DJ Chark to IR adds to the Lions injury frustration

Chark has played just three games and will now miss at least the next four

One of the more disappointing developments of the 2022 season for the Lions has been the relative lack of impact from free agent wide receiver DJ Chark. Signed from Jacksonville for a one-year, $10 million contract, Chark has caught just seven of the 18 passes thrown his way in the first three games before missing the last two with an ankle injury.

That ankle will keep Chark out for at least the next month, too. Chark was placed on injured reserve on Saturday, a day before the Lions face the Cowboys in Dallas in Week 7. Being placed on IR means Chark must miss at least the next four Lions games.

Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, perhaps foreshadowing the move, talked about the frustration with Chark’s lack of health and impact earlier this week.

“DJ we were hoping would be a big part of our offense this year and his availability hasn’t been there for us,” Johnson said during the week. “So, it’s been disappointing from that regard. But when we do get him back, we’ll be real excited to get him back in the fold.”

Chark missed 12 games with the Jaguars in 2021 with an injury to the same ankle. Even so, he was expected to provide a big target for Jared Goff who can win down the field and outside the numbers. Chark did that effectively for Jacksonville in 2019 and 2020 before the injuries hit.

With first-round pick Jameson Williams still sidelined as he recovers from January knee surgery, the Lions are now without their top two speed weapons in Johnson’s offense. Josh Reynolds has also battled with a knee injury and is questionable for Week 7. Another wideout, Quintez Cephus, is on IR after suffering a foot injury in the loss in New England.

Presuming Reynolds plays in Dallas, the Lions will have top target Amon-Ra St. Brown, Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, Tom Kennedy and freshly signed Maurice Alexander, who was inked from the practice squad to take Chark’s spot on the 53-man roster.

It makes for a Lions rendition of Poison’s classic “Every Rose Has its Thorn”. The sunshine provided by the return of CB Jerry Jacobs and DL Josh Paschal gets clouded by the disappointing Chark development.

Lions in a strange place with playoff elimination odds

The Lions are not as likely to be the first team eliminated from the postseason as their record might indicate

If the NFL season ended today, the Detroit Lions would hold the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. The Lions’ 1-4 record is better than only the Panthers and Raiders, who are both 1-5.

However, the Lions aren’t necessarily viewed as lowly as the record might indicate. In fact, Detroit has more postseason vitality than the division rival Chicago Bears according to one sportsbook.

The posted odds for being the first team eliminated from postseason contention at list the Bears with better chances than the Lions. Chicago is 2-4. The Panthers, Commanders (who the Lions beat), Texans and Steelers also are more likely to be the first team eliminated than the Lions are entering Week 7.

The Panthers, who fired coach Matt Rhule already and are dealing with several key injuries of their own, are the smart choice to be the first team eliminated.

Odds watch: Lions open as big underdogs vs. Cowboys

Odds watch: Lions open as big underdogs vs. the Cowboys in Week 7

It won’t be easy for the Detroit Lions to get back into the win column in Week 7. The Lions come off their bye week to be a hefty underdog against the Dallas Cowboys in the early betting lines.

The 1-4 Lions are 6.5-point underdogs in the opening line at Tipico Sportsbook. Dallas is coming off a 26-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night in Week 6, dropping the Cowboys’ record to 4-2. The Cowboys will get QB Dak Prescott back for the visit from the Lions after the regular starter missed the last five games with a thumb injury.

The full odds from Sportsbook Wire:

Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Monday at 7:45 a.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Lions +245 (bet $100 to win $245) | Cowboys -300 (bet $300 to win $100)

  • Against the spread (ATS): Lions +6.5 (-103) | Cowboys -6.5 (-117)

  • Over/Under (O/U): 47.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Lions grow as underdogs in Week 5 matchup with the Patriots

The Detroit Lions are underdogs in the Week 5 matchup with the New England Patriots and the spread is growing

Both the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots enter their Week 5 matchup with 1-3 records. While the Patriots appear poised to start rookie Bailey Zappe at quarterback due to injuries, the lengthy list of injured players in Detroit has led the odds in New England’s favor.

On Wednesday, SportsBook Wire and Tipico Sportsbook had the Lions being 3-point underdogs.

  • Spread Favorite: Patriots (-3)
  • Moneyline: Patriots (-166), Lions (+138)
  • Total: 45.5 Points

As of Thursday morning at 8 a.m., the Patriots have moved up to being 3.5-point favorites.

The Lions were 3-0 against the spread prior to the Week 4 loss against Seattle, where Detroit was a 3.5-point favorite to win at home.

Odds watch: Lions are early favorites over the Seahawks in Week 4

The Detroit Lions are early favorites over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4

For the second time in three weeks, the Detroit Lions are favored by the oddsmakers to win on Sunday. The Lions are an early 4.5-point favorite in Week 4 against the visiting Seattle Seahawks.

Both teams are 1-2 and coming off losses in Week 3. Seattle fell at home to the previously winless Atlanta Falcons, 27-23. The Lions lost their first road game of the season, 28-24, at Minnesota.

The Lions are 3-0 against the spread this season, including a 9-point win in Week 2 as 1.5-point home favorites over the Washington Commanders. That game marked the first time Detroit was favored to win in 24 games.

From our colleagues at Sportsbook Wire and Tipico SportsBook,

  • Spread Favorite: Lions (-4.5)
  • Moneyline: Lions (-216), Seahawks (+178)
  • Total: 50 Points

The line could change with injury updates throughout the week. This point spread was as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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Lions open as big underdogs in Week 3 at Minnesota

The 1-1 Detroit Lions open as underdogs of more than a touchdown in their Week 3 matchup at the Minnesota Vikings

The 1-1 Detroit Lions head west on their first road trip of the 2022 season in Week 3. The Lions travel to Minnesota to take on the division rival Vikings next Sunday.

Fresh off a 36-27 victory over the Washington Commanders, a game where the Lions were favored by oddsmakers for the first time in 24 games, Dan Campbell’s Detroit team is back to the more familiar underdog role in the early betting lines.

From our friends at Sportsbook Wire, the latest line as of Monday morning.

  • Money line: Lions +250 (bet $100 to win $250) | Vikings -300 (bet $300 to win $100)

  • Against the spread (ATS): Lions +7.5 (-120) | Vikings -7.5 (+100)

  • Over/Under (O/U): 51.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Keep in mind the Vikings haven’t played in Week 2 yet. Minnesota plays on Monday night at Philadelphia against the same Eagles team that beat the Lions 38-35 in Week 1 in Detroit. The Monday night game outcome should have some impact on the line here. If you’re feeling confident in the Lions, the time to buy in on the Week 3 game is before the Vikings-Eagles game; the line is likely to go down unless the Vikings put on a dominant performance.

The Lions are 2-0 vs. the spread this year and have scored a league-high 71 points (tied with Kansas City through two games). The Vikings beat the spread as well as the visiting Green Bay Packers in Week 1, 23-7.

Lions favored for the first time in over 20 games

The Lions are favored in Week 2 against the Washington Commanders, the 1st time Detroit has been favored since Week 11 of 2020

Sipping the morning coffee, I thought maybe my wife spiked my mug with some Honolulu blue Kool-Aid. But no, it was not a blurry-eyed delusion or a misprint.

The Detroit Lions are favored in Week 2. Dan Campbell’s 0-1 Lions are favored by 2.5 points at Tipico Sportsbook against the visiting Washington Commanders in Sunday’s matchup at Ford Field despite Washington bringing in a 1-0 record.

It’s been a long time since these Lions were favored to win. More than a full season.

The last time the Lions were favored was Week 11 of the 2020 season against the Carolina Panthers. Those Lions entered that game with a 4-5 record after beating Washington the week earlier, another game where Detroit was favored — by the same 2.5-point line, no less.

The coffee got a little bitter when I went back to look at that game against the Panthers. Carolina blanked Matt Patricia’s Lions 20-0 behind backup QB P.J. Walker in what was one of Matthew Stafford’s least productive performances as the Lions quarterback, with zero run game (17 carries, 40 yards) to help him.

Going back a bit further, the Lions have not been favored in a game where the opponent has a winning record since Week 7 of the 2018 season against the Miami Dolphins. Detroit won that game, 32-21 in Miami.

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