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NFL Free Pick: Vikings vs. Lions Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview

Week 15: Minnesota vs Detroit Expert Preview

America’s Game of the Week features a pair of NFC North combatants as the Minnesota Vikings (6-7) take on the Detroit Lions (9-4). Cappers Picks will provide free NFL picks all season.

The Lions have a lot riding on this one as they look to keep hold of a wild card spot in the NFC.

Bet on NFL Week 15 Football!

Minnesota vs. Detroit
When: Sunday, Dec. 14 2014 at 4:25 pm ET
Where: Ford Field
TV: Fox
NFL Week 15 ATS Gambling Line: Lions -7
NFL Week 15 Gambling O/U Line: 41.5
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These two will meet for the second time this season; Detroit took the first leg with stout defense and shut down the Vikings in Minnesota by a count of 17-3.

The second meeting holds a lot more weight for the Lions as they’re battling to keep pace in the NFC and hoping to lock down a spot in the playoffs.


Detroit has had a nice upwards trend this year after a 7-9 finish to the season a year ago. They’ve guaranteed themselves a winning record already and are in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NFC. Winning the division seems a little out of reach as they’re a game back of the Packers who look nearly invincible right now, but if the Lions continue to roll a week 17 date with Green Bay would determine the division champ.

I’ve said it more than once this year and my opinion remains the same, the Lions are for real this year. They have a very tough defense that may be somewhat overlooked. Detroit has the best rush D in the league, allowing just 62.8 yards per game on the ground.

The Lions also rank first in the NFL in points allowed per game at 17.2. Yes, for all the recent talk about how unbeatable the Seahawks’ defense is, it’s the Lions who rank first in what is the most significant defensive category.

Now that this team’s offense is getting in rhythm, Detroit is a tough out for anyone. The Lions have put up 34 points in back to back games and QB Matt Stafford is back in sync with stud wide out Calvin Johnson. The Lions also play very well at home with a 6-1 record.


There’s nothing to be ashamed of for the Vikings this season with a 6-7 record. Playing in a tough division with the Lions and Packers, they could get out of this year at 8-8 and that should be taken as a success. Without arguably the best running back in the game Adrian Peterson, the Vikes have made due with the combination of Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon at running back and rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater has put up respectable numbers in his first year under center.

Minnesota has played three solid games, taking the Packers to the limit in a 24-21 loss before recording back to back wins over the Panthers and Jets. Statistically the Vikings are about where you’d expect on both sides of the ball for a 6-7 team, right around mid-pack. The offense ranks around the bottom third in terms of yards and points per game, but the defense is among the top half in the same categories.

If AP returns next season there’s a lot to look forward to for this team as they are heading in the right direction.

Week 15 Vikings vs. Lions 4* Free Pick

Both teams are playing pretty solid football right now but I can’t go against the Lions in this one. Detroit seems to be hitting their stride at the right time and I don’t expect them to stumble this week.

Minnesota just doesn’t have the fire power to keep pace with the Lions and Detroit’s defense shouldn’t have a lot of trouble stifling the Vikings offense. Seven points seems easily achievable for a Lions team that has outscored each of its last two opponents by 17 points.

Go with Detroit.

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About Matt Durnan

A (self-proclaimed) fantasy sports guru since 2004 and a journalist since 2007. He has been offering unsolicited sports gambling advice to his circle of friends for years and has now put himself at the mercy of online readers everywhere. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have"... His hockey coach told him that when he was 7. His team lost every game that year.