'Hard Knocks' Comes For The Detroit Lions: Here's How Featured Teams Have Performed And 2022 Betting Odds

Zinger Key Points
  • Across 17 teams featured, nine had a gain in wins after being featured on Hard Knocks.
  • This marks the first time the Lions have been used as the feature team on the show.

The Detroit Lions are coming to Hard Knocks, the Emmy Award-winning series from HBO Sports. Before you place your bets on the Lions making the Playoffs or posting a winning record, here’s a look back on how teams have improved or regressed after their appearance on what HBO calls the “first sports-based reality series” on television.

What Happened: HBO Sports and the National Football League announced the Detroit Lions as the team to be featured on “Hard Knocks,” a show that will air on HBO and HBO Max, both owned by AT&T Inc T.

“Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The Detroit Lions” will feature five episodes, with a premiere release date of Aug. 9, 2022. The show marks the 17th “edition” of Hard Knocks, a show that is one of the most awarded sports programs in television history.

“We are excited about the opportunity to showcase the City of Detroit and the amazing culture we are building at the Lions,” Lions Team President and CEO Rod Wood said.

The show will feature head coach Dan Campbell in his second season leading the Lions and also center on a mix of veterans, young stars and likely on the Lions' second overall pick in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.

This marks the first time the Lions have been used as the feature team on the show. Quarterback Jared Goff was previously on two seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

Separately, the city of Detroit was also announced as the host city for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Related Link: Why The Detroit Lions And Dallas Cowboys Always Play On Thanksgiving Day

Hard Knocks Performance: Do teams that appear on Hard Knocks have better seasons than their previous years? Or does the show act similar to the “Madden Curse” seen with athletes who appear on the cover of the popular football video game from Electronic Arts Inc EA often having injuries or statistically bad seasons.

The NFL highlighted that eleven of the last thirteen teams that have been featured on Hard Knocks have posted improved records or equal records to the previous season. This includes the Cleveland Browns featured in the 2018 version when they went from 0-16 to a 7-8-1 record after being featured on Hard Knocks.

Here’s the performance from all the featured teams, with prior season record in parentheses:

  • 2001 Baltimore Ravens: 10-6, made playoffs (12-4, won Super Bowl)
  • 2002 Dallas Cowboys: 5-11 (5-11)
  • 2007 Kansas City Chiefs: 4-12 (9-7, made playoffs)
  • 2008 Dallas Cowboys: 9-7 (13-3, made playoffs)
  • 2009 Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6, made playoffs (4-11-1)
  • 2010 New York Jets: 11-5, made playoffs (9-7)
  • 2012 Miami Dolphins: 7-9 (6-10)
  • 2013 Cincinnati Bengals: 11-5, made playoffs (10-6, made playoffs)
  • 2014 Atlanta Falcons: 6-10 (4-12)
  • 2015 Houston Texans: 9-7, made playoffs (9-7, made playoffs)
  • 2016 Los Angeles Rams: 4-12 (7-9)
  • 2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-11 (9-7)
  • 2018 Cleveland Browns: 7-8-1 (0-16)
  • 2019 Oakland Raiders: 7-9 (4-12)
  • 2020 Los Angeles Chargers: 7-9 (5-11)
  • 2020 Los Angeles Rams: 10-6, made playoffs (9-7)
  • 2021 Dallas Cowboys: 12-5, made playoffs (6-10)
  • 2021 Indianapolis Colts (in-season series, not pre-season): 9-8 (11-5, made playoffs)

The records show why the NFL highlighted the last 13 teams to appear on the show, as the first four teams featured had a drop or equal number of wins from the previous season. This came as the show featured three playoff teams in the first four seasons.

Hard Knocks now typically follows teams that had down seasons, which could be why the Lions were selected.

Across 17 teams featured, nine had a gain in wins, two stayed the same and six saw a drop in wins after being featured on Hard Knocks. Across all 17 teams, the average gain was 0.59 wins. Not counting the first four featured teams, the average wins gained was 1.46.

Four of the teams featured on the show made the playoffs after previously missing them, but these teams also had records of 9-7, 9-7, 6-10 and 4-11-1 in the previous season.

Betting on the Lions: The Lions finished with a 3-13-1 record in the 2021 NFL season, raking second worst behind only the Jacksonville Jaguars at 3-14.

The season followed winless seasons and records of 6-10, 3-12-1 and 5-11 in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively, posting a composite record of 17-46-2 over the last four seasons.

The Lions last made the NFL Playoffs in the 2016 season, and have made the playoffs three times since 2000. The last Lions playoff win came in the 1991 season, and the team has yet to make an appearance at a Super Bowl.

A gain of 0.59 win or 1.46 win representing the averages of Hard Knocks would take the Lions to four or five wins for 2022 based on the history of the show.

Odds on DraftKings Inc DKNG sports betting app have the Lions listed at +15000 to win Super Bowl LVII, ranked second worst of all NFL teams.

The Lions have odds of +1200 to win the NFC North division.

The over/under on the Lions for the 2022 NFL season is 6 wins, which would mark a three game improvement.

Photo: Courtesy of davelawrence8 of Flick

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Posted In: NewsSports BettingSportsGeneralCleveland BrownsDallas CowboysDan CampbellDetroit LionsHard KnocksHBOHBO MaxNational Football Leaguenfl
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