It’ll be an NFC North showdown in Minneapolis when the Vikings host the Detroit Lions Sunday.
The Vikings are 5-0 at home this season, while the Lions are 1-4 on the road. The Vikings won their matchup earlier this season in Detroit, 42-30, but Detroit will be looking much different this time around. Quarterback Matthew Stafford will miss his fifth straight game with a back injury, and the Lions will start backup rookie quarterback David Blough.
Here’s a game preview followed by trends and our prediction.
The Minnesota Vikings control their own playoff destiny at this point. The Vikings currently hold the sixth and final Wild Card spot in the NFC, but they have the Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears breathing down their necks, so they’ll have to win consistently if they want to stay where they are.
The Vikings have a top 10 offense, putting up 26.6 points and over 376 yards a game, but their star running back, Dalvin Cook, could be slightly limited with a shoulder/chest injury.
David Blough, who performed well on Thanksgiving against a tough Chicago Bears defense, will get the start. He threw for 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his only NFL appearance, and he will face a Vikings defense that is allowing 20.2 points and 242.9 yards through the air this season. Blough has a stellar group to throw to in Kenny Golliday, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola. The Lions are gaining over 271 yards through the air, and they will have opportunities to score in this game.
On defense, the Lions are giving up 26.2 points and just over 280 yards through the air this year, which is third-worst in the league. Despite possibly being without star wide receiver Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph will create some serious matchup problems for Detroit on defense.
Trends, Pick and Predictions:
The following numbers and trends are all courtesy of Odds Shark.
Spread: Lions +13
Over/Under: 43.5 points
Odds Shark currently have the Vikings projected to win the game by a score of 35-13, with Minnesota covering the spread and the total score going over 43.5 points.
Some relevant trends surrounding the game:
• The Lions are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games.
• The total has gone OVER in 5 of Detroit’s last 7 games.
• The Lions are 0-5 SU in their last 5 games.
• Detroit is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against Minnesota.
• Minnesota is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games.
• The total has gone OVER in 6 of Minnesota’s last 7 games.
• The Vikings are 6-2 SU in their last 8 games.
• The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Minnesota’s last 12 games against Detroit.
We’re with Odds Shark on this one all the way. The Vikings have been unstoppable at home, and Cousins should be able to have his way against this Lions defense. Cook should still be effective, and while Blough may get a few chances with this excellent receiving corps, it won’t be enough to top this talented Minnesota team.
Final Prediction: Minnesota 38, Detroit 21