Lions vs. Chiefs prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 1

How to bet on the Chiefs in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs open the 2023 season at home against the upstart Detroit Lions on Thursday, Sept. 7.

Detroit finished the 2022 season strong, making the team a trendy pick to win the NFC North in 2023. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are looking to put together another strong season – they’ve never won fewer than 12 games with Mahomes as the starting quarterback – as the Super Bowl favorites in 2023. 

Kansas City is favored at home in this game, but the team hasn’t exactly been the best team to bet on against the spread at home in recent seasons. Still, BetSided’s NFL analyst Iain MacMillan has the Chiefs covering as his best bet for this game. You can read more of his picks for Week 1 here.

There are plenty of key players, injuries and trends to factor in when wagering on this game, which I’ll break down below. 

Luckily, no matter how you plan to wager on this game, you can come out a winner at DraftKings Sportsbook. New users who sign up with the link below will instantly receive $200 in bonus bets if they deposit and wager $5 on any game – including this matchup. 

Let’s break down the odds and my best bet for the Chiefs’ Week 1 game: 

Lions vs. Chiefs odds, spread and total

Lions vs. Chiefs betting trends

  • The Chiefs were 8-11-1 against the spread last season (including playoffs).
  • The Lions were 12-5 against the spread last season.
  • The Chiefs were 3-5-1 ATS as home favorites in 2022 (including playoffs). 
  • The Lions were 5-2 ATS as road underdogs in 2022.
  • Detroit is a league-best 23-11 ATS since Dan Campbell took over as the team’s head coach in 2021.
  • The Chiefs were 9-11 on OVERs in 2022 (including playoffs).
  • The Lions were 10-7 on OVERs in 2022. 

Lions vs. Chiefs injury reports

Detroit Lions injury report

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown (questionable, ankle)
  • Emmanuel Moseley (questionable, knee)

Notes: St. Brown practiced on Sunday and looks to be on track to play in Thursday’s season opener. 

Kansas City Chiefs injury report

  • L’Jarius Sneed (questionable, knee)
  • Kadarius Toney (questionble, knee)
  • Chris Jones (out, holdout)

Notes: Sneed and Toney reportedly are “good to go” for Thursday’s opener. Jones could return if he ends his holdout from Kansas City. 

Lions vs. Chiefs how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, Sept. 7
  • Game Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Arrowhead Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): NBC
  • Detroit Lions Record: 0-0
  • Kansas City Chiefs Record: 0-0 

Lions vs. Chiefs key players to watch

Detroit Lions

Jahmyr Gibbs: A first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Gibbs is an electric player out of the backfield that could be used in a variety of ways by the Lions. He should get solid touches if he plays more of the D’Andre Swift role from last season, but he and David Montgomery look to be in a 1A/1B scenario. Gibbs could be a matchup nightmare for the Chiefs’ linebackers in Week 1 in the passing game. 

Sam LaPorta: Another rookie, LaPorta should have a role in the Lions’ passing game from day one. The second-round pick has some major shoes to fill (TJ Hockenson is one of the game’s best tight ends), but his presence should open things up for Amon-Ra St. Brown. 

Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes: The reigning Super Bowl and league MVP may have a field day against a Lions team that was dead last in the NFL in yards per play allowed last season. Mahomes has a lot of interesting weapons from Travis Kelce to wideouts Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney, and Rashee Rice. 

Skyy Moore: Who will be the No. 1 receiver for Kansas City this season? It could be Moore, a 2022 second-round pick, although Andy Reid’s offense allows Mahomes to spread the ball around. This is a receiver room worth monitoring for prop betting and fantasy players since Kansas City has such a high-powered offense. 

Lions vs. Chiefs prediction and pick

There are a few ways you can wager on this game, but my favorite is Kansas City’s team total, taking the OVER 30.5 points.

As I mentioned above, Detroit’s defense was terrible in 2022, allowing the most yards per play in the NFL and the fourth most points. That’s not ideal when you’re facing an offense led by Patrick Mahomes. 

Even though a lot of teams come out a little rusty in Week 1, that hasn’t been the Chiefs style under Mahomes. 

Here’s how many points Kansas City has scored in Week 1 since Mahomes took over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2018: 

  • 2018: 38 (beat the Los Angeles Chargers 38-28)
  • 2019: 40 (beat Jacksonville 40-26)
  • 2020: 34 (beat Houston 34-20)
  • 2021: 33 (beat Cleveland 33-29)
  • 2022: 44 (beat Arizona 44-21)

So, not only has Mahomes and this K.C. offense cleared 30 points in each of these Week 1 games, but the Chiefs are averaging 37.8 Week 1 points per game in the Mahomes era. 

I do think Detroit’s offense is going to be one of the better units in the league this season, so with Chris Jones potentially out, I don’t mind expecting a shootout where Kansas City gets the last laugh. 

Rather than playing with the full-game OVER at 54, I’ll back Mahomes and company to hold up their end of the bargain in Week 1. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.