Preseason picks come from my NFC North Pre-Season Betting Preview:
Lions over 7.5 wins -125
Lions make the playoffs YES +250
Lions win NFC North +650
The Lions have been very inconsistent and find themselves in last place in the NFC North. On the positive side, they are only one game out of first place and these bets are still in play. They just traded away their leading receiver Golden Tate but they have been trying to establish themselves as more of a running team. The main issue with this team has been their defense. They have faced the 3rd toughest schedule of opposing offenses but they still rank 30th in defensive efficiency. They won an early game against the Patriots (I called that nbd) but followed that up with a late loss in Dallas where their defense couldn’t hang on. This team is 3-4 and their season could go either way. They look great some weeks and some weeks they look terrible. If they can play well consistently then these should have a good chance. They beat the Packers in their only divisional game and have the Vikings and Bears on deck. This division could very well come down to the last game of the season for all four teams.
Vikings under 10 wins -105
Vikings make the playoffs NO +185
These bets look great so far. The Vikings defense has regressed like I said it would and Kirk Cousins has been his same overrated self. He is like a far less talented Peyton Manning, where he just beats up on bad teams and then against good teams he is terrible. At the end of the season you can say “Kirk Cousins had 27 TDs and 13 INTs,” but he probably had the majority of those TDs against bad teams and the majority of those INTs in important games. This year the Vikings have struggled running the ball and on defense. Their identity last year was a team that could run the ball and play defense. Adding Kirk Cousins was supposed to complete their team. Now they have become heavily reliant on the passing game which has been inconsistent. The four teams the Vikings have beat have a combined 10 wins on the season. The Vikings have a pretty tough upcoming schedule. The NFC North is wide open but I definitely do not see them getting to 10 wins. I would say their chances at making the playoffs are still very doubtful.