Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings Pick 11/8/20
Detroit Lions (3-4 SU, 3-4 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (2-5 SU, 4-3 ATS)
Week 9 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 1PM EDT
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Point Spread: DET +4/MIN -4 (Lay -105 on NFL games! - Bet Smarter! Save Money!)
Over/Under Total: 53.5
The Detroit Lions come to Minneapolis for an NFC North matchup with the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The Lions came off the bye last week, which followed a nice two-game spurt, only to lose lopsidedly to the Colts at home, 41-21. It was a discouraging development for a Detroit team that was on the move, and they look to regroup with a big divisional win this week over Minnesota. And while it has been a rough seven games with the Vikings at 2-5, they showed a lot of pep last week with a big 28-22 win at Lambeau over the division-leading Packers. Can they carry that momentum into this spot?
Looking at the Vikings a Different Way
It has been upsetting for Minnesota fans to see them struggling for much of the season. Kirk Cousins has been downright lousy in some spots. The aerial offense without Diggs has struggled, though rookie Justin Jefferson has shown some signs of life. And Dalvin Cook’s four touchdowns on Sunday was captivating to watch. However, the aerial game has more or less been a disappointment. The other side of the ball has seen the Minnesota defense laboring massively with a severely underperforming secondary and a front-seven short on big plays and long on leakiness. The positive contributions from the “D” have been minimal. And a team many fancied as a postseason presence was suddenly quite flat.
Last Sunday made Minnesota naysayers pump their brakes, and truth be told, they have looked better in spots. In the last month, they went into Houston to get their first win of the season before nearly pulling off an upset in Seattle in a one-point loss. They flopped against Atlanta the following week, but the win over Green Bay served notice—don’t expect the same Minnesota team to surface every week. They can take on many different forms. And from a betting standpoint, they haven’t been that bad, failing to cover just once in the last five weeks.
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Detroit: A Work in Progress
With the Colts coming into town with Detroit fresh off the break after getting to 3-3, the Lions had big hopes and even got off to a good start. But as is their won’t, a big start sometimes doesn’t mean much. Before long, the Lions struggled to stay afloat after the Colts piled on in the second quarter. After narrowing the gap in the third quarter, the Detroit defense imploded again, and Indy stacked scores and pulled away with the win. When betting on a team, it’s a major liability. A handful of times this season already, things are looking good with Detroit, and by the time you take the trash out and marinate some meat, the ceiling is falling in.
But even in games where the Lions end up getting massacred, they usually show some fire. And for what it’s worth, that’s an improvement on recent Lions’ teams. They’re dangerous, and they’ve generally been more-competitive. Letting an Indy offense that had been dicey in spots run over them at home isn’t a good development. That defense sometimes descends to pretty abysmal levels. With a stacked backfield for Stafford to rely upon, it doesn’t always fire. Some weeks it does. It really didn’t on Sunday and while Stafford got a 100-yard game from un-utilized Marvin Hall, with tight end TJ Hockenson having a good game, along with Marvin Jones, getting everyone to have a good game on the same day isn’t that easy. And that line hasn’t always been very dependable, with leaky protection for Stafford and not the best run-blocking in spots. Maybe against a Minnesota “D” that has struggled in getting their footing, this matchup will be more in their wheelhouse. The word that WR Kenny Golladay won’t play after leaving the last game with a hip injury, however, isn’t really good news for Detroit.
The Erratic Detroit Defense
It’s difficult to find a defense playing with a wider range of form than the Detroit “D.” There have been times where they were very respectable—allowing 23 to the Cardinals on the road while keeping Atlanta in check in their last win before the bye. But there have also been a number of troubling sequences with the relinquishing of several leads and their utter lack of clutch in some key spots. Against Indy on Sunday, it was hard to really see what Indy was doing that was so great. It was just that Detroit melted, and next thing you know, Indy was just cruising up and down the field. In the offseason, Detroit added some players who have helped, and one would imagine that CB Jeff Okudah, the number-two pick, will come around. But in sum, they’re nothing special, and there isn’t really one thing that they’re particularly good at.
Even if Kirk Cousins has seemingly regressed this season, this Vikings’ offense can do damage in the right spots, and at home against a Detroit defense may very well be one of those games. Dalvin Cook may be too much of a part of this offense, but that doesn’t mean Detroit can stop him. The thing is, you never know what’s coming from either team on both sides of the ball. Still, Cook appears to loom large in this matchup.
Lay the Points on the Home Team
Again, with both teams, trying to pinpoint a baseline of expected production is futile. Either team could win by three TDs, and how surprising would it really be? While we don’t want to invest too much in the one-week window of last week, but with an extra week to get ready at home, Detroit’s performance was almost a message to the NFL betting public saying, “Yeah, we’re still the Lions.” Meanwhile, the Minnesota defense seemed to stumble onto something good, with Cook starting to explode, and at home, I think it’s going to be enough. I’ll take the Vikings.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Minnesota Vikings minus 4 points. Bet your pick for FREE by signing up for an account at Intertops and depositing $25. They’ll add a free $50 bet to your account instantly when you use bonus code ROOKIE200.