Two NFC North foes will face off in Week 13 when the Detroit Lions host the Minnesota Vikings.
The Lions are still looking for their first win of the season, while the Vikings are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, despite their middling 5-6 record.
Let’s breakdown this matchup and discuss which sides of the money line and total to consider.
Please note that all NFL gameday odds are current as of 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, December 3.
Vikings vs Lions Prediction
If there is a silver lining for the Lions this season, it’s that they haven’t lost every game, pulling out a tie against the Steelers in Week 10.
Also, both of Detroit’s last two losses have come by three points or fewer. Most recently, the Lions fell 16-14 to the Bears in Week 12, but will have added time to prepare for this matchup after playing on Thanksgiving.
In their loss to the Bears, the Lions were able to get quarterback Jared Goff back from an oblique injury, but lost running back D’Andre Swift with a shoulder injury.
Goff completed 84 percent of his passes and threw two touchdowns in his return, but Detroit was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and went on to lose on a last-second field goal.
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After winning back-to-back games, the Vikings came up short against the 49ers in Week 12. Their defense was the main culprit, giving up 34 points in defeat.
Like the Lions, Minnesota also suffered a tough blow at running back when Dalvin Cook left the game with a dislocated shoulder. Initial reports indicate that Cook will likely miss multiple games.
Luckily for the Vikings, they have one of the most dangerous backups in the league in Alexander Mattison. Swift also seems to be trending in the wrong direction, which could leave the Lions to fight even more of an uphill battle in this one.
Prediction: Vikings 24, Lions 17
Vikings vs Lions Best Bets
Best Bet: Vikings Moneyline (-330) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
These two teams played each other in Week 5 in Minnesota and the Vikings squeaked out a two-point win by converting a 54-yard field goal attempt as time expired.
Ironically enough, Cook didn’t play in that game, either. Mattison did a great job of filling in for him, rushing 25 times for 113 yards. He also caught seven passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.
When two divisional foes face off, there’s always the potential for a close game, regardless of their respective records coming into the matchup. Still, the Vikings have significantly more firepower on offense and should emerge with the victory, making them our NFL pick of the day.
Best Bet: Under 46.5 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
As bad as their defense has been at times, the Lions have held their opponents to fewer than 20 points in five games this season. The bigger problem has been their offense, which hasn’t scored 20 points or more in a game since Week 1.
If Swift is out for the Lions, their offense could be extremely limited. They have a capable backup in Jamaal Williams, but he doesn’t have the same explosiveness that Swift does.
There could also be plenty of long drives in this game with both teams ranking among the bottom four in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game. Long drives generally equate to fewer opportunities for teams to score over the course of a game.
While the Vikings should still be able to outproduce the Lions, this could generally be a low scoring contest.
Mike Barner’s season record: 15-21-1 (-8.25 units)
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