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Vikings vs Lions Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Jan 2, 2024

Before turning the page to the playoffs, Detroit will close out the regular season on Sunday against NFC North rival Minnesota. The Lions are 11-5 following their controversial 20-19 loss to Dallas in Week 17. Meanwhile, the Vikings dropped their third straight, 33-10 to Green Bay, to fall to 7-9.

Will Detroit stay hot heading into the wild-card round? Let’s break down the NFL Week 18 predictions and odds and give our best bets for Lions-Vikings.

Vikings vs Lions Odds

NFL odds used for this Minnesota vs Detroit preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Jan. 2 at 1:20 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Lions (-170) • Vikings (+142)
  • Spread: Lions -3 (-112) • Vikings +3 (-108)
  • Total Points: Over 45 (-110) • Under 45 (-110)
  • Implied Score: Lions 24, Vikings 21

Vikings vs Lions Predictions

Score Pick: Lions 27, Vikings 16

Detroit has already locked up the NFC North but can still grab the conference’s No. 2 seed with a win on Sunday and a Cowboys and Eagles loss.

With no worse than the No. 3 seed guaranteed, there’s little at stake for Detroit in the regular-season finale. Nevertheless, Dan Campbell stated that he plans to play his starters, at least initially.

While the Vikings are still mathematically alive for the playoffs, they’d need a win and a whole lot of help to qualify. They’ve crashed back to reality after an initial surge under Josh Dobbs, and there’s no saving them now.

Vikings vs Lions Best Bets & Props

Lions -3 (-112)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Even though Campbell seems committed to playing his starters in a game that Detroit may not necessarily need, we don’t know for how long. He could always proceed cautiously and take out Jared Goff at, say, halftime. We just don’t know. That makes betting on games like these so volatile.

Still, it’s hard for me to muster any faith in Minnesota. The Vikings are in a free fall, with three straight losses and five in their last six games. That includes a dismal no-show against Green Bay in primetime on New Year’s Eve.

Detroit is an NFL-best 11-5 ATS, and I’m banking on that continuing for another week. I’m taking the Lions -3 as my NFL bet of the day.

Under 45 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

It’s been musical chairs at quarterback for Minnesota since Kirk Cousins ruptured his Achilles in Week 8 against Green Bay. Dobbs, Nick Mullens, and Jaren Hall have all started games under center, albeit with limited to no success.

Hall, a rookie fifth-rounder out of BYU, was 5 of 10 passing for 67 yards and an interception before Mullens took over on Sunday. Kevin O’Connell hasn’t said whether he’ll go back to Hall or cycle through his options once again.

Then again, will it matter? Minnesota’s averaging 15.1 points since Week 11, with its only victory over that six-game span coming in a 3-0 snoozefest over Las Vegas.

That, combined with the uncertainty surrounding Detroit’s starters, is why I’m banking on these teams going Under 45 points.

Lions Over 24.5 (+110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Minnesota’s defense has been abysmal of late, having allowed 90 points over its last three games. That includes a 30-24 loss to Detroit in Week 16.

Even if Campbell reverses course and decides to take a conservative approach with his starters, the Lions should come close to hitting this total because of Minnesota’s recent futility. At plus odds, this value’s too good to pass up.

Vikings vs Lions Same Game Parlay

Vikings vs Lions SGP (+370)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

  • Lions -4.5 (+115)
  • Lions 1H (-155)
  • Under 43.5 (+108)

I like the Lions as field-goal favorites, but if you’d prefer even better odds, you can get them at -4.5 for +115. Again, bettors run the risk of Detroit taking its foot off the gas, but those odds are enticing.

The Vikings haven’t earned any trust since Cousins went down, and there’s no reason to trust their Plan B, C, or whatever at quarterback. They’re 5-0-3 ATS on the road but haven’t covered since Week 11 against Denver.

Expect Detroit to start fast and smother a struggling Minnesota offense.

Author

Doug Bonjour

Doug covered college and prep sports in Connecticut for more than a decade, including stints as the UConn women’s basketball and UConn football beat reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media. During his time reporting on the 11-time national champion Huskies, he covered three NCAA Final Fours. He also has written for the Associated Press and New York Times.

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