This is the moment Lions fans have been waiting for. Detroit can clinch its first division title since 1993 with a win over the 7-7 Vikings in Minnesota. Detroit has a three-game lead in the division over the Vikings with three games to play. They play the Vikings on Christmas Eve for the first time (of course, they’ve played on Thanksgiving), and play them again at Ford Field in the season finale. At 10-4, the Lions still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
NFL: Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings - Odds, Prediction & Picks
Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Analysis
Lions QB Jared Goff tied a career best and franchise record with five TD passes in the win over the Broncos last Saturday. Is this the best Lions draft class in recent memory? Rookie TE Sam LaPorta is the first rookie TE in NFL history with over 70 catches, 700 yards and seven TD catches. Too bad he’s got no shot at NFL Rookie of the Year because of Texans QB C.J. Stroud. The Lions haven’t won in Minnesota since 2017.
Injury Report: Wednesday the Lions listed DB Jerry Jacobs and TE Brock Wright as not practicing. The Jacobs injury could be a factor against the Vikings passing game. The Lions got big news on the injury front this week, as star defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson became eligible to come off of the injured reserve.
Five different Vikings have thrown a pass this season, which about sums up the season in Minnesota, yet, thanks to a blitz-happy defense, the Vikings are still in the playoff hunt. Minnesota turned to Nick Mullens at QB two weeks ago. He was both brilliant and terrible in the Vikings loss to the Bengals last week, throwing for over 300 yards, but also two costly interceptions
Injury Report: The Vikings have had a rough go as far as injuries this season, losing starting QB Kirk Cousins to a popped Achilles tendon. The Vikings are optimistic they will get LB Jordan Hicks off of Injured reserve for the Lions game. Wide receiver Jalen Nailor is dealing with a concussion and DB Byron Murphy Jr. has a knee injury.
Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Key Points and Trends
The Lions are 9-5 against the spread this season, while the Vikings are 7-4-3. Five of the last six games in this series have hit the over.
Minnesota leads the all-time series with the Lions 80-41-2.
The Vikings have covered the spread each of the last six times they’ve been underdogs against a divisional opponent.
Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Match Prediction
Just when you think the Lions are falling off, they put together perhaps their best performance of the season in a 42-17 dismantling of the Broncos.
Everyone wants to point at the performances of the skill players on the Lions offense, but the offensive line is really what has made the Lions a success, but they’re in for a challenge on Sunday. Minnesota ranks fifth in the NFL at stopping the run, that’s going to be a big factor in this one, as its strength vs. strength.
The Vikings have some weapons that can scare you. Justin Jefferson came back from an injury last week and played well. Jordan Atkinson is another good receiver, but Nick Mullens is not a winning QB in the NFL. This is where the Lions have a huge edge. Goff is way better.
Minnesota will try to mix things up on him and blitz from all over, but the Lions offensive line can handle it.
Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Best Bet
I just go back to the quarterbacks as the difference. Honestly, these two teams aren’t that far apart talent wise, and this could be Minnesota’s last stand in 2023. I think they will bring everything they can against the Lions, but Goff will make plays down the stretch and Nick Mullens just can’t. It may come down to the end, but start printing those Lions division champ shirts. Merry Christmas Detroit.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.