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Detroit vs. Minnesota Parlay Preview Article

VirginiaCavs

CTG Super Moderator
Staff member
NFL Week 3 Parlay: Minnesota Hosts Overhyped Lions

Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, September 25, 2022 at 1 p.m. ET at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis

The Odds

Currently, Minnesota is favored by as few as 5.5 points for its upcoming home game against the Lions.

This spread reflects the positive perception of Detroit because, depending on the sportsbook, Minnesota opened as 7.5- or eight-point favorites.

The question is this: do the Lions deserve this positive perception, such that we should consider them to be a strong underdog this week?

Burden on Detroit's Offense

My main issue with Detroit is that its defense doesn't seem to have improved to a meaningful extent after, last year, ranking 31stin allowing 27.5 points per game.

This year, the Lions also rank 31st in scoring defense. But now they are allowing 32.5 points per game.

In view of Detroit's endeavor to cover the spread, the offense has a tremendous burden to carry because it's easier to fail to cover even a larger spread when the defense allows so many points.

My point is that it is trivially true that Detroit's offense has improved this year, but, in order to be considered a viable underdog for this game, the Lion offense needs to be very substantially better than it was last year.

Detroit's Offense So Far

It seems to me that Detroit hasn't made substantial enough improvements to its offense during the offseason to justify the expectation that its current offensive explosion is sustainable to a meaningful degree.

After all, in Week 1, the Lions were always chasing Philadelphia, at one point losing to the Eagles 31-14.

In Week 2, Detroit's offense flourished against a Commander defense whose statistics were flattered by a slow Jacksonville start and by misplaced Jacksonville aggressiveness in the red zone in Week 1.

The Jaguar pass offense did come to move the ball downfield with ease on the Commander defense, and this is the sort of success that the Lions replicated in Week 2.

Detroit hasn't been able to rely on new acquisition DJ Chark as much it surely hoped to do because he was arguably the team's top acquired skill player.

Chark's last somewhat complete season was in 2020.

In that year, his contested catch rate was vastly higher than it currently is, and he also did a much stronger job of separating himself from his assigned defender.

Minnesota's Pass Defense vs. Lion Pass Attack

Detroit's pass attack has dependent on two things in particular, which make it vulnerable to what the Viking pass defense likes to do.

One thing is its relatively strong dependence on downfield passing.

After averaging 2.9 deep ball attempts per game last year, Jared Goff is throwing 4.5 of them per game this year.

Likewise, Goff is averaging 1.9 more air yards per attempt this year than he did last year.

Moreover, he has been relatively dependent on Amon-Ra St. Brown, who alone accounts for over a third of his team's targets.

Minnesota's pass defense is well-equipped to contain a pass attack inclined to be aggressive because the Vikings, schematically, are constructed to force their opponent to focus on attempting shorter passes.

They employ a lot of coverages that involve two deep safeties, especially cover-6.

With so many defensive backs on the field, they're positioned to keep the opposing offense in front of them.

Moreover, their combination of defensive backs is arranged to limit one wide receiver in particular.

Hence, Eagle star receiver AJ Brown accrued five fewer receptions and 86 fewer yards in his game against Minnesota than against Detroit.

Detroit's Defense

By the numbers, despite the immediate impact that Aidan Hutchinson seems to be happening, there is little to like from the Lion defense.

Currently, the Lion run defense ranks 26th while its pass defense ranks 27th.

While Minnesota's quarterback obviously isn't mobile like Philadelphia's, Miles Sanders amassed 96 rushing yards on only 13 carries against the Lions.

For Washington, Carson Wentz threw for 337 yards.

Hutchinson's impact is outweighed especially by the plethora of injuries to the Lion defense.

Hutchinson himself was a non-participant in Wednesday's practice due to a leg injury.

More definitively, several important players whom the team would like to count on, such as Jeff Okudah, Josh Paschal, and Romeo Okwara, are out indefinitely.

If Amani Oruwariye still can't play, then the Lions will miss their two starting cornerbacks.

Vikings' Dual Threat

Minnesota is built to thrive on both fronts.

The Vikings boast three-time Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook at running back, and then Adam Thielen, and a Justin Jefferson who solidified himself as one of the league's best wide receivers after exceeding 1,600 receiving yards last year.

Both Detroit's run defense and its pass defense, already struggling to limit opposing scoring, will encounter their strongest tests on Sunday.

Total Verdict

After being embarrassed on national television and losing its last game to Detroit despite winning the yardage and time of possession battles, Detroit will have Minnesota's full attention.

The Viking offense will reach the mid to upper 30s, leaving the Lions' improved offense having little to accomplish to send the scoring over the posted total.

Best Bet: Parlay Vikings -6 at -108 & Over 52.5 at -108 at +271 odds with Heritage
 

Zeke

Big Dick and Average Size Boat
Anyone with me?
No. The line move wasn't due to Detroit's performance, it was due to Minnesota's shit performance Monday night. I grabbed +7.5 Monday morning, Tuesday morning I saw 5.5. I feel it's too many points for a Kirk led team to cover.
 

VirginiaCavs

CTG Super Moderator
Staff member
Fair take Zeke, I think it was dumb, though, for people to value Minnesota less because of Monday night...we already knew that Kirk sucks on MNF.
 

Zeke

Big Dick and Average Size Boat
I just feel over a TD is too much to lay with Minn vs anyone. At 5 or 6, different story but I was playing a number really.
 
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