Despite putting up at least 35 points against the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders during the first two weeks of the 2022 season, the Detroit Lions are still opening up Week 3 as 7.5-point underdogs to the Minnesota Vikings, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Vikings took the Green Packers to town in Week 1, handily beating them 23-7, but they have yet to play their second game of the season, as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles on “Monday Night Football.”
So was their Week 1 win so convincing that the 7.5 points are a warranted spread?
Well, if you look at Football Outsider’s defensive DVOA rankings, it seems a bit high. Per FO, the Vikings defense was ranked 18th in DVOA, while the Eagles were 21st and the Commanders 22nd. Maybe the offensive DVOA rankings will help sort things out. The Vikings landed a very respectable second-best DVOA ranking, but the Lions offensive DVOA was ranked eighth in Week 1 and could be higher after another solid performance on Sunday.
The Lions do have several starters dealing with injuries, and that surely played a factor in this spread, as it’s unknown when they will return. But at the same time, the Lions’ reserves played well against the Commanders. Specifically, the Lions interior offensive line needed to rely on three reserves to start against the Commanders, who have arguably one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, and the Detroit more than held their own—the entire offensive line only allowing three sacks and paving the way for 191 rushing yards.
Will the line change after the Vikings play on Monday night? When injury updates come on Wednesday? There’s bound to be some movement, but for now, the spread seems a bit lopsided.