Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Matchup Preview (1/3/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

The Vikings and Lions game will be quite a boring game as both teams are out of playoff contention. The Lions would rather lose this game as they have the hopes of moving up in the draft for next season. They currently sit in the 7th slot but have the potential to move up to 4 if everything goes their way. For that, the Lions would have to lose, the Eagles beat Washington, the Bengals beat the Ravens, and the Texans beat the Titans. With a Lions’ loss, they can move up one spot for every game that is won by the underdog mentioned above, but a win would shoot them far down the draft list to at most 15 in a crazy turn of events. The safe bet for them would be to lose this game. With an injured Matthew Stafford, it should not be too difficult to do, seeing how the Vikings beat up the Lions 34-20 earlier in the season. Losing the last three weeks has sent the Vikings out of any potential playoff spot, with last week being a brutal way to enter the final week. Alvin Kamara tied the most touchdowns in a single game NFL record with six against the Vikings’ defense as they ran up the score to 52. After leaving that as a game to forget, the Viking also do not have anything to play for besides losing and receiving a better draft pick. This could easily turn into who wants to lose more, but maybe pride is also on the line. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions matchup page.

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, January 3th, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Location: Ford Field – Detroit, MI
TV Coverage: FOX

Vikings vs. Lions Live Stream

Where can you watch Vikings vs. Lions online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Vikings vs. Lions Free Online Now.

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Injuries:

Minnesota Vikings: C. Dantzler (undisclosed) Q, T. Dye (out), T. Davis (out), C. Ham (out), A. Mattison (out), E. Kendricks (out), K. Rudolph (out), J. Holmes (out)
Detroit Lions: J. Dahl (back) Q, M. Stafford (ankle) Q, J. Kearse (out), K. Golladay (out), T. Crosby (out), F. Ragnow (out), J. Collins Sr. (out)

Minnesota Vikings Analysis

Minnesota VikingsIt has been a down and up and down season for the Vikings this year as they started the season with a 1-5 record with little hope to go on. Then Dalvin Cook exploded into a top running back, leading the Vikings to win five of their next six games to bring the back to 6-6. Losing their last three games has set the Vikings to where they sit now with a 6-9 record with no hopes of fighting for a playoff spot even with the additional wild card position. So because they have nothing to play for this year, I’ll change such an outlook for next year.

They have a solid receiving corps with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, who emerged on the scene in a big way. Jefferson is currently sitting in eighth in receiving yards for the season with 1,267 yards. Meanwhile, Adam Thielen finished with 14 touchdowns, which are third among receivers. On the running back front, they have two amazing options with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. Cook finished second in yards and tied for first in touchdowns among running backs. Mattison has no crazy stats from this season as Cook did the majority of the work, but his explosiveness is something that defenses have to fear when the Vikings bring him in as a change of pace. Kirk Cousins, for all the grief he gets, has not been in the bottom tier of quarterbacks, but the Vikings definitely need to be in the hunt for a new quarterback, whether it be in the draft or through signing a new one. His ceiling has restricted the Vikings from going above and beyond, and it showed this year. If they want a Super Bowl-contending team, they are going to need an upgrade.

Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart

QB: Kirk Cousins
RB1: Dalvin Cook
RB2: Alexander Mattison
WR1: Adam Thielen
WR2: Justin Jefferson
WR3: Bisi Johnson
TE: Kyle Rudolph

Detroit Lions Analysis

Detroit LionsIt would be in the Lions’ best interest to not do what the Jets did in the last few weeks and blow their top draft pick for the upcoming draft. There is no reason to try to win this game for the Lions as it could potentially drop them down a significant number of spots if things were to go perfectly wrong. There is no reason to start Stafford this week and risk him injuring himself even more when the Lions could plan to trade him away during the offseason. They need to go out and lose this game to even have the potential for moving up in the draft even farther. It is time to move on to 2021 for the Lions.

The Lions have a solid new foundation built around D’Andre Swift, who, after many failed attempts, could be the running back for the future. While his season-long stats are not flashy, he has proven to be a vital part of the Lions’ offense, especially after Kenny Golladay had to miss a large portion of the end of the season. Another strong spot is T.J. Hockenson, who has emerged a top tight end in the league. He is currently in third for receiving yards and receptions and seventh in touchdowns. Those are not bad numbers when on the Lions. This shows the importance of the first-round pick as it has the potential to change the outlook on the team. That is why the Lions cannot take this game seriously and win as it will hurt their chances of getting the player they need in the first round. As for receivers, the impact of Golladay has been seen over the past several weeks of him sitting out. He is their playmaker, and without him, their ball movement has dwindled.

Detroit Lions Depth Chart

QB: Matthew Stafford
RB1: Kerryon Johnson
RB2: D’Andre Swift
WR1: Marvin Jones
WR2: Kenny Golladay
WR3: Danny Amendola
TE: T.J. Hockenson

Betting Corner Vikings -6.5

It would be difficult for the Vikings not to cover this week even after being destroyed by the Saints last week. The Lions look horrible without Matthew Stafford, and the Vikings have Dalvin Cook to carry them to victory. Even if the Vikings have nothing to play for, they should be covering easily this week. I would take the over as well. Seeing back to their last matchup, they put up 54 points as the Vikings ran up the score on the Lions, who have had trouble defending. The Vikings will dominate this game and run the score up to stick it to the Lions.

Spread: Vikings -7
Moneyline: Vikings -305, Lions +240
Over/Under: 54.5

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Daily Fantasy Picks

Dalvin Cook
There is always a good time to play Dalvin Cook as he has been nothing short of a beast this year. It seems like he finds the endzone at least once every week and adds 100+ yards to most of them as well. The Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs in the league this season, which you can assume Cook will take advantage of. He has given spectacular performances against stronger defenses, so there is nothing to say that he will not do it again this week. The Lions should be freely letting him run as it is in their best interest to lose this game, giving fantasy owners a bountiful opportunity with Cook this week.

Justin Jefferson
In the passing game, Justin Jefferson has a great opportunity to put a cherry on top of a beautiful season. He already is in the top 10 for receiving yards, so he has the chance to expand on that this week with a great matchup. The Lions have allowed the second-most fantasy points to receivers this season, and Jefferson should be the one picking up most of the work. Thielen is the team’s red-zone threat, but Jefferson’s downfield catch-making ability will prove to dominate the Lions and could result in a touchdown or two as the Lions should not be too concerned with the Vikings scoring.

  
I am a student at the University of Michigan studying Sport Management. I have been involved in sports as long as I can remember, playing football, baseball, and basketball. I also love learning how to play songs on the piano and ukulele.

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