Sitting at a points total over of 51.5 on Fanduel Sportsbook, the game between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings is the second highest over on the NFL slate this weekend. The Los Angeles Chargers vs Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football take the top spot with a total of 52.5.
Last time these two teams played was back in week three. The Lions found themselves up 24-14 going into the fourth quarter in Minnesota. The final 15 minutes of the game would see the Vikings score 14 unanswered and win an exciting 28-24 game.
Four reasons to play the over of 51.5:
1. Top 10 offenses:
Coming into this week 14 matchup, both teams will get a chance to show off their top ten offenses. The Lions averaging 26.3 points per game, rank sixth in the NFL in points per game. With an average of 24.1 points per game, the Vikings find themselves ranked tenth.
Aside from the offensive points per game stats, another thing to look at is plays per game and time of possession. When it comes to plays per game, the Vikings rank tenth, while the Lions rank 12th. With both teams averaging a lot of points, it means they are making quick work of their possessions or at least getting themselves in scoring opportunities. Detroit is also second in the NFL in first quarter points with 6.8, the Vikings rank 12th with 4.6. It would not be surprising to see a fast start between these two teams.
In terms of time of possession, both teams rank in the bottom half of the league. This could work even better in the overs favor. The Lions rank 18th, Vikings check in at 25th. Circling back to the plays per game, and factoring it in with the high scoring offenses, both teams don’t hold onto the ball and drain clock. A perfect recipe for the over.
2. Airing it out on struggling defenses:
The Lions and Vikings both specialize in throwing the ball. With Goff (sixth) and Cousins (tenth) both finding themselves in the top ten in total passing yards, it should dictate what kind of game will be played. Lions quarterback Jared Goff has also played much better at home this season in the quarterback throwing friendly Ford Field dome stadium. Cousins in his four games at Detroit since joining the Vikings, has averaged 334 passing yards. He has also thrown 12 touchdowns passes in his four games combined (3, 4, 3, 2). Goff plays better at home, Cousins loves to air it out in his yearly visit to Detroit.
This isn’t two high powered offenses going against stud defenses either. Minnesota’s defense ranks dead last in passing yards per game, while the Lions rank 27th. Detroit is also 28th in rushing yards allowed, which should lead to some nice Dalvin Cook runs and scoring opportunities. Minnesota sits a little stingier at 16th in rushing yards allowed, but the tandem of De’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams could see big gaps to run through.
Allowing a lot of yards per game unsurprisingly translates to the struggling defenses giving up points. The Lions rank 32nd in points allowed per game with 27. The Vikings 23.2 puts them at 22nd.
3. Red Zone offense vs Red Zone defense:
When either of these teams find themselves in the red zone, they take advantage. The Detroit Lions rank first in the NFL scoring touchdowns in the red zone with a 73.91% clip. Minnesota’s 61.36% red zone touchdown percentage places them ninth.
These efficient red zone offenses get a treat this week going against poor red zone defenses. When teams are in the red zone against the Lions, they score a touchdown 66.67% of the time. This is the second worst rate in the NFL only to the Arizona Cardinals who allow 68.89%. Minnesota does a better job at 56.76%, but that still only puts them 20th in the NFL.
Two offenses who know how to put the ball in the end zone against two defenses that have a hard time keeping it from crossing the white line.
4. Big name offensive players that should help get the over:
Both teams possess offensive threats that should wreck havoc in this game.
Cousins will look early and often to OPOY candidate Justin Jefferson. Jefferson only caught three passes for 14 yards in the week three win over the Lions. He will be looking to right the ship and continue his incredible season. Viking tight end T.J. Hockenson will also be playing against his former team for the first time since getting traded in division. Hockenson should be feeling extra motivated on Sunday, and is be a good option to bet as an Any Time Touchdown Scorer at +190 (Odds via Fanduel Sportsbook).
Goff won’t hesitate to feed his favorite and reliable target Amon-Ra St. Brown the ball. Brown has 76 receptions on the season, 44 more than the next Lions receiver. The duo of Jamaal Williams and De’Andre Swift should both have excellent opportunities to find the end zone in this one. Williams is a touchdown machine, leading the NFL with 14 touchdowns this season. He has also scored in four straight weeks and five of the last six weeks. His counterpart De’Andre Swift also scored last week against Jacksonville, and has scored three of the last four weeks. Look for this duo to continue their hot touchdown stretch.
It should be a high scoring fun divisional matchup between these two teams, and not seeing a combined over of at least 52 would be surprising come Sunday afternoon.
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