Vikings vs. Lions Betting Odds & Picks: Back Detroit As Home Underdog?

Vikings vs. Lions Betting Odds & Picks: Back Detroit As Home Underdog? article feature image

David Berding-USA Today Sports: Pictured: Kirk Cousins.

  • The Detroit Lions host the Minnesota Vikings as home underdogs on Sunday.
  • Our experts analyze the betting odds and make their picks for this NFC North showdown.

Vikings at Lions Betting Odds & Picks

  • Odds: Vikings -1.5
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

After suffering a heartbreaking loss on Monday night in Green Bay, the Lions head home to face the division-rival Vikings.

Our experts don’t think Detroit will be able to run much against a stout Minnesota defense, but expect a close finish. Let’s break down the odds and matchup.

Vikings-Lions Injury Report

Which team is healthier? Both teams are healthy.

Outside of DL Mike Daniels (foot), everyone on the Lions’ injury report has been limited in practice or upgraded to full, suggesting that most should be trending toward playing. The one player I’m keeping an eye on is S Quandre Diggs (hamstring), who was limited in practices last week but was eventually ruled out.

Vikings OL Riley Reiff (ankle) hasn’t practiced, and if he’s out, the pass blocking for Kirk Cousins will likely suffer. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Biggest Mismatch

Vikings Rush Defense vs. Lions Rush Offense

Simply put, the Lions can’t run the ball, which was evident in their loss to Green Bay. Detroit finished with a paltry 56 yards on 20 carries (2.8 yards per rush) against a Packers defense that’s struggled to defend the run.

For the year, the Lions are averaging only 3.8 yards per carry (26th in the NFL), so don’t expect Kerryon Johnson and Co. to churn out much on the ground against a Vikings defense that’s allowing the same amount (eighth).

Like most teams, the Lions succeeded running the ball against the Chiefs and their league-worst rush defense. Detroit finished with 186 yards on 35 carries in that home loss. But if you remove that game, the Lions are averaging a meager 3.3 yards per carry, which would sit higher than only the Dolphins, Bengals and Jets.

Detroit is allowing too many negative plays, ranking 27th in stuff rate (tackled behind LOS). I just can’t envision it doing much of anything on the ground against a rock solid Vikings defense that tackles as well as any team in the league. Per Pro Football Focus, Minnesota has a league-best 84.8 tackling grade — next best is Jets at 79.6.

So, if Detroit can’t run the ball, that will place Matt Stafford in more passing down situations than Matt Patricia would probably like. Stafford will face one of the NFL’s best edge rushing duos in Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter, both of whom rank in the top five among all edge rushers in hurries and pressures.

Here are the top five edge defenders in pressures of any kind:

They’ll be facing off against tackles Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner, who have struggled in pass protection, each sitting outside the top 50 in Pass Blocking Efficiency out of 65 qualified tackles with a minimum of 100 snaps.

Lastly, due to their lack of production in the run game, the Lions haven’t executed well in the red zone. And in a battle of two superb red zone defenses, that could make all the difference, especially considering the Vikings have an elite running back in Dalvin Cook facing a reeling Detroit defensive front. Stuckey

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Vikings -0.5
  • Projected Total: 44

You have to wonder where this line would be if the refs didn’t call those two phantom penalties on Trey Flowers and the Lions ended up beating the Packers on Monday Night Football.

I would guess it would be a pick ’em as my power ratings are meant to cut through the noise of game results. Sean Koerner

PRO System Match

The Vikings are 4-2 against the spread, covering by an average of 6.33 points per game. Cousins and Co. are making it look easy, but if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

ATS records tend to regress to the mean over the course of a season as bookmakers adjust to team performance and public perception. As a result, it’s been profitable to bet against teams that have covered the spread by a big margin.

Following this Pro System, bettors have gone 308-237-16 (56.5%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $5,070 following this strategy.

The Vikings are a road favorite with more than 70% of spread tickets coming in on them as of writing (see live public betting data here). History suggests bettors should fade them and take the points with the Lions. John Ewing

PRO Systems are data-driven betting strategies that turn winning long-term trends into easy-to-follow picks, all handpicked and monitored by our team of analysts. Try Action PRO now and instantly access real-time game matches for every PRO System.

Expert Picks

Koerner: Lions +2.5 or better

Given how both of these team’s recent results could be impacting this line, the Lions could be worth snagging if this pops over +2 and definitely if it reaches +3.

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