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The NFL kicks off the 2023 season this Thursday night when the Detroit Lions make their first trip in 20 years to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. The home team will hang a banner for its Super Bowl win while the Lions are outright favorites to win their division for the first time since 1982.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Detroit Lions – game predictions
- 1 Kansas City Chiefs vs Detroit Lions – game predictions
- 2 Chiefs vs Lions preview – who blinks first on offense?
- 3 Key match details
The Chiefs are a 4.5-point home favorite with a total of 53 points. The spread has moved down from Chiefs -6.5 due to the holdout of Chris Jones and a knee injury for Travis Kelce, two of the team’s three best players.
Prediction 1: Over 53 total points @ -110 (1.91)
The only time Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff met in 2018, the final score was 54-51. Things should not be that crazy this time, but the Lions (316) and Chiefs (313) are the only teams to have over 300 combined points in their season openers since 2018. Detroit’s defense is still going to have its hands full. The last time Mahomes played without Kelce, he threw for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 36-10 win over the 2021 Steelers. But Kansas City’s defense is also going to be greatly tested by Detroit’s high-scoring offense, which features Amon-Ra St. Brown and a new backfield with rookie Jahmyr Gibbs. Points should be frequent in this shootout, so the over is a great bet.
Prediction 2: Skyy Moore over 45.5 receiving yards @ -129 (1.78)
With or without Kelce, the Chiefs have big hopes for second-year wideout Skyy Moore. The Chiefs lost JuJu Smith-Schuster, last year’s No. 1 wide receiver, and Kadarius Toney is literally always injured. Moore should see the field often and can take advantage of a great opportunity without Kelce and against an unimpressive Detroit secondary. Look for him to make a statement in Week 1 and go over 45.5 yards.
All eyes will be on the Chiefs playing shorthanded, but this is a big opportunity for the Lions to show they are a legitimate contender in the NFC this year by outscoring the Chiefs on the road.
Kansas City Chiefs form, news and injuries
The Chiefs still have the best player in the NFL (Mahomes), but they are going to be in a bind as Kelce is significantly the best receiving target on this team, and Jones is easily the best pass rusher after the team also let go of Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap. But Andy Reid can usually cook up something good with backups.
Kansas City Chiefs injury report:
- TE Travis Kelce (knee) is questionable
- DT Chris Jones (holdout) is out
- TE Jody Fortson (shoulder) is out
- S Nazeeh Johnson (knee) is out
- WR Nikko Remigio (wrist) is out
Detroit Lions form, news and injuries
After finishing 9-8, the Lions are hoping for a faster start under coach Dan Campbell in his third season. The Lions, favored to win the NFC North, should be formidable on offense but need to improve a defense that allowed the most yards in the league in 2022.
Detroit Lions injury report:
- CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee) is out
- QB Nate Sudfeld (knee) is out
- LB Julian Okwara (arm) is out
- TE Shane Zylstra (knee) is out
- QB Hendon Hooker (knee) is out
Chiefs vs Lions head to head record
The teams have only met 5 times since realignment in 2002:
- 2019: Chiefs won 34-30 in Detroit
- 2015: Chiefs won 45-10 in London
- 2011: Lions won 48-3 in Detroit
- 2007: Lions won 25-20 in Detroit
- 2003: Chiefs won 45-17 in Kansas City
Key match details
- Date & Time: Thursday, September 7, 2023, 08:20 p.m. ET
- Venue: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
- Where to watch match in UK: Sky Sports (TV), fuboTV, or other live stream
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