Pistons, Red Wings, Lions: Which Michigan Teams Can Succeed This Fall?

Michigan, or more aptly, the city of Detroit, is in a bit of a funk when it comes to success in the Big 4 Sports Leagues. Back in April, when the Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from any hopes of making the NHL Playoffs, it marked a low point in sports for the city. Indeed, it’s now nine years since any Big 4 franchise from Detroit has won a playoff series. That goes back to 2013, when the Detroit Tigers won their ALDS series against Oakland. Since then, it’s been pretty much disappointing season after disappointing season.

Right now, as the MLB regular season trundles towards the postseason, the Tigers find themselves bottom of the AL Central Division. As such, there will be no let-up in this unwanted drought for the city. But the fall always brings renewed hope. And Detroit fans will look forward to the start of the new seasons in the NFL (September), NHL, and NBA (both October). But which of the Detroit teams, if any, can succeed in the coming months? Who can bring some cheer back to a city fanbase bereft of postseason action? Let’s look at the three Detroit teams below:

NFL: Detroit Lions

If we are going strictly by the betting odds, the Lions have no chance to win a Super Bowl this season. In fact, some sportsbooks have the Lions’ odds as high as 100/1 to win Super Bowl LVII in February of next year, which is firmly in miracle territory. And yet, the ambition of Lions’ fans is not to win honors – at least not yet. What they want is to see a platform, something to build on for future seasons.

The team went 3-13-1 last season, the second-worst record (behind the woeful Jaguars) in NFL. Fans will simply want to see improvement, with the team getting closer to .500 being the first port of call. It’s not completely mad to think the Lions can get out of the NFC North and into the Playoffs, but at the very least, they should be targeting a finish above the Chicago Bears. It’s all about building, but fans will believe they have been here before.

NBA: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons’ odds make the Lions look like frontrunners, with quotes of 500/1 with some betting firms. As with the Lions, the Pistons posted a horrible record last season (23-59), and the organization hasn’t made the moves in the offseason to suggest that things will change in the 2022/23 NBA season. Again, the best that the franchise can hope for is signs of improvement, enough to offer a platform for younger players to start showing their potential. The team has now gone six seasons without posting a winning record, and the last three saw wins of 23 or fewer. It is very unlikely we will see the Pistons in the Play-Offs next year. Although

NHL Detroit Red Wings

The last great hope of Detroit sports this upcoming season? The Red Wings have odds of around 50/1. That sounds like a lot, but plenty of sports teams have defied those sportsbook prices before. The Red Wings have a better platform to build on than the other Detroit teams, and it would not be wholly surprising to see the team in Playoff contention next year. Some smart moves might be called for in the offseason, and the Red Wings really have to sort out a rotten defense. But there is a chance – albeit a slim one – to enter the postseason for the first time since 2016. Will that be enough to end the city’s drought of postseason victories? We will have to wait and see.