Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
When: Sunday, November 6, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: FOX
Writer’s Pick: Minnesota Vikings (-6)
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Betting on the Detroit Lions (+6)
The Lions’ road struggles continue. They went down 20-13 to the Texans in Houston, which dropped them to 1-3 on the season away from home, and 4-4 overall. Matthew Stafford had one of his least impressive games in an otherwise very good season thus far. He completed 66 percent of his 41 passes, but he averaged just 5.9 yards per attempt, his lowest of the season.
With the Vikings offense struggling mightily over the last few games, though, Stafford and co. have a chance to keep things close – again. Six of the Lions’ eight games this season have been decided by just four points or fewer. The Eagles and Bears have put points up against the Vikings’ very good defense in recent weeks, and Stafford has played much better than either Carson Wentz or Jay Cutler this season.
Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are dangerous weapons on the outside, and the return of Eric Ebron and Theo Riddick to the lineup has given him even more weapons. Ebron led the team with 79 yards on seven catches against the Texans while Riddick had 133 yards from scrimmage on 19 touches and scored the team’s lone touchdown.
Betting on the Minnesota Vikings (-6)
The Vikings offense just plain sucks right now. The offensive line – the team’s glaring weakness – was simply dominated in their back-to-back losses to the Eagles and the Bears. While they didn’t commit the four turnovers like they did against Philly, the Vikings could only muster 120 yards of total offense through three quarters in their 20-10 loss on Monday night in Chicago.
It all sounds pretty bad for the Vikings right now, but don’t count the Vikings out just yet. For one, they finally get to go home, where they are 6-0 ATS in their last six games dating back to last year. They are also 8-2 (6-2-2 ATS) in their last 10 home games against the Lions. Meanwhile, their struggling line really shouldn’t be dominated as much by a subpar Lions front. The Detroit defense as a whole has arguably been the worst in the entire NFL this season.
If the Rams’ Case Keenum can complete 84 percent of his passes with three touchdowns just a few weeks ago in Detroit against this Lions pass defense, then Sam Bradford should at least be able to put together a competent performance. Bradford has been terrific playing in his new home this season. He’s completed 72 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and zero picks in three games in Minnesota.
The usually reliable Vikings defense played poorly as they gave up a season-high 403 yards in the loss to the Bears, but look for that excellent unit to bounce back. Since head coach Mike Zimmer took over in 2014, the Vikings defense hasn’t allowed the Lions to score 20 or more points in four meetings.
The Vikings (-6) snap their skid with a 24-17 home win over Detroit.
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