Detroit Lions (4-4 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date/Time: Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 1:00PM EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium
TV: FOX, DTV: 709
by Chad Holloway, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:DET +6.5/MIN -6.5
Over/Under Total: 41
The Minnesota Vikings were the last undefeated team in the league, but now theyve dropped two in a row. Most recently, they were dominated by the Chicago Bears 10-20 on Monday Night Football in a game where Vikings QB Sam Bradford was sacked five times, which came a week after he was sacked six times by the Philadelphia Eagles. Not only that, the team only had 57 rushing yards. Clearly there are some offensive line issues that need to be addressed.
Appropriately, its all reflected in the numbers for the Vikings, who despite their recent losses still sit atop the NFC North. Entering Week 9, the team comes in ranked as the second-to-last overall offense in the league averaging 293.3 total yards per game (YPG) and 19.9 points per game (PPG). Their running game is also ranked 31st averaging just 71.9 YPG, while their passing game is barely better at 28th averaging 221.4 YPG.
Where the Vikings real strength lay is on the defense, which is second best in the entire NFL. Theyre holding opponents to an average of 297.1 total YPG (204.6 passing YPG & 92.6 rushing YPG) and 14.9 PPG.
As for their opponents this week, the Detroit Lions, their numbers arent that impressive either. Their offense, which averages 341.1 total YPG and 22.9 PPG, is ranked 21st in the league, with their rushing game ranked 27th averaging just 85.5 YPG. Thankfully, QB Matt Stafford has been playing great and their passing game, which is ranked 16th averaging 255.6 YPG, has kept them competitive.
Defensively, the Lions allow 370 total YPG (259.4 Passing YPG & 110.6 rushing YPG) and 23.8 PPG, which puts them 23rd in the NFL. The Lions were on a three-game winning streak until last week when they lost 13-20 to the Houston Texans.
This weeks NFC North battle is extremely important for the Lions, who must win against their division rival if they hope to keep pace in the Playoff race. However, thatll be easier said than done as last week the Texans showed the team what can happen when they go up against a stout defense, and the Vikings certainly have one of those.
Chad Holloway’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Lions dont have a run game, and even if they did it wouldnt be effective against the Vikings defense. That means itll come down to Stafford, who should overcome his struggle simply by the sheer number of times hes going to pass. Some of them are bound to connect. Of course the Vikings offense, who have an even worse run game and have to scrap to move the ball, will have their own struggles. This will be a low-scoring affair Id definitely bet the under but I think the Lions will prevail. They may not win outright, but given the line, I like them to come out on top against the spread.