NFL Picks Week 3: Lions Vs. Vikings

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions gets ready to pass the football during a NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Ford Field on September 18, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions won 48-3 (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions head to the Metrodome as rare favorites over the Minnesota Vikings.

The Detroit Lions find themselves in an unfamiliar place among the seven teams in the NFL to start 2-0. The Minnesota Vikings, on the other hand, are among the seven teams to have yet to even win a game. This game is as clear an example of the parity of the NFL as you'll find when you consider where these teams were two years ago, the Lions on their way to an 0-16 season, the Vikings on their way to a division title. This week, the upstart Lions are 3.5-point favorites and the near-unanimous pick to win on the road.

Starting with SB Nation's Andrew Sharp, who says take Detroit and the points. Peter King agrees, predicting a 14-point win for the Lions, continuing a cursed year for Minnesota sports. 

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's former high school baseball teammate, Clayton Kershaw, wins his 20th game and becomes a leading candidate for the National League Cy Young. In Minnesota, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer get shut down for the year with injuries. A coincidence? I think not.

The Lions were one of 10 unanimous picks among ESPN's panel of 10 experts (one of them being a computer and another a fan vote). Accuscore sees this being a tight game at least, giving the Lions just a one-point edge with a 22.2-21.2 final score.

CBSSports provides the lone dissenting vote, with Pete Prisco predicting a three-point win for the Vikings. His reasoning?

I just think they will slow the Lions down. And the Vikings will use the dome crowd to get after Matt Stafford on passing downs. Upset special.

What an age we live in that taking the Vikings over the Lions is considered an upset special, but the times they are a-changing. 

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