Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
Date and Time: Thursday, December 1, 2016, 8:25 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Week 13 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Cowboys -3, 43.5
Cowboys vs. Vikings TV Coverage: NBC
While the Cowboys were never in any serious jeopardy of dropping their Turkey Day tilt with the Redskins, those that laid the points with the home team didn’t come away pleased with the end result. Up 17-6 at the break and 31-19 with just over six minutes remaining in the game, the Dallas defense allowed Washington to kick the backdoor in with a little less than two minutes remaining to ultimately snap the team’s nine-game cover streak.
More importantly, the triumph saw the Cowboys become the first team to log 10 wins this season and a trip to the playoffs certainly looks to be in the cards with it holding a two-game lead over the Giants with a game still to be played at MetLife Stadium next week.
The Minnesota Vikings weren’t thankful for much of anything last Thursday after the way their Turkey Day battle for first place with the Lions played out. Why Sam Bradford thought it was a good idea to throw a five-yard pass when the team needed seven to move the chains is beyond me. It was picked off on a tremendous play from Darius Slay. Two plays later, Matt Prater kicked the game winner and the Vikings were consequently swept by Detroit in falling 16-13.
Save for a 30 point blowup that saw the defense and special teams put points on the board against Arizona, Minnesota has failed to do much of anything on the scoreboard in averaging just 13.8 points per game since the break. The team will be hard pressed to do much of anything over the next five weeks if the offense continues to struggle.
119.0 – The Vikings defense has been the team’s collective MVP in 2016. It allows just 307 total yards per game (No. 3) and an average of just 17.5 points per game (No. 2).
The Achilles heel of the defense has however been rush defense with it allowing just over 100 yards per game. That figure jumps up to 119.0 yards per game over the last three weeks, and the unit now has to contend with Big D’s No. 2 ranked rushing attack.
If unable to limit Ezekiel Elliot or Dak Prescott when he decides to tuck it and run, Minnesota will be hard pressed to match points with the Cowboys in this Thursday nighter.
Cowboys vs. Vikings Free Picks
Stefon Diggs was forced to sit out last week’s game at Detroit with a knee issue. The Lions had absolutely no respect for the Vikings passing game with Adam Thielen doing little with his eight overall receptions. Diggs returned to practice on Monday and is expected to start this game. He’s presence alone will allow Bradford to take advantage of a Dallas secondary ranked No. 31 against the pass and just allowed Washington to convert a number of huge strikes downfield.
Even though better than 82 percent of the tickets written on the NFL odds at BookMaker.eu are supporting the Cowboys, the betting line has moved down from the -3.5 opener to its current placement. The reverse line movement paired with next week’s huge trip to New York leads me to believe the Vikings are the side to back regardless of how ugly it looks on paper.
Cowboys vs. Vikings ATS Pick: Vikings +3 at BookMaker.eu
Cowboys vs. Vikings Score Prediction: Vikings 19 – Cowboys 17