I think conventional thinking for this game triggered “take the home dog and Stafford always keeps games close” but I think the Vikings cover this one. The Lions have already lost to the Panthers, Falcons, and Steelers at home and I’m confident the Vikings can do the same.
Look, nobody gets excited to bet on Case Keenum but the fact is that he moves the ball and rarely turns in over – he has 12 TDs to 5 INTs on the year without a fumble. The offensive line in Minnesota is strong, Latavius Murray is finding his groove, and the Lions defense just gave up a combined 423 rushing yards to the Browns & Bears the last 2 weeks.
The Vikings defense is one of, if not the best in the NFL. They just completely shutdown the Rams and the Lions are just too one-dimensional and struggle in the run game. They don’t gain the 1 or 2 yards they need on 3rd down often enough and they convert on just 36% of their 3rd downs compared to 46% for the Vikings. That spills over to the redzone as well.
The Vikings were beating the Lions earlier in the season before Dalvin Cook went down with a torn ACL and sucked all the energy out of the Vikings for the rest of the game. Last season this matchup (when Minnesota was way worse on offense) was won by the Lions once in overtime and another time by 3. The Vikings are significantly better on offense this year and I think those scores are reversed here in revenge. The Vikings have won 2 of the last 5 in Detroit with one of those losses coming in OT so they are certainly capable of winning on the road here.
I’m taking the better defense, the more efficient offense, and the team with lofty goals heading into the final month of the season. Vikings go to 9-2 with the win and cover. Vikings -2. 2.5 units.
*Plays are rated 1 to 5 units in order of confidence