Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions kicks off this Sunday (1/7/24) at 1:00pm EST in Detroit Michigan as a home game for the Lions. Get Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions predictions and best bets below as our best bet is on the Vikings +3.5 as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive against the Lions backups.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Prediction & Best Bet
The Vikings playoff hopes may be slim after their loss to the Green Bay Packers, but they still have a puncher’s chance of making it should they get the upset win over Detroit. They will still need outside help in order for them to make it, needing the Bears to beat the Packers, Cardinals to beat the Seahawks, and either the Saints or Buccaneers to lose. Not exactly an ideal situation to be in, but one that is possible nonetheless.
Still, none of that matters if the Vikings can’t beat the Lions in their season finale. They have as good a chance as any with the Lions starters expected to be pulled early in the contest. Dan Campbell announced earlier this week that he would not rest his starters, though he did hint that they would get pulled early on in order to rest up for the finals. That bodes well for the Vikings as they get a good chance to shut down their offense late in the contest with a massive drop off in starting production expected to happen once Goff and company leave the field.
That gives the Vikings a chance to set a scoring pace too fast for Detroit to keep up with as the Lions defense continues to provide minimal support. When Nick Mullens was not throwing to the wrong team in their previous matchup, he still managed to throw for 411 yards and two touchdowns against the weak Lions secondary. The Lions secondary is not just bad, it’s near league worst as they rank 24th in Def. Pass EPA and 25th in Def Pass Success Rate.
Mullens has already been listed as the starter heading into this contest, being in a position to shred the Lions secondary once again. While four interceptions are certainly damaging, it’s also an anomaly no matter how bad the quarterback may be. Expecting the turnovers to bounce back towards the mean, as well as getting a healthy Jordan Addison back, and the Vikings pass attack has more than enough talent to move the ball down the field into scoring position at a consistent rate.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Prediction & Best Bet: Vikings +3.5
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Betting Odds
Even with Detroit expected to pull their starters at some point, oddsmakers still lean towards the Lions favor by opening them as a -3.5 favorite. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either side of the spread, keeping the number the same since the opener. Sitting at the key number of +3.5, take the Vikings as they get the benefit of limiting the Lions offense filled with backups.
As for the total, oddsmakers believed points would be scored at a very quick rate as they opened the number at 50.5. Bettors believe points will come at a drastically slower pace, betting the under down to as low as 45.5. This is heavily predicated on the Lions second string team to find success, having to do so against a Vikings defense who ranks fifth in Def DVOA.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Key Injuries
The Lions dominate the injury report news as they potentially welcome back key defensive pieces Alim McNeill, CJ Gardner-Johnson, and James Houston back from the IR.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions Key Matchups
Can the Vikings front seven shut down the Lions ground game?
Vikings Front Seven Vs. Lions Rush Attack
Whether it’s against the starting duo of Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery, or Craig Reynolds, it’s vital for the Vikings to shut down the ground game. Especially with the Lions expected to go conservative when Teddy Bridgewater gets reps at quarterback.
— OutOfSightSports🚀™️ (@OOSSports) December 28, 2023
Luckily for the Vikings, their metrics indicate that they are capable of doing just that as they rank ninth in Def Rush DVOA and 11th in Def Rush EPA. While Teddy is a capable passer in his own right, he has yet to see much of the field this year and may bring with him a heavy dose of the run. By creating early outs and stalled out drives, the Vikings offense gets extra possessions to put more points up on the board in an effort to cover the spread.