In week 14 of the NFL season as we loom closer to the postseason, we are presented with yet another NFC North matchup game. This time we have the division leading Minnesota Vikings to take on the Detroit Lions. The Minnesota Vikings currently stand at 10-2 and hold the No. 2 spot in the NFC at the moment, this win will certainly be crucial if they want to continue holding that spot so they can stay in contention for No. 1 and a playoff bye week. They come into this game off of a win against the New York Jets, but a close win at that. They had to hold off a late run by New York to come out with the win.
Detroit enters this game 5-7 with a below .500 record. But they enter this game winning four out of their last five games on a very hot streak for a team that began this year 1-6. Getting a big time division win against the Vikings could certainly keep their momentum alive. If this team continues riding high, they could even compete for an NFC wild card position. Let’s get into this game’s picks and predictions.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Betting Odds
To a big time surprise, the 10-2 Vikings are entering this game as underdogs against the Lions. The Lions are currently moneyline odds favorites at -136. They are also -2.5 spread line favorites, so it is a close line but still a surprise the under .500 team is not the underdog. That is in large part due to the Lions current hot streak and playing at home. Vikings have also played in a lot of close games recently and are certainly due for some losses with how successful their season has been. Detroit has been led all season with their explosive offense which has really been performing as of late. They have scored 28 or more in their last four games, putting up 40 in their win against Jacksonville last week. The offense has never been the question, it’s been their defense which has shown struggles. They have not played perfect, but they did hold Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to just nine points. The Vikings will have to be on their A-game offensively to stick around with the Lions offense. The trio of Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and Justin Jefferson certainly make it easier to turn that into a possibility.
The over/under total for this game is currently 52.5 which is a pretty high total. For good reason though, as both of these teams have very high-powered offenses. The Vikings currently average 24.1 PPG while the Lions average 26.3.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Picks & Predictions
My Pick: Minnesota Vikings +2.5 (-110)
I know the Lions have all the momentum, but I think it’s hard not to take the spread line of a 10-2 team over a 5-7 team, especially when they are the underdogs. I do think it will be a very close game, but this season has shown us repeatedly the Vikings ability to close out close games. Unfortunately on the other hand, the Lions have continuously shown us their lack of ability to close out these kinds of games like they did on thanksgiving against the Bills. I think both offenses have a very strong game, but I think it’s the Vikings defense that will outlast the Lions defense on the road.
I also am very big on the over in this game as my second pick in this matchup. As I already mentioned how both these offenses can score big, but both defenses can be prone to letting up a lot of points. The Vikings allow 23.3 PPG and the Lions allow 27 PPG.
- Vikings are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Vikings are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC.
- Lions are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Over is 7-1 in Vikings last 8 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
- Over is 7-1 in Lions last 8 games following a ATS win
- Vikings are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
- Underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
Akayleb Evans, Out; Ross Blacklock, questionable; Ben Ellefson, questionable; Christian Darrisaw, questionable; Bisi Johnson, IR
Julian Okwara, IR; Romeo Okwara, questionable; Evan Brown, questionable
Kirk Cousins vs. Detroit Lions Defense
The biggest matchup will be how Kirk Cousins does against the Lions defense. The defense has allowed nearly 30 points per game this season, and Cousins is having one of his best seasons of his career. He currently has 18 TDs on the season and having arguably the best receiver of the year in Justin Jefferson certainly will cause problems for the Lions secondary. The Vikings beat the Lions earlier this season 28-24 in a game where Cousins threw for 2 TDs and 260 yards. If he can do that again, the Vikings should have no problem covering.