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Thursday Night Football player props: Fade Jahmyr Gibbs hype in...

The first "Thursday Night Football" game of the NFL season between the Chiefs and Lions is expected to be entertaining. Veteran running backs David Montgomery and Jerick McKinnon are reliable options to watch.

The first "Thursday Night Football" game of the NFL season is always a highly anticipated event. This year, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions are set to face off in what promises to be an entertaining game. As I analyzed the matchup from a betting perspective, I couldn't help but focus on the veteran running backs, David Montgomery of the Lions and Jerick McKinnon of the Chiefs.

While they may not be the flashy options that catch everyone's attention, Montgomery and McKinnon are reliable and have specific strengths that make them valuable assets to their teams. In contrast, the young running backs, Jahmyr Gibbs and Isiah Pacheco, are the ones that tend to grab the spotlight. Gibbs, who was drafted in the first round by the Lions this year, is expected to make an immediate impact. Pacheco, on the other hand, emerged as a standout player for the Chiefs last year and is likely to carry the bulk of the workload on Thursday.

The situation in the backfield reminds me of when you get your first car. As a 17-year-old, all you want is a flashy sports car like a Chevy Camaro or a blacked-out Maserati. But your parents, knowing better, provide you with a reliable Honda Accord-like car that may not be as attractive but gets the job done efficiently. That's exactly what Montgomery and McKinnon are for their respective teams.

While the talk may be centered around Gibbs and Pacheco, there's a reason why Montgomery was brought into the Lions. Last year, the Lions employed a similar strategy with D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, utilizing a finesse runner and a bruiser. The Chiefs, on the other hand, re-signed McKinnon to provide pass protection and excel in third-down situations alongside Pacheco.

Montgomery, in particular, is a battering ram who excels at fighting through contact and finding his way into the end zone. Williams, his counterpart in Detroit last year, scored an impressive 17 touchdowns and was highly effective in the red zone. Gibbs, with his change-of-pace style, complements Montgomery perfectly and adds a different dimension to the Lions' offense.

Considering the absence of Chris Jones from the Chiefs' defensive line, there is an opportunity for the Lions to exploit the middle of the field with Montgomery. Instead of focusing solely on Montgomery's rushing yards prop, I believe his touchdown prop offers better value at +120.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, are facing some uncertainties. Travis Kelce, their star tight end, is dealing with a hyperextended knee and is questionable for the season opener. This opens the door for the Lions to keep the game close and potentially force the Chiefs into relying heavily on their passing game. Pacheco himself is recovering from two surgeries and may have a limited role in Week 1 as he works his way back to full strength.

McKinnon, known for his pass-catching abilities, was a reliable target for the Chiefs in the latter part of last season. He consistently recorded 25 or more receiving yards in five of the Chiefs' final seven regular-season games and was targeted an average of 4.2 times per game. With the potential absence of Kelce, McKinnon's role in the passing game is likely to increase, making his receiving yards prop of around 24-26 an intriguing option.

In a roster filled with young and inexperienced players, it's easy for bettors to be enticed by the shiny new objects like Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney. However, when it comes down to it, who will be there to support Patrick Mahomes in the backfield? It's the reliable and experienced Jerick McKinnon.

So, as you watch the first "Thursday Night Football" game of the NFL season, keep an eye on the running backs. While the young stars may grab the headlines, it's the veterans like David Montgomery and Jerick McKinnon who often prove to be the difference-makers in the end.

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