The “they’ll play hard for ‘hims’” Lions take on the “Meh” Minnesota Vikings this week in an NFC North battle. This is a contest between two teams on very different ends of the spectrum when you zoom out. The Vikings, with an established QB, came into the season as a veteran team, hoping to get some help from positive regression and better health on the defensive side of the ball to compete for a playoff spot. Whereas, the hapless Lions looked better, not objectively, but given you couldn’t get much worse than Matt Patricia. The Vikings are trying to leverage some momentum after a win/playing a tough Browns team close, while the Lions are seeking their first win of the season.
Ryan’s Season Totals
Assigned Games: 4-3 (with 2 Underdogs winning outright)
Best Bets: 10-1, Up 1043%
- Opening Line: Minnesota -7.5
- Current Line: Minnesota -7.5
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
- Start Time: 1:00 PM EST, SUN 10/10
- Last Meeting: Vikings 37, Lions 35 in Detroit Week 17, 2020
When diving in and looking at the “game within the game” both teams have a Pass Rush disadvantage on offense (based on PFF grades). And although the public perception is that Minnesota is a “run-first team”, they, and Kirk Cousins, have proven to be a viable offense, that gains more production out of the passing game according to rbsdam.com. Given this and a strong WR vs DB advantage Minnesota gets (+19 in net rank according to PFF grades) they should have no issue moving the ball.
The Lions came into the season hoping (I think, I still don’t really understand the move) that Jared Goff/the transition from longtime QB Matt Stafford, would breathe some life into the offense. Yet, with the 22nd rated Pass Offense by DVOA, it’s hard to argue this offense took a step forward. Between the well-documented positive regression coming the Vikings’ way, and a unit littered with veterans that have played in this matchup before, I can’t help but see Goff getting blanketed for most of the night. That and his ridiculous QB Archetype will likely lead to a turnover or two to help solidify this as a solid win for the Vikings.
This is a game that clearly favors one side on paper. Add in the fact that the Vikings have a very strong home-field advantage, that was neutered during COVID 2020, I don’t see a way for the Lions to get past them on Sunday.
- Minnesota and its opponent have combined for more than 50 points twice this year.
- Detroit has two wins against the spread this year.
- The Lions have won twice ATS (2-1) as a 7-point favorite or greater this season.
The Vikings are simply a better team in just about every facet. To boot, Minnesota comes in with the 3rd ranked Special Teams unit according to PFF, vs. the Lions 31st. They will be too much for Jared Goff, forcing him out of structure on defense, and from the only thing he can do well: Play in a scripted game, in structure, untouched with a dominant defense needing him to only get 14-17 points.
Prediction: Minnesota 31, Detroit 10
The Picks: Minnesota -7.5 / UNDER 48.5
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Ryan Newman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Ryan, check out his archive.