Minnesota Vikings Vs Detroit Lions Betting Breakdown
The Case For The Lions
I must admit that in trying to handicap this game, I struggled to find enough areas of leverage to help envision a clear-cut path to victory for the Lions. With the Vikings holding a sizable advantage in most key metrics (more on those below), this Detroit team – although much improved since last year – appears like it will need to play nearly flawless football to overcome the numbers. With that said, the good news for Lions fans is that their two starting wideouts – Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. – both hold a sizable rating edge over the Vikings’ cornerback-duo of Waynes and Rhodes, an edge they’ll need to exploit continuously to stand a chance in this one. However, the problem with that plan of attack is that Minnesota also has two fantastic safeties in Harris and Smith as well as potential pro-bowl linebacker Eric Kendricks to help minimize the impact of Detroit’s wideouts.
The Case For The Vikings
Where do we begin in this one? Is it by discussing the fact that Minnesota holds the 3rd highest QB rating in the league? Or that the Vikings have given up the 7th fewest passing yards/game (compared to the Lions’ 28th)? Or that Minnesota – whose world-class rushing attack ranks 3rd in rushing yards per game – gets to face a Detroit run-defense that is allowing the 5th most yards per carry? Or how about the fact that the Vikings holds the 4th best yards per pass attempt in the league at 8.3 and that the powerful duo of Thielen and Diggs now get to match up against a linebacker and secondary squad that only has a single player graded above a 70 on PFF’s rankings? All in all, this handicap is not so much about whether or not Minnesota has the edge in talent – they clearly do – but whether they can execute their game-plan well enough to overpower anything Detroit might try throwing back their way.
The Betting Line
While the public will be high on Detroit after what most people saw as a fraudulent ending to their game vs Green Bay last week, the stats don’t really support a Lions advantage in that one after they got outgained on the ground by a factor of 3 (56 vs 170), were out-first-downed 22-13, gave up 3 times more sacks, and earned 1.1 fewer yards per play – which is one of the leading indicators for on-field success from a handicapping perspective. So while it might be true that the current version of the Lions is head and shoulders above where it’s been the past few years, with how well-rounded Minnesota’s rushing, passing, and defensive attacks are, the Vikings should be able to dictate the flow of the game and chew up yards no matter which domain the Lions focus on preventing most, making the current betting line of -2 seem about as good of a value-bet as there is on the schedule this week.
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