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(9/7/23) 8:20PM Eastern.
Spread: Lions +4.5 / Chiefs -4.5
ML: Lions +180 / Chiefs -220
Isiah Pacheco Over 49.5 Rushing Yards
For starters the Lions run defense was atrocious in 2022. The 146.5 yards per game they allowed ranked 29th in the NFL. Since cementing himself as RB1 Pacheco went over this rushing yard total in 8 of 9 regular season games and in 2 of the Chiefs 3 post-season games. The Chiefs passing attack is also a bit questionable heading into Thursday night. Kelce just hyper extended his Knee during Tuesday's practice and may not play. Even if he does suit up he's unlikely to be 100%. Kadarius Toney just returned to practice after missing nearly all of training camp and he only had 14 catches for the Chiefs in 2022. JuJu is also gone, he had 78 catches for 933 yards last season. KC ranked 9th averaging 4.7 yards per rush attempt in 2022 and are more than comfortable running the football.
Jerrick McKinnon Over 25.5 Rec Yards
With some of those injuries and question marks in the receiver room, McKinnon should see more opportunities in the passing game. He erupted as a pass catcher for KC last season and was a pivotal part of their success down the stretch. He went over 25.5 receiving yards in 9 of the Chiefs last 12 regular season games. His explosiveness was on display averaging 9.7 yards after the catch. He averaged 9.1 yards per reception by the way, most of his work came at or behind the LOS. KC simply gave him the ball in space and let him work.
Jahmyr Gibbs Over 31.5 Rec Yards
The electric rookie from Alabama is likely to play inside the 20's as former DET RB DeAndre Swift did. He's a lethal receiver with tremendous route running ability. He caught 44 passes for 444 yards with Alabama last year and 36 for 470 in his final season at Georgia Tech. Lions OC Ben Johnson has lined him up all over the field throughout camp. He only played 1 quarter this pre-season and had 1 catch on 1 target for 18 yards. The Chiefs also allowed the 3rd most receiving yards per game to running backs in 2022.
David Montgomery Anytime TD +115
David Montgomery was brought in to replace Jamaal Williams in short yardage situations. Last season Williams ran for an incredible 17 touchdowns for Detroit but he departed for New Orleans. Montgomery has the size for it and has been utilized in camp as the Lions goal line running back. He has nearly 25 pounds on the rookie Gibbs and with that the ability to gain tough yards. With the highest Total set for week 1, there will be scoring opportunities for Monty in this one.
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