The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions will kickoff Thanksgiving Day in a crucial NFC North matchup that could determine the division winner. The game will be played at Ford Field in Detroit, and is scheduled to begin at 12:30 PM. ET.
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Lions vs Vikings Odds
- Minnesota Vikings +2.5
- Detroit Lions -2.5
- Over/Under 41.5
The Vikings started the season on a tear despite injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson, and looked like the team to beat in the NFC. However, the team suffered a four game losing streak, which shrunk their division lead, and left them in a tie with the Lions.
With the Green Bay Packers struggling this season, it looks like the Lions or Vikings will win the division this year, which makes this a very big game for both sides.
The Vikings and Lions played each other a couple of weeks ago, with the Lions winning the game 22-16. If Detroit wins this time around, they will take sole possession of the division lead and have the tie-breaker edge over the Vikings if they finish with the same record.
Matthew Stafford was expected to struggle this season after Calvin Johnson announced his retirement at the end of the 2015 season. However, Stafford is having one of his best season as a pro, and is one of the front runners for the MVP award.
Despite Stafford’s performance this season, the Lions still have trouble running the ball efficiently. The team averages 79.5 rushing yards per game, which is 30th in the league. The lack of a consistent running game makes their offense one dimensional, and a few opponents have been able to use that to their advantage.
The Vikings have been kept alive in the division race for most of the season by their defense, which is considered to be one of the best in the league. However, during their four-game losing streak, the defense didn’t play very well, and got little support from their offense.
Last week, the defense got back on track against the Arizona Cardinals, and put pressure on Carson Palmer all day, which prevented the Cardinals offense from getting into a comfortable groove.
After their performance against Arizona, the Vikings will be going into this game with some confidence. However, their offense needs to play better than they have in recent weeks to give the team a great chance to win the game.
Minnesota will be without the services of cornerback Terrence Newman, who is listed as doubtful for the game. Without Newman in the lineup, look for Stafford to try and exploit the Vikings secondary by targeting Newman’s replacement whenever he gets a chance.
The Vikings aren’t a very good road team, but I expect them to keep this game very close. However, Stafford and Detroit’s offense will prove too much to handle and the Lions will win the game and cover the spread.
Play: Lions -2.5 @ Bovada.lv