Despite the Detroit Lions finishing ten spots behind division-rival Chicago in DVOA last season and dropping four straight games to the Chicago Bears, they opened as 1.5-point home favorites for Week 1.
The Chicago Bears are not a terrible matchup, stylistically. Detroit’s defense was respectable against the run last season and abysmal against the pass. Chicago will either be starting the inaccurate Mitch Trubisky or breaking free-agent acquisition into the offense. Either way, Chicago’s aerial attack shouldn’t be too intimidating. With Matt Stafford healthy and Jeff Okudah boosting the secondary, the Lions are worthy favorites whether there are fans at Ford Field or not.
We are also confident that this early line will change a few times while the season gets closer. The Chicago Bears defense was a clear safeguard last season as they were struggling QB-wise with Trubisky being very hit or miss. Now, after they hired Nick Foles, the question is who will lead the team? The 1.5 points spread seems to be set because of the home-field advantage, but just keep in mind this is a pretty tight game, and a good challenge for the Detroit Lions to face a new lineup. If bettors can get a better idea of who will be starting Week 1 for Chicago, the odds may change again.