The wait is finally over. The NFL season kicks off with defending champion Kansas City Chiefs welcoming the upstart Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football. Each week, Canal Street Chronicles will preview Thursday night and Monday night primetime games, with respect to the wagering lines. This week will be a wildcard because of the turnover of coaches and players on each team. The Lions are being picked as an NFC contender this season and will be looking to see how they measure up to the defending champs. This makes for a highly compelling opening game for the 2023 NFL regular season. Thank you to our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook for the wagering lines for the CSC Thursday Night Football preview and props.
Thursday Night Football best bets
Kansas City Chiefs -5.5(-136)
The actual line for the game has not changed much since being introduced on the sportsbooks. The Chiefs are favored by 6.5 points going into the game. This might be a little too high for a good Lions team. It is possible to pull this line down a bit on DraftKings. Adjusting the line to 5.5 seems like a better bet while also barely moving the odds. The Chiefs average scoring margin at home last season was plus 5.6, meaning they won by an average between five and six points. This is why teasing down this line is a better bet than the going 6.5 right now. Either way, the Chiefs should win this game by nearly a touchdown.
UPDATE after Travis Kelce's Injury:
The line for this game has plummeted from 6.5 to just 4.5 for the Chiefs. Adjust this spread to 3.5 for the Chiefs at -129 odds.
Skyy Moore, over 39.5 yards receiving(-115)
There is going to be a receiver that emerges for the Chiefs this season. That guy could very well be Skyy Moore, who should step right into the role left by the departed Juju Smith-Schuster last season. Moore is going into his second season with the Chiefs after a quiet 2022, but he does line up in nearly the same spots on the field as Smith-Schuster. 58 yards per game are up for grabs and there is every reason to believe that Moore is going to be the benefactor. Take the over 40 yards for Moore in the Chiefs debut.
David Montgomery, anytime touchdown scorer(+105)
The loss of Jamaal Williams from the Detroit Lions means over 1,000 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns will need to be made up somewhere. Enter the ever-reliable David Montgomery, who should be able to get well over 200 touches in this Lions offense. Williams received nearly 85% of all carries inside the 5-yard line for the Lions last season, production which should transition directly to Montgomery. Yes, Jahmyr Gibbs is on this team, but it is likely that he is going to be used as a moveable weapon all over the offense. The Lions have been shown to lean on their backs in specific roles, so expect Montgomery to bring his veteran presence to the short yardage situations, especially at the goal line. Montgomery gets into the end zone against the Chiefs on Thursday night.
Longshot of the night
Jared Goff over 300 passing yards(+230)
The Lions offense tries to stay balanced, but Goff has shown that he is able to air out the ball if needed. Last season when called upon, Goff went over 300 yards in five games. The balance between the rushing and passing attack is typical for the Lions, but they are not always playing the Chiefs. It is likely that the Chiefs score early and often against a soft Lions secondary that did not do enough to get better this off-season. With the Lions likely trying to keep up with the Chiefs, the longshot of the week is Jared Goff going over 300 yards.
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