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NFL Week 1 ‘Thursday Night Football’ game picks and predictions

The 2023 NFL season is here, and we’ve got a potentially spicy Thursday Night Football matchup between the Lions and Chiefs to kick things off. Read on for our picks and predictions for the first game of the year.

NFL: SEP 29 Chiefs at Lions Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2023 NFL season officially kicks off tonight! Our first Thursday Night Football matchup of the season also has the potential to be the best, as the ascending Detroit Lions travel to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. This is likely to be a high-flying offensive showcase, and the over/under of 53.5 reflects that. Can the upstart Lions, who finished strong in 2022 after a shaky start, pull off the upset over battle-tested Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs?

Let’s get right to tonight’s pick, which I’ll be making on a straight moneyline (aka picking the winner) basis. I’ll still provide the information on the spread and over/under, for those interested. At the bottom, I’ll show the rest of the staff’s picks for the game.

All odds are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook and are subject to change. See the current odds here.

Thursday Night Football: Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs

The pick: Chiefs (-205)

Spread: Chiefs -4.5 | Over/Under: 53.5 | Moneyline: Chiefs -205, Lions +185

This is a potentially spicy season opener with a big cloud hanging over it for the Chiefs. Travis Kelce’s status is obviously huge here, but even without their star target, I just trust Kansas City to get this done. I do like the Lions and think they’ll be a legitimate playoff contender this season, but it’s a very tall order to go into Arrowhead and knock off the defending champs. The biggest issue for Detroit is the defense, and while it should be better than 2022, that’s probably not going to be enough to slow down Patrick Mahomes.

Staff picks

What are your picks and predictions for tonight’s Thursday Night Football matchup?

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.