Minnesota Vikings @

Detroit Lions

Sun, Oct 20
10:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 457
Odds: Detroit Lions +2, Total: 44

Game Analysis

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Lean – DETROIT (+2/+1.5) over Minnesota

Matthew Stafford is the only qualifying quarterback to throw for 20+ air yards on at least 20% of his passes since Tim Tebow in 2011 and the air raid is clicking under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell – averaging 7.2 yards per pass play (6th). However, Harrison Smith has made the Pro Bowl in four consecutive seasons and the Vikings excellent free safety should limit Stafford’s options with the deep ball, especially considering he likely won’t have much time in the pocket. Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen both rank in the top 3 among edge defenders in pressures and they should wreak havoc across from one of the worst tackle tandems in the league – Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner – who are both ranked in the bottom 15 in pass blocking efficiency. TJ Hockenson is gaining just 0.78 yards per route run since his huge debut in an advantageous matchup versus Arizona and I expect the struggles for the rookie tight end to continue. Minnesota’s defense is allowing only 6.2 yards per target to opposing tight ends (4th).

Stefon Diggs has turned his season around and now leads the NFL with 4 deep ball touchdowns and 2.92 yards per route run, but he’ll have trouble maintaining the momentum in a difficult matchup versus Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay. Instead, look for Kirk Cousins to feature Adam Thielen, who is averaging 2.22 yards per route run (12th). The Vikings target running backs at the 4th-highest rate in the league and Dalvin Cook is one of four running backs gaining more than 2 yards per route run. The Lions are surrendering 7.3 yards per target to opposing running backs (28th) but they were much better last season and the numbers thus far could just be small sample size noise.

Detroit’s deep passing game will likely be shut down and they’re unlikely to get much on the ground versus Minnesota’s 8th-ranked rush defense. The Lions are a few plays away from being 5-0 but a loss here would probably bring their playoff chances below 20%. Our model makes favors Detroit by 0.7 points with a predicted total of 43.4 points. There is now decent line value on Detroit’s side but the matchup does favor the Vikings a bit. If you’re in a pool then I suggest siding with the math model and choosing Detroit as a dog. But, I wouldn’t bet on this game.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Vikings
  • Lions


  • Pass Plays 27.8 40.5
  • Succ Pass Plays 50.9% 48.0%
  • Sack Rate 6.6% 6.9%
  • Int Rate 1.6% 2.5%
  • Deep Pass Rate 17.0% 18.7%
  • Big Pass Yards 54.1% 34.0%
  • NYPP 8.1 5.4


  • Rush Plays 31.3 24.2
  • RB YPR 5.1 3.7
  • Stuff Rate 23.6% 20.1%
  • Succ Rush Plays 42.9% 46.2%
  • Big Rush Yards 53.1% 29.8%
  • Yards Per Rush 4.9 3.9


  • All Snaps 59.2 64.7
  • Early Down Succ 47.2% 49.9%
  • Succ Rate 45.5% 46.9%
  • Big Yards Rate 55.7% 32.7%
  • Yards Per Play 6.2 4.8
  • Fumble Lost Rate 1.6% 1.0%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 30.0 28.4
  • Run Ratio 53.6% 37.2%
  • Starting Field Pos 29.6 27.0
  • Game Control 5.9 -5.9
  • Points 25.0 15.5
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