Lions Look to Continue Surge as A Slight Favorite in Key NFC North Battle

By SBRForum.com

The Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings have been heading in opposite directions since their meeting in Week Four, which was won by the Vikings as a road underdog, 20-13.

Detroit has since won three of  four games to claw its way back to the periphery of the NFC North race, while Minnesota has dropped three of five games including two straight. According to the Week 10 NFL odds, the Lions are a 2.5-point road favorite against the Vikings. The over/under is listed at 47 points.

Detroit appears to have righted the ship after a slow start to the season. The Lions come off consecutive wins—against Seattle (28-24) and on the road at Jacksonville (31-14)--to even their straight-up record at 4-4. Minnesota, on the other hand, suffered a bad home loss to Tampa Bay two weeks ago and couldn't beat Seattle on the road last Sunday.

Detroit's resurgence has been sparked largely by the better play of quarterback Matthew Stafford and increased production from its running game. The Lions rank No. 1 in the NFL with 307.2 yards a game through the air. As for the ground game, the emergence of running backs Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell have helped to add balance to the Lions attack the past few weeks.  The pair combined for 143 yards rushing on 29 attempts and four touchdowns a week ago against Jacksonville. Leshoure and Bell could have another big day Sunday as the Vikings defense has been porous against the run in recent weeks.

It looks like Detroit is also going to catch a big break on the injury front. The Vikings top playmaker and the  NFL leader in receptions, Percy Harvin, is highly-unlikely to play because of an ankle injury he suffered last week. 

This is a big game for both teams, but the Lions appear to be the “now” team and seem more than capable of beating the spread in Minnesota.

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