Vikings v Lions Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 23/12/18
Ben Rolfe (@benrolfe15) previews Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions and provides us with his best bets for Sunday’s NFC North clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 23/12/18
- Time: 18:00
- Venue: Ford Field, Detroit
- Channel: NFL Gamepass
Despite the Lions being out of playoff contention this game has a lot of importance for both sides. The Vikings are fighting tooth and nail to stay in the playoffs. They currently occupy the #6 seed in the NFC, but they have just a half game lead on the chasing pack. For the Lions this is about pride and Matt Patricia stamping his message on the team. Patricia has taken a lot of flak for making his team train outside in the wintry conditions when the team’s home games are indoors. However, for Patricia this first season is about toughness and developing a culture in that locker room and this will be a great test of that.
There is little doubt that the Vikings are the more talented team across the board. They have advantage almost everywhere when it comes to skill positions on offence. They demonstrated last week that they can pound the ball, rushing for over 200 yards for the first time this season. With a new offensive coordinator this team is reinventing itself a little down the stretch, but their talent should still mean they can put up points. Their defence has really stepped up against the pass the last two weeks as well, which is a god sign for this game.
The Lions have had a tough season. They are down to the last of their big three receivers, having traded away Golden Tate and lost Marvin Jones to IR. Kerryon Johnson has also now landed on the IR, further depleting this unit. However, they have really fought hard on defence the last few weeks. They gave up 23 and 30 to the Bear and Rams but those scores have not been true reflections of their effort. This is not a unit that will lay down against a division rival at home.
Injuries are mostly restricted to the defensive side of the ball for the Vikings but they have so much depth there that I do not expect any of the players currently questionable to have a major effect on the game if they are absent.
For the Lions, they had a lot of guys limited on Thursday, but I expect many of them to suit up. The biggest concern is Damon Harrison, if he is missing then the Vikings could run the ball with little resistance on Sunday.
Head To Head
- The Vikings are 73-39-2 all-time in meetings between these two teams.
- The Vikings have won the last two meetings between the sides, including a 24-9 victory earlier this season.
- In the last five games between these teams in Detroit the Lions lead the series 3-2.
- The Lions have failed to score more than 23 points in any of the last 10 meetings between these two teams but has managed to go 5-5 in that time.
Key Stats & Facts
- The Viking set a franchise record for sacks in the last game between these two teams with 10 sacks of Matthew Stafford. They lead the NFL this season in sacks with 47.
- The Lions have rushed for over 100 yards in the last four games but have failed to score over 21 points in any of those games.
- Matthew Stafford has not thrown for 300 yards in his last seven games.
- When the Minnesota Vikings rush for over 100 yards they have won 28 of their last 30 games.
- Minnesota Vikings 2/5
- Detroit Lions 23/20
I expect this to be a hard-fought game for the most part, with run games dominating. Both teams have had troubles in the passing game and both have had recent success with the run. I do not think the run games will be so dominant that both teams will just be unstoppable on the ground, but they will have enough success that they continue to lean on it. Therefore, I am looking to bet the under, currently set at 42.5, in this game.
I also think that as this game goes on the Lions energy dips just enough to a point where the Vikings might pull away late. This game means everything to the Vikings while for the Lions it is about showing they have fight and spirit and late in the game when you are tired one of those often matters more than the other. For that reason, I like the Vikings to win by a touchdown in this game.
Because I think this is a run first game I would look at the prop bet on Dalvin Cook’s rushing yards, who finally looks healthy this season. I also think the Vikings look to keep balance in their run game so expect to see plenty of Latavius Murray who I like the odds at 4/1 to find the end zone again this week.