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For the first time since 2017, the Detroit Lions finished their season with a winning record.

After a 1-6 start to their 2022 campaign, the Lions went 8-2 in November, December, and January, and there is a lot of good vibes around the franchise ahead of the 2023 National Football League Draft next week.

And there should be: Detroit has the No. 6 and No. 18 picks in the first round, which should help the Lions pick up two more franchise-changing players. When you consider the top four–and maybe the top five–picks could all be quarterbacks, Detroit should be able to get a chance to pick up the best non-quarterback in the whole draft.

Talk about exciting.

When you look at the odds on the Lions heading into the draft, you will see that most gambling sites around the country, and especially betting apps in Michigan, have Detroit as the early favorite to win the NFC North. Right now–and it is very early in the year–the Lions have been installed at odds of +140 to win the division, ahead of the Minnesota Vikings, who went 13-4 last season (odds of +280). There is a lot of faith that Detroit can make up that ground: when you consider that five of Detroit’s eight losses last year were by four points or less, it seems like that can be the case.

Many things can change between now and September: there will be injuries all over the landscape, the draft will change perceptions of teams, and players will move.

Can the Lions really win the NFC North?

Maybe the question should be, can Detroit win the NFC?

Why stop there? Can the Lions win the Super Bowl?

If you are looking for a recent blueprint as to what this team could do, there are a couple from the last two seasons. The Cincinnati Bengals went to the Super Bowl after the 2021 campaign, and the Philadelphia Eagles came out of nowhere to make the playoffs in 2021, then were arguably the best team all season in 2022.

If the Lions can replicate what either of those two franchises have done–and both look likely to be in the upper echelon of the NFL for the foreseeable future–this could be the start of a fun period for fans of the Lions.

And you might be able to make a little money on them as well: if you backed them last season, you are already in the green.   

If you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

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