Lions 2008 Betting Predictions June 24th , 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Pro Football Futures Betting – The Lions Claw-Less
Our best Sportsbooks has already posted its sports gambling odds to win the Super Bowl, in addition to both the AFC and NFC and each of the league’s eight divisions. . One of those divisions is the NFC North, and the longshot team there is the Detroit Lions, who have tried a number of different combinations through the years without making much of a dent since the departure of coach Bobby Ross. Can they complete a turnaround behind Rod Marinelli? We’ll discuss that today.
First, here’s a look at the online wagering NFL odds to win the NFC North title as well as the NFC championship, as posted at BetUS internet sportsbook:
BetUS NFL Futures Odds
To Win NFC North
Minnesota Vikings +140
Green Bay Packers +190
Chicago Bears +300
DETROIT LIONS +600
To win the NFC Championship
Dallas Cowboys +300
Green Bay Packers +1000
New York Giants +700
New Orleans Saints +800
Philadelphia Eagles +800
Seattle Seahawks +1000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1400
Washington Redskins +1600
Minnesota Vikings +850
Arizona Cardinals +1800
Carolina Panthers +2000
DETROIT LIONS +3000
Chicago Bears +1700
San Francisco 49ers +3000
St. Louis Rams +3000
Atlanta Falcons +8000
Detroit is not necessarily a hard luck team; it is simply a losing organization. Matt Millen has not produced a winning pattern since he was named the head of football operations, and for Rod Marinelli, the former Tampa Bay assistant, it is hard to get the benefit of the doubt because of many of the poor decisions that have been made in recent years. Still, Marinelli brought the team from 3-13 to 7-9 in his two seasons at the helm, and is hoping that getting a little more hard-nosed might be the missing ingredient to put this team into the playoff picture.
Mike Martz and his offensive scheme were shown the door, and he was replaced by offensive line coach Jim Colletto, who brings a more conservative approach that is preferred by Marinelli. The Lions will want to run the ball to establish an offense; the problem is that they are not deep at the running back position, after releasing Kevin Jones, who was their top back from last season, and will proceed with Tatum Bell, who may or may not still be effective, and a rookie who will most likely taking most of the carries. That rookie is Kevin Smith, who ran for over 2000 yards at Central Florida last season, and who lasted until the third round, where Detroit scooped him up. A first-round draft choice was used on Boston College offensive tackle Gordon Cherilus, who is expected to start immediately on the right hand side of the line and clear the way for the running game.
Detroit would seem to be fine at the wide receiver spot. They ought to be, after spending so many first-rounders on the position. Calvin Johnson, who was the prize newcomer out of Georgia Tech last year, had an injury-plagued rookie season, but few who have seen him doubt that he will one day be one of the NFL’s best. Roy Williams (836 yards last season) already is a premier receiver, and slot man Mike Furrey led the NFC in receptions in 2006. Throw in Shaun McDonald, who was a valuable contributor (79 catches), and this is a dangerous quartet.
Jon Kitna is pulling the trigger, and that has its positives and negatives. Kitna, the 11-year veteran, pleases some fantasy team owners but has not done much to produce victories for Detroit. And he makes mistakes, throwing 42 interceptions the last two seasons. There is a question as to how far the Lions can go with him, so talk of Drew Stanton, the second-round pick out of Michigan State in ’07, getting an opportunity to take the reins isn’t so idle.
Defensively, Detroit has plenty of work to do. Shaun Rogers, the best player on that unit, was dealt off, apparently because he was a “character:” problem. Well, the Lion defense may wind up being big on character, but it is short on talent, ranking dead last in the NFL in points against in 2007. Brian Kelly, a regular with the Buccaneers, comes in to lend some help to the secondary, and there is new blood at the safety position (Kalvin Pearson and Dwight Smith). Obviously a team that allowed 30 points or more on seven different occasions will have to show marked progress if the Lions are to contend.
Last year Detroit went 6-2 in the first half of the season, then things deteriorated, the way they often do in the Motor City. If Kitna starts making costly mistakes again, it will be interesting what transpires. Perhaps Marinelli will look upon Stanton as the guy who finishes the transition – the proverbial “quarterback of the future.” And if THAT happens, you’ll be looking at some bumps along the way. I don’t see Detroit’s progress continuing in 2008; rather, I see a step backward.
JAY’S PREDICTION FOR 2008:
Detroit Lions — 5-11, 4th place, NFC North
(+600 to win division, +3000 to win NFC, +6500 to win Super Bowl in the Top Sportsbooks NFL futures betting odds)
The 2008 NFL betting season is coming, and if you like to bet on the NFL, you are in the best possible place for online betting. The BetUS sportsbook has NFL odds up on a ton of games, totals and propositions, and you will also find NFL future lines up for the Super Bowl as well. Join our sportsbooks today and we’ll help guide you right through to Super Bowl XLII and beyond!
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