Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#143 Detroit Lions 42.5 vs.
#144 Minnesota Vikings -13
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 1:00pm EST
U.S. Bank Syadium, Minneapolis
Written by Scott Reichel

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#143 Detroit
#144 Minnesota
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Week 14 of NFL football continues as the Detroit Lions travel to U.S. Bank Stadium to take on the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 1:00 P.M. These two teams have not met since week seven when the Vikings beat the Lions on the road by the score of 42-30.

Lions Look To Snap Losing Streak

Matt Patricia has the Lions in terrible form headed into this game. The Lions have a 3-8-1 record which is bad enough to have them in last place in the NFC North division. To make matters worse, the Lions have lost each of their last five games with all of those games being decided by eight points or less. Most of Detroit's struggles have been due to injuries to several key players on its roster all season long which has crippled the active roster. Now, Detroit has virtually nothing to play for besides pride so one has to wonder just how hard this team will play moving forward.

Leading the Lions offensively is quarterback David Blough who has barely any NFL experience. Through just one game, he has 280 passing yards along with two passing touchdowns. The only reason why he is getting playing time is due to injuries to quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Jeff Driskel. Either way, Blough will look to make the most of his opportunity moving forward.

Defensively, Detroit has been awful up to this point. The Lions are allowing 26.2 points per game which ranks 25th in the entire league. In addition, the Lions are allowing 398.1 yards per game which ranks 29th in the league. Now, Detroit will look to use the added preparation time to put together a good defensive gameplan for Sunday.

Vikings Look To Inch Closer To Playoffs

Minnesota enters this game with an 8-4 record as it has looked like a solid team in the NFC all season long. However, the Vikings were unable to get a victory last week against the Seahawks as they eventually lost on Monday Night Football by the score of 37-30. As a result, Minnesota is still in possession of a Wild Card spot in the NFC but it remains one game behind Green Bay for first place in the NFC North. Now, the Vikings will need to win a few more games this season if they plan on clinching a playoff spot and winning a home game against a below-average opponent is a good place to start.

Leading the Vikings offensively is running back Dalvin Cook who has been great this season with 1,046 yards along with 12 rushing touchdowns. In addition, Cook also has 490 receiving yards so he has been extremely useful in a variety of ways. However, he is currently suffering from a chest injury so he is not guaranteed to play on Sunday.

Defensively, Minnesota has been pretty good up to this point. The Vikings are allowing 20.2 points per game which ranks 11th in the entire league. In addition, the Vikings are allowing 347.4 yards per game which ranks 16th in the league. However, Minnesota's defense gave up 37 points last week to Seattle so it will need to play a lot better at home in this game.

Update (12/6): According to ProFootballTalk.com and ESPN.com, Cook will play this week. Cook played less than half of the snaps on Monday night due to the injury.

“I don’t think this thing can get any worse,” Cook said via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “I just think us being smart about it on Monday night was the best thing for what we have going forward. That was the best thing, to shut it down on Monday night, so I can be ready to roll on Sunday.”

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Even though Minnesota is the much better team, the spot definitely benefits Detroit so I will take the road team in this game. While Detroit was given a few extra days of preparation since it played on Thanksgiving, Minnesota has to play on a short week since it played on Monday so I think that Detroit should be able to cover this number. Plus, Minnesota is dealing with an injury to one of its best offensive players so he will not be at 100% for this game. Give me the road team.

Prediction: Detroit Lions +13

Full-Game Total Pick

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Detroit's defense has been an absolute mess all season long and Minnesota's defense looked very underwhelming last week so I think that this total is too low. The first matchup between these two teams had 72 points so I think that these two teams should be able to overcome their injuries and score at least 22 points each. There has also been some early money trickling in on the over and I will back the line movement. Give me the over.

Prediction: Over 43

Half-Time Side Pick

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Blough surprised some people with how well he played on Thursday and I think that he will play well once again in the first half of this game since Minnesota has virtually no film on him to scout. Plus, Detroit has a significant advantage in terms of rest and I think that it should come out looking like the fresher team over the first 30 minutes before Minnesota finally wakes up at halftime. Give me the road team.

Prediction: Detroit Lions 1H
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.