Detroit owns the edge in the recent rivalry with Minnesota, winning three of the last four meetings straight up, going 3-1 against the spread along the way. In a key game in a bunched-up Black-and-Blue Division the Lions tangle with the Vikings on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 27.1-21.2 Vikings (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Lions can cover the spread
Detroit won two games in a row to reach 3-3 on the season but is now looking to rebound after losing at home to Seattle last week 28-14. The Lions took an early 7-0 lead on a Matthew Stafford touchdown connection with Marvin Jones, but they gave up the next 28 points of the game.
Stafford and Jones hooked up for another score early in the fourth quarter, but Stafford then lost a fumble at the Seahawks' 46-yard line on Detroit's next possession. He then threw an interception from the Seattle 4-yard line, ending any hopes of a rally.
For the day Detroit got beat on the stat sheet, but what really hurt was a fumble on a kickoff in the second quarter, which led to the Seahawks touchdown that gave them the lead for good.
Two weeks ago the Lions ran the ball for 248 yards in a 32-21 victory at Miami. In fact, Detroit is 3-0 ATS on the road this season.
Why the Vikings can cover the spread
Minnesota won three in a row to reach 4-2-1 but also looks to rebound this week from a 30-20 loss at home to New Orleans last week. The Vikings trailed the Saints 7-0 out of the gate, rallied to lead 13-7 but gave up the next 23 points of the game and could not recover.
On the night Minnesota actually out-gained New Orleans 423-270 and held a 27-17 edge in first downs. But the Vikings also committed two crucial turnovers.
Minnesota has now out-gained seven of its eight opponents this season, including its last last four foes.
Smart betting pick
Each of the last four meetings in this rivalry have been decided by seven points or less. The Vikings own the edge in performances against common opponents this season, but they're also just 1-2-1 ATS at home this year. Minnesota may win this game outright but smart money takes the Lions and the points.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in seven of the Lions' last nine games vs. the Vikings.
The total has gone under in six of the Vikings' last eight games at home.
The Lions are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.