Give yourself a round of applause. You have survived another NFL offseason. On Thursday, the new 2023 season kicks off in Kansas City, as the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs hang their banner with the Detroit Lions in town.
The NFL moved to a single-game Thursday kickoff in 2002, and since 2004, it has been a tradition to have that game hosted by the defending Super Bowl champions. There will be concerts, a larger-than-normal tailgate at Arrowhead Stadium, and a full celebration of the 272 games of the regular season to come.
Amid all the pomp and circumstance, there will be a football game. A pretty good football game at that. And there will be NFL betting.
NFL Week 1: Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)
If there is one team that is impossible to hate, it is the Detroit Lions. Their starting quarterback, Jared Goff, is engaged to a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Their head coach is ranked No. 1 on everyone’s list of “want to have a beer with.” Their fans have been battered by bad teams since the 1950s, yet they remain loyal.
There is something about the city of Detroit and something about the Lions that you want to root for.
And to top it off, they are actually a good team. They are favored to win the NFC North because they have one of the best offenses in the NFL. We won’t see Jameson Williams to begin the season, but in the age of diminishing running back returns, rookie Jahmyr Gibbs is an exciting one to watch.
The Kansas City Chiefs are also a pretty good team. For each of the five years that Partick Mahomes has been the quarterback, they have hosted the AFC Championship Game. Twice, they have won the Super Bowl with Mahomes, and they are the preseason betting favorite to win a third.
Chris Jones remains a holdout, which will hurt the Chiefs pass rush. Can the Lions take advantage of that? Maybe, on offense. But the Chiefs offense should have its way with a suspect Lions defense.
Game Pick: Chiefs (-7)
Andy Reid is 9-1 in Week 1 as the head coach of the Chiefs, 5-0 with Mahomes as the starting quarterback, and Mahomes has 18 Week 1 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
In these five season-openers, the Chiefs have won them all by an average of 13 points, and four of the five wins were by at least 10 points. Go with the Chiefs at home.
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We have 18 weeks of the NFL coming up, then four more rounds of postseason play. Plus, college football is in its second week, the baseball pennant races are as hot as ever, and then basketball and hockey will be here on a nightly basis.
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