Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Matchup Preview - September 25th, 2022

Editor

Sunday the Detroit Lions (1-1) will battle the Minnesota Vikings (1-1). Oddsmakers peg the Vikings as the big favorite with an implied win probablity of 69%, leaving the Lions with a 31% chance to record a win. The current spread is the Vikings -6.0 with a Game Total of 52.5.

Minnesota's primary disadvantage has been their defense, which has allowed a monstrous 382 yards per game this year, sliding them into the #5 spot among the league's worst. They've struggled in large part because they've been unable to keep opposing offenses from moving the chains via their pass attack. Opposing QBs have thrown for the #5-most yards per game (255) against the Vikings. A big part of the problem is their inability to put pressure on the quarterback. It's taken them an average of 2.56 seconds after the snap before a defender gets close enough for the QB to feel it -- #3-slowest among all teams. Opposing wide receivers have given the Vikings the most trouble, posting 177 yards per game against this defense (#2-worst in football). Minnesota's coverage problems have been exacerbated by their cornerbacks, who rank just #32 in the league in locking down opposing pass-catchers. When it comes to their offense, the Vikings check in at #12 in football when it comes to total yards per game. Their passing game has compiled 253 yards per game (#14 in football). Their run game has ranked #15 with 4.31 yards per attempt on the ground.

Detroit's biggest weakness has been their defense, ranking #30 in the league while allowing 383 yards per game. Much of their struggle has come in trying to shut down the run game, as they've allowed opposing ball-carriers to rush for the #5-most yards per carry: 4.85. That's not to give any unnecessary credit to their pass defense, though, which checks in at #3-worst in yards per target (8.49). The Lions defensive ends have played a big part in their inability to stop the run, ranking #1-worst in the NFL by this measure. In terms of their offense, the Lions have ranked #21 in the league in total yards per game. They've passed for 226 yards per game (#22 in football). On the ground they've ranked #17 with 4.26 yards per carry.

Detroit Lions Insights

  • This game will be played in a dome—meaning no wind, higher pass volume, higher touchdown potential, and better passing efficiency.

  • Jared Goff's throwing accuracy has diminished this season, with his Completion% shrinking from 66.2% to 55.3%.

  • The Sharp Model projects D'Andre Swift to accrue 0.24 receiving touchdowns in this game, on average, ranking in the 99th percentile among RBs.

Minnesota Vikings Insights

  • The Sharp Model projects Kirk Cousins to be much more involved in his team's running game this week (8.3% projected Carry Share) than he has been since the start of last season (0.9% in games he has played).

  • Justin Jefferson has notched a colossal 126.0 air yards per game since the start of last season: 100th percentile among wideouts.

  • The Minnesota Vikings pass defense has excelled when opposing running backs have gotten into space, yielding an average of 7.08 yards-after-the-catch since the start of last season: the 9th-least in football.

Betting Trends

  • The Minnesota Vikings have covered the 1H Spread in 10 of their last 15 games (+4.70 Units / 29% ROI)

  • The Detroit Lions have hit the 1H Game Total Under in 10 of their last 17 games (+3.45 Units / 18% ROI)

  • Jared Goff has hit the Rushing Yards Under in 7 of his last 8 games (+5.75 Units / 56% ROI)