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NFL Week 18 expert picks, score predictions: Lions vs. Vikings

Our staff makes their expert picks for the NFL Week 18 battle between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions close out their 2023 regular season with a bout against the Minnesota Vikings. Just a few weeks ago, it looked like this could have been a matchup for the division title. But the Vikings collapsed down the stretch, and the Lions took care of business to clinch their first ever NFC North title. They’ll let the Vikings know about it with a division championship celebration before Sunday’s kickoff.

As for the game itself, there isn’t a ton on the line. The Vikings are still technically alive in the NFC playoff race, but they’ll need a ton of help and most probability models have them somewhere near 3 percent to make the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Lions have even longer odds to move out of the three seed to the two. They’ll have to win plus the Cowboys will need to lose to the Commander and the Eagles will have to lose to the Giants. Despite the long-shot odds of that outcome, the Lions will be playing their starters against the Vikings to give themselves a shot.

So who wins this NFC North showdown? Here’s a look at our expert picks for the Week 18 finale.

Brandon Knapp (14-2): 27-13 Lions
Ryan Mathews (12-4): 28-14 Lions
Alex Reno (12-4): 24-23 Lions
Jerry Mallory (11-4): 23-17 Lions
Kellie Rowe (11-5): Lions win
Meko Scott (11-5): 35-17 Lions
Jeremy Reisman (11-5): 34-17 Lions (On Paper preview here)
Morgan Cannon (10-6): 34-24 Lions
Erik Schlitt (10-6): 30-24 Lions (5 keys to victory)
Kyle Yost (10-6): 31-17 Lions
Hamza Baccouche (10-6): 28-20 Lions
John Whiticar (8-8): 31-27 Lions
Chris Perfett (0-0-16): 10-10 tie

Check out all of our Week 18 picks right here.

Now let’s hear your picks. Vote in the poll below and share you score predictions in the comment section at the bottom of the page.


Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    (512 votes)
  • 4%
    (24 votes)
536 votes total Vote Now

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.