Minnesota Vikings (3-2) at Detroit Lions (1-5)
Both of these two teams are missing key defensive players for this one. The Vikings will be without Sharrif Floyd, a 3rd year defensive tackle who was one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL in 2014 and who has continued that into this season. He’s played in the first 5 games, but will miss this one. On Detroit’s side, they’ll be without outside linebacker DeAndre Levy, who was one of the best linebackers in the NFL last season. The Lions are more used to being without him though, as he’s been limited to 17 nondescript snaps in one game by a hip injury thus far this season.
Despite that, the Lions don’t rank too much worse than the Vikings in rate of moving the chains differential, 27th to 20th. Both of these two teams have faced tough schedules (Detroit has faced San Diego, Minnesota, Denver, Seattle, Arizona and Chicago, while the Vikings have faced (San Francisco, Detroit, San Diego, Denver, and Kansas City) and I think the Vikings shouldn’t be favored here in Detroit, even if only by 2 points, especially since Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson is less than 100% likely to play with an illness. However, I can’t be confident in Detroit ahead of a London game next week. Teams are just 6-18 ATS all-time before a London game, as that provides a serious distraction. I’m still taking them, but this is my lowest confidence game of the season.
Minnesota Vikings 24 Detroit Lions 23
Pick against the spread: Detroit +2