The Minnesota Vikings (4-3-1) host the Detroit Lions (3-4) on Sunday afternoon in an important NFC North battle. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on November 4th at U.S. Bank Stadium. The game will be televised on FOX.

Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Vikings listed as 5.5-point home favorites. That line has moved by a full point after early betting, as Minnesota is currently available at -4.5. The total for this matchup is 50.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 9 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.

Vikings vs Lions Vegas Odds & Game Preview

Detroit dropped back below .500 on the season last weekend after a disappointing 28-14 home loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Lions were badly outplayed on both sides of the ball, as they were outscored by Seattle 28-7 after the first quarter. QB Matthew Stafford had a decent game, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. However, he did also lose a fumble and get picked off once by a rejuvenated Seahawks defense. Stafford has completed 67.6% of his passes for 1,912 yards and 14 touchdown in seven games. It will be interesting to see how the offense looks after the departure of Golden Tate, as he was moved to the Philadelphia Eagles at the trade deadline. As a whole, Detroit is currently averaging 24.4 points per game (17 overall) on 373.4 yards of total offense.

The Lions have looked below average defensively so far this season, as they are currently giving up an average of 26.6 points per game (25th overall). They have been absolutely dreadful against the run, as opponents are currently averaging 144.6 yards per game on the ground (32nd overall).

Minnesota had there three game winning streak come to an end last weekend, losing 30-20 to the New Orleans Saints. The Vikings did have a fairly impressive game offensively, as QB Kirk Cousins threw for 359 yards while adding two touchdowns in a losing cause. WR Adam Thielen had yet another 100+ yard game, racking up 103 yards. Thielen has now recorded at least 100 yards in every game this season and currently has 925 receiving yards total. RB Dalvin Cook remains questionable to play with a hamstring injury – it seems as if he will likely play limited snaps here in Week 9. Latavius Murray has played well in his absence, rushing for 386 yards and 4.7 yards per carry. Overall, Minnesota is currently averaging 24.6 points per game (14th overall) on 385.8 yards of total offense.

The Vikings have looked fairly average defensively so far this season, as they are currently giving up an average of 24.4 points per game (15th) on 336.4 yards of total offense. However, they have been quite strong against the run, limiting opponents to just 91.8 yards per game on the ground (5th overall).

Free NFL Betting Prediction: Minnesota -4.5

I think that the Vikings offer a ton of value in this particular spot, especially since Detroit will be without Golden Tate for the first time this weekend. While Matthew Stafford still has plenty of weapons offensively, there is no doubt that he will miss his #1 receiver. Minnesota had been on a real roll before losing against a tough Saints team in Week 8. I’m fully expecting them to get back on track on Sunday afternoon, as Kirk Cousins really seems to have settled in nicely.

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Detroit is only 8-14-3 ATS over their last 25 games against the Vikings. They are also just 2-4 straight up on the road so far this season and 4-7-2 ATS over their last 13 games on the road in Minnesota. The Vikings are a very impressive 35-16-2 ATS over their last 53 home games. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five games in the month of November and 46-22-1 ATS in their last 69 games overall.

It is also important to remember that the Lions have now failed to cover the spread in seven out of their last ten games as an underdog of at least three points. Aside from a puzzling home loss to the Buffalo Bills, Minnesota has been the more consistent team by far this season. Detroit showed they are focusing towards the future after the departure of Tate, and I think this may be a bit of a let down game. It’s hard to be ready to play after losing arguably the most dangerous part of the offense – I’m laying the 4.5 points and taking the Vikings to cover at home.