After a controversial loss to the Cowboys, the Lions host the Minnesota Vikings in their regular season finale Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ford Field. The Lions clinched the NFC North title with a 30-24 win over Minnesota in Week 16. Detroit still has a shot at the 2 seed in the NFC, but it’s unlikely. 7-9 Minnesota is a long shot to make the playoffs at all. The key for the Lions this week is to not get anyone hurt before the playoffs begin.
NFL: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings - Odds, Prediction & Picks
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Analysis
The Lions are in an interesting spot. They know that their odds of getting the 2 seed are pretty slim. They’d need the Commanders to beat Dallas (very unlikely) and the Giants to beat the Eagles (also very unlikely). Could we see a situation where the Lions do some scoreboard watching and pull Jared Goff at some point when it looks like the Cowboys or Eagles are in good shape? This game doesn’t matter much to the Lions.
Injury Report: Lions star rookie tight end Sam LaPorta was limited in practice Wednesday with an ankle injury. He needs one more catch to set the all-time rookie TE record for receptions. Don’t be surprised if he catches one pass early in the game and then sits. Lions WR Jameson Williams also probably won’t play with an ankle injury. Why risk it? He can rest for the playoffs.
It’s back to Nick Mullens at quarterback for the Vikings against the Lions. Mullens threw four picks in the Week 16 loss to the Lions. That was probably the game that ended the Vikings season for real. Minnesota gave rookie QB Jaren Hall a shot last week against Green Bay and it was a flop. The Vikings are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot, but they need four other games to go their way to get in.
Injury Report: Minnesota is banged up in the secondary. CB Mekhi Blackmon and S Harrison Smith were both listed as limited in practice Wednesday and CB Byron Murphy Jr. did not practice. TE Nick Muse and OT Blake O’Neill are listed as questionable. The Vikings may not have much left in the tank for Sunday.
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Key Points and Trends
The Lions haven’t swept the Vikings in a regular season since 2016.
Detroit is 6-0 against the spread in their last six games against the Vikings and each of the last four meetings have hit the over.
Lions running back David Montgomery is 25 yards away from 1,000 and rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs is 85 yards away. The Lions have never had two running backs with over 1,000 yards in the same season.
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Match Prediction
Pity the Vikings. They could be walking into a buzzsaw at Ford Field Sunday.
The Lions were the victim of a strange (and probably wrong) official’s call in their loss to the Cowboys in Week 17. That loss may have impacted the NFC playoff race, and probably will have the Lions in a ticked off mood when they take the field.
Detroit beat the Vikings two weeks ago in Minnesota, 30-24, on a late interception. Yes, the Vikings still have a shot at the playoffs, but it’s very unlikely. The Lions are sort of in the same boat. They’re pretty much the 3 seed in the NFC looking at a potential showdown with Matthew Stafford and the Rams in the Wild Card Round. We should know exactly what day that game will be by Sunday night (remember, they are also playing one Wild Card Round game on Monday now).
The only team with real motivation here is the Lions. They want to get revenge on someone after that Cowboys loss. The Vikings are banged up, and back to starting Nick Mullens at QB. The Lions should blow them out.
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Best Bet
If the Lions are what we think they are: young, hungry and mad, they should have no trouble with the Vikings on Sunday. Look for the Lions to try to get the running game going early to get those 1,000 yard rushers and just like two weeks ago, Mullens is too turnover prone to hurt the Lions. Detroit ends its regular season with a big win.
Lions -3.5 (-108) | DraftKings
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.