Eagles vs Lions: Updated Odds, Picks, Prediction for NFL Week 1
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Hurts.
- The Eagles are 5.5-point favorites over the Lions in Week 1.
- Both teams have been popular in the betting market, with the Eagles favored to win the NFC East.
- Kody Malstrom previews the game below and makes his betting pick, targeting the over/under.
Eagles vs. Lions Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
If Super Bowl participants were decided by a popularity contest heading into the season, you'd need look no further than this game as the eventual matchup.
Penned the "Hard Knocks Effect" the Lions have shocked sportsbooks across the nation as their biggest liability in markets like NFC North winner, NFC champion and to make the playoffs. (Yes, I'm just as shocked as you.)
On the flip side, the Eagles have gained serious traction as a Super Bowl pick after an offseason that saw an already good team get even better as a serious contender.
The hype remains real as this game has already sold out with only standing room available for those still looking to go to it.
Who's a real contender and who's not? Let's find out.
Eagles vs. Lions Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Eagles and Lions match up statistically:
Eagles vs. Lions DVOA Breakdown (Stats from 2021)
If your quarterback can't win games on his talent alone, then you must build around him to elevate the team as a whole. That's exactly what the Eagles did for Jalen Hurts midway through last season, and they've done even more this offseason.
To help put him in the best position possible, the Eagles come into this season with the best offensive line, added star wideout A.J. Brown to complement DeVonta Smith, and will deploy a backfield unit full of playmakers.
The Eagles offense made a drastic leap in production midway through last season after changing its identity as a run-heavy team to one with open passing lanes for Hurts — a change that bumped them up from 21st in Offensive DVOA to sixth.
This offense will be lethal, and there's no better way to put the league on notice to start the season than against the Lions' bottom ranked defense. They will be hard pressed to stop the run after finishing fifth worst in rush defense, a scheme the Eagles will continue to use after last season's success.
Speaking of elevating a unit, the Eagles defense may be the most talented unit in all of the NFL after this offseason. James Bradberry joined the secondary to couple Darius Slay and added, in my opinion, the rookie with the most raw talent, Jordan Davis, who will command double teams with his size and strength on the defensive line.
Looking at every play from Jordan Davis during the 2022 preseason thread
Davis is going to make the Eagles defensive line fun again. Hargrave, BG, Sweat and Cox are going to have a lot more opportunities to get home in 2022 because of the pressure Davis makes in the middle pic.twitter.com/Nti5l9p7qv
— MRCROCKPOT TPL (@mrcrockpot) August 31, 2022
Although improved, the Lions offense may struggle to succeed against the best pass defense in the NFL in a pass heavy league. This game will be decided in the trenches with the Eagles defensive line against the Lions elite o-line.
Speaking of O-lines, the Lions come into this season with a top-five offensive line when fully healthy and will need every ounce of help they can get to limit the Eagles pass rush, especially with right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai placed on IR earlier this week with no replacement named yet.
Who they are protecting is of bigger concern. Jared Goff isn't exactly a sexy choice to have under center to win you games. He finished last season with career worst metrics in nearly every passer category since his rookie year.
Although it wasn't all his fault — the Lions were a very unlucky team — here are some key metrics to remember per Sean Koerner:
- One-score game luck: 2-5 (third worst)
- Pythagorean wins over expected: -1.9 (fourth worst)
- Adjusted games lost due to injury: (third worst)
Even adjusting towards the mean, this team is a whole lot better coming into this season, especially on the offensive end. They have various weapons to attack the Eagles defense, including stud receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is poised for a big game at the slot, a position the Eagles graded at fifth-worst in defending.
Should Brown open up the field with his playmaking at the slot and the offensive line prove to be legit, this will open up the defense for the Lions to make this interesting down the stretch.
This Lions team simply has a glaring issue on defense. It leads me to take a different betting approach, one that may be a common theme throughout this season. Full game overs.
As previously stated, this offense has drastically improved with playmakers all over and an elite offensive line. Is it enough to take down the most talented roster in football? Most likely not. But it is talented enough to do their part in getting our over ticket to the window.
With one of the worst defenses in football, the Eagles should have no issue moving the ball. Second overall draft pick Aidan Hutchinson can't improve a unit that finished 29th in Defensive DVOA alone.
For now, expect Lions games to be shootouts with a defense that can make anyone look elite and an offensive to keep pace, especially after showing time and time again they will play to the final second under Dan Campbell.