Second-Place Lions Still Longshots In NFC North

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Photo credit © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
By 97.1 The Ticket
Coming off a 7-9 season, the Lions began this year as extreme underdogs in the NFC North. 

They've exceeded those expectations thus far, sitting in second place with a 2-1-1 record through Week 5. A critical game against the first-place Packers awaits next Monday at Lambeau Field. 

But Detroit's position in the standings hasn't done much to shift the outside perspective. According to the sportsbook, the Lions are still longshots to win the NFC North. 

The Packers are 11-10 favorites, followed by the Bears and Vikings at 3-1. The Lions are 6-1 underdogs, up from 8-1 last week.

Green Bay has a distinct advantage thanks to its 2-0 record in the division, adding to the stakes of Monday's game. Chicago is 1-1 in the division, while Minnesota is 0-2. Detroit has yet to play an NFC North foe. 

If you believe in the Lions, now would be a good time to place your bet. 

Elsewhere in the NFL, the Patriots are 3-1 favorites to win the Super Bowl, followed by the Chiefs (7-1) and the Saints (9-1). The Lions are 33-1. The Saints are favorites to win the NFC at 9-2, followed by the Packers and the Eagles at 7-1. The Lions are 16-1. 

In the MVP race, Patrick Mahomes is the odds-on favorite at 5-4. His closest challengers are Russell Wilson at 11-4, and Christian McCaffrey and DeShaun Watson at 15-2. Matthew Stafford, who has a career-high 102.4 passer rating through four games, checks in at 66-1, tied with Jameis Winston and Jared Goff.