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Odds Lions Beat Vikings in Week 3

Read more on the Detroit Lions' odds of securing a victory against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3.
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The Detroit Lions kick off NFC North divisional play Sunday, with a matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings are coming off a disappointing 24-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. Meanwhile, the Lions beat the Washington Commanders, 36-27, for their first victory of the season.

In Detroit's Week 2 win vs. the Commanders, the team continued to rush the football with success. It accumulated 191 yards on the ground, on 24 carries, good for an average of 8.0 yards per rushing attempt.

For the season, the Lions have amassed 372 rushing yards -- the third-best mark in the league -- to go along with a league-best 7.2 yards per carry.

And, if there's one player to credit for Detroit's dominance on the ground up to this point, it's third-year back D'Andre Swift.

Swift is off to the best start of his NFL career. Through two games, he's rushed for 200 yards (on 20 carries), good for a league-high 10.0 yards per rushing attempt. He's also contributed another 62 yards and a touchdown as a receiver.

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Swift and the Lions' rushing attack should have a nice day against the Vikings, too.

Minnesota has allowed 5.3 yards per carry through the first two weeks of the season, the fifth-worst mark in the league.

Detroit's running game should also receive a boost from the return of center Frank Ragnow. Ragnow sat out last week with a foot injury. 

As for the defensive side of the ball, the Lions' biggest worry should be attempting to curtail the production of Vikings No. 1 wideout Justin Jefferson.

“There’s no doubt he’s (Jefferson) one of the top five in this league and he’s steady -- steady rising,” Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn told reporters this week. “He plays with a chip on his shoulder, he’s competitive, highly competitive. They put him in a lot of different positions, right? Where they can give him the ball, which I think is a credit to that staff." 

Jefferson has been a Lions killer throughout his young career.

In fact, since entering the league in 2020, the LSU product has put up his biggest numbers against Detroit. He's amassed 30 receptions for 503 yards and a touchdown in four total games vs. Detroit. And, those 30 catches and 503 receiving yards are both career-best marks for Jefferson against an opponent. 

Additionally, a season ago, the game-breaking receiver produced two contests with north of 100 receiving yards against the Lions, including a career-best 11 receptions and 182 yards in a Week 13 tilt. 

Expect to see both Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye, Detroit's two best corners, used on the dynamic wideout. However, don't expect either defensive back to fare too well against the elite pass-catcher. 

I believe Jefferson is in store for a big game, which will catapult the Vikings to a win in this Week 3 matchup.

Still, I'm willing to give the Lions, on the heels of a strong day on the ground from Swift & Co., a 45 percent chance of pulling off the upset in Minnesota.