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NFL Expert Picks: Vikings Favored Against Lions in Week 3

There's been almost no place like home when the Minnesota Vikings face the Detroit Lions.

In the 121 meetings between the two clubs, the Vikings are 43-16-1 at home, fueling the team's dominant lead (79-40-2) in the all-time series.

Unlike Lions teams of some previous years, though, Detroit and Minnesota have gone down to the wire recently. The past three games have each been decided by just two points.

Detroit also snapped an eight-game losing streak in the series when it defeated Minnesota in Week 13 last year for its first win of the season.

With every team in the NFC North at 1-1 so far this season, the Vikings and Lions are looking to gain an upper hand in the division race on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for noon (CT) on FOX.

Let's see who the experts are picking to win the game:

Lions 33, Vikings 30 — Gregg Rosenthal,

Less than one week after getting steamrolled by one of football's most physical offensive lines, the Vikings defense faces another. In this seesaw early portion of the season, I tend to pick according to which units are most consistent. The Lions offense is that group. Amon-Ra St. Brown and D'Andre Swift are making the jump from good to special, and I trust Detroit's staff to give its squad a slight edge.

Vikings 31, Lions 23 — Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

The Vikings were awful in losing to the Eagles on Monday night. The plan was bad on both sides of the ball. But they will get back on track here. The Lions have played well so far this season, especially on offense, but this is their first road game. The Minnesota offense will play well since it's not a Monday night game, which happen to cripple Kirk Cousins. The Vikings take it.

Vikings 33, Lions 30 — Staff, Bleacher Report

Coming off a 24-7Monday Night Footballloss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings will look to rebound against a division rival in the Detroit Lions, who have scored the second-most points and racked up the fourth-most yards leaguewide.

Most of our panelists think the Vikings will redeem themselves with a win at home, but they're not ready to lay the points on them with one of the league's most productive offenses in their building.

Vikings 34, Lions 17 — Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

The Vikings defense is much improved with a 3-4 scheme anchored by a good edge pass rush again. They also should be able to move the ball downfield with Justin Jefferson and run for chunks with Dalvin Cook at home vs. an overmatched Detroit defense. Minnesota will rattle Jared Goff plenty while Kirk Cousins gets settled to thoroughly outplay him.

Vikings 30, Lions 23 — Bill Bender, Sporting News

The Lions are an early-season feel-good team with the additions made with second-year coach Dan Campbell. They've scored 35.5 points per game, and Jared Goff is off to a great start with playmakers D'Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown. These teams split last year's meetings, and each game was decided by two points. We're still not sold on Detroit's defense, and the Kirk Cousins-Justin Jefferson [connection] continues in a fun NFC North matchup.

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Lions.

Vikings 35, Lions 31 — Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk

The Lions offense is better than people think, but their secondary will struggle against Justin Jefferson, and the Vikings will pull off a narrow win.

Vikings 27, Lions 24 — Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

This has become a sneaky great rivalry, with a couple of barnburners in 2021. The Vikings should be able to win at home. Whichever team prevails, the final score should be close enough for the Lions to cover.

Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 70% –

8 of 9 experts pick the Vikings, ESPN

3 of 5 experts pick the Vikings, The MMQB

2 of 7 experts pick the Vikings, Bleacher Report

8 of 10 experts pick the Vikings, The Athletic