Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions Pick and Preview
NFC North Divisional Matchup
Point Spread: Vikings +2.0 | Total Points: 52.5
The Vikings come into this NFC North game vs Detroit looking to pick up their 3rd straight win. For the year, they have an above .500 record at 10-2. Minnesota will look to add on another win, as they picked up non-conference victory over the New York Jets (27-22). The team not only won the game but also covered the -3.0 point spread as the betting favorite. In terms of the over-under, the teams combined for 49 points, which surpassed the betting line of 44.
Leading into their week 14 NFC North matchup against Minnesota, the Lions have an overall record of 5-7. Last week, the Lions knocked off the Jaguars by a score of 40-14. Detroit entered the game as -1.0 point favorites and went on to cover the spread. With their combined 51 points, the two teams exceeded the betting over-under number of 51.
Vikings vs Lions History
The last time these two teams played came back in week 3, where the Vikings picked up a 28-24 win over the Lions. Key to the team’s win was their productivity near the goal line, as they converted in the red zone at a rate of 100.0% on 3 trips. Even though the Vikings walked away with the straight-up win, they were not able to cover the spread as 6.5 point favorites. The over-under betting line going into the game was set at 51.5 points. The two teams combined to surpass this figure with a total of 52.
In the last 3 head-to-head matchups, the Vikings are averaging 24 points per game, compared to the Lions at 23. These figures have led to Minnesota posting a record of 2-1. Detroit will look to do a better job at home in this series, as across their 3 most recent home games vs Minnesota, they are just 0-3. In terms of betting, Detroit holds a recent edge vs the spread, going 4-1 in the previous 5 meetings. These games have finished with an average point total of 54, leading to an over-under mark of 4-1.
- Eric Kendricks (Shoulder) Probable
- Patrick Peterson (Illness) Questionable
- Harrison Smith (Illness) Questionable
- C.J. Ham (Illness) Questionable
- Danielle Hunter (Illness) Questionable
- Jonathan Bullard (Bicep) Questionable
- Cameron Dantzler Sr. (Ankle) Questionable
- Garrett Bradbury (Back) Questionable
- Ty Chandler (Ankle) Questionable
- Christian Darrisaw (Concussion) Questionable
- Theo Jackson (Illness) Questionable
- Taylor Decker (Elbow) Questionable
- Kalif Raymond (Illness) Questionable
- Nate Sudfeld (Illness) Questionable
- Evan Brown (Ankle) Questionable
- DeShon Elliott (Ankle) Questionable
- Frank Ragnow (Foot) Questionable
- Craig Reynolds (Ribs) Questionable
- D’Andre Swift (Ankle) Questionable
- Quintez Cephus (Foot) Questionable
- Jeff Okudah (Illness) Questionable
- Kayode Awosika (Ankle) Questionable
- Derrick Barnes (Knee) Questionable
Keys To Victory: Minnesota Vikings
In what is projected to be a tightly contested game, Kirk Cousins will be looking to put together a strong performance for a Minnesota offense ranked 11th in points per game. This season, he has completed 64.6% of his passes, leading an average of 244.4 yards per game in the passing attack. In his last performance, he threw for 173 passing yards and put together a passer rating of 82.2. Justin Jefferson has been targeted 127 times and has caught 69.3% of the passes thrown his way. He comes into the game with a total of 1277 receiving yards.
A key to the Vikings chances in the game is if they will be able to put together a stronger effort on the ground. The team would benefit from being able to control time of possession, as the Lions’ offense is one of the better scoring units in the NFL. But so far, Minnesota is averaging just 127.0 yards per game on the ground.
Keys To Victory: Detroit Lions
Compared to other NFL teams, the Lions’ offense has performed well this year, averaging 26.3 points per game (6th). Yet, the team comes into action with an average scoring differential of -0.75 points per game. Look for the Lions to rely heavily on the passing attack in this week’s matchup, as not only are they one of the better teams at moving the ball through the air, but they have a good matchup against a Vikings defense that is ranked 32nd in yards per game vs the pass. At the quarterback position, Jared Goff has completed 64.9% of his passes, leading to a total of 3022 yards. In addition, his passer rating of 95.73 ranks well compared to other QBs. Goff could add to these numbers with a big performance vs Minnesota. Going into the game, the team’s leader in receiving yards is Amon-Ra St. Brown, who has caught 76.0% of the balls thrown his way for a total of 830 yards.
On the ground, the Lions should be able to put in yet another strong performance, as they are currently the 10th ranked team in rush yards per game and face off vs a defense that is vulnerable up front. So far, the team’s leading rusher is Jamaal Williams, who is averaging 4.1 yards per attempt. Through 12 games, he has rushed for a total of 769 yards on the ground.
- Minnesota is 2-2-1 ATS in their last 5 games on the road.
- Minnesota is 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
- Minnesota is 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games as the underdog.
- Minnesota is 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games as the favorite.
This game seems like a trap. Nobody can figure out why the Lions are 2 point favorites… but they are. However, we actually like the Lions this week. So we’re disappointed by the spread as our team was looking forward to picking a spoiler. Take the Lions or avoid this game all together.
See all our Week 14 NFL Picks here.