per rush attempt (15th ranked) was middle of the pack, but the critical edge behind this play is that the Lions' running department may not have to meet up against All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones in Week 1. Jones' likely absence would leave a glaring hole in the Chiefs' rush defense.
The Lions should hang tight in this game, with Detroit entering Wednesday as low as 5.5-point underdogs. If the Chiefs were to miss star tight end Travis Kelce, the game script could dictate Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson to confidently establish the run, control the pace and do whatever he can to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field.
I expect at least 12-to-15 attempts for Montgomery in his debut, and I love his chances of surpassing his rushing yards prop due to an improved offensive line and the absence of his opponent's top defensive player.
Note: I was able to bet Montgomery 50+ rushing yards at -128 on FanDuel on Wednesday. The lowest number available as of Thursday afternoon is 52.5 at some books.
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