Dallas Cowboys @

Minnesota Vikings

Sun, Nov 22
1:25 PM Pacific
Rotation: 469
Odds: Minnesota Vikings -7.5, Total: 48.5

Game Analysis

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2-Star Best Bet – **Dallas (+8.5) over MINNESOTA

The market has the Vikings rated as one of the best sub-500 teams of the last few years due to their +0.7 net yards per play (6th) and three-game winning streak. However, Minnesota’s point differential is still -11 points and our metrics suggest it should be even worse (-23.8). Bettors are forgetting how porous the Vikings’ pass defense is because the last three games they’ve benefitted from 20+ mph winds against the Packers, the Lions without Kenny Golladay (worth 1.3 points), and Chicago’s terrible passing offense. Prior to the winning streak, Minnesota’s defense was surrendering 7.7 yards per pass play and the Vikings do not have a reliable pass rush anymore. Not bringing back DE Everson Griffen this offseason was a mistake, DE Danielle Hunter has missed the entire year due to a herniated disc in his neck, and trading DE Yannick Ngakoue away leaves them with no pass-rush threat on the defensive line. Minnesota’s defense may not be able to take advantage of the Cowboys’ banged-up offensive line as much as other teams have. The Vikings cornerbacks are combining to surrender an atrocious 1.56 yards per cover snap and I don’t think they will be able to stay with those excellent Dallas wide receivers. Veteran Andy Dalton is back from injury and he’s still good enough to hit open receivers, which I expect he will in this game.

Minnesota’s offense is running the ball on more than half of their plays but using Dalvin Cook on those outside rushes is not the best way to attack this Cowboys defense, as Demarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith have combined for 32 run stops – the most of any edge defender duo in the NFL. The Dallas secondary will be getting a huge upgrade with CB Chidobe Awuzie back healthy and CB Trevon Diggs out with a fractured bone in his foot. Awuzie is conceding nearly a full yard per cover snap less than Diggs this year and his return is timely to slow down WR Justin Jefferson. The Cowboys are right at the league-average, conceding 6.5 yards per pass play, despite Diggs playing 241 more coverage snaps than Awuzie thus far and I expect the Cowboys’ pass defense to be better than average going forward. Kirk Cousins may find it surprisingly difficult to move the ball through the air on Sunday.

Our model favors the Vikings by just 1.4 points, with a predicted total of 46.1 points, and while Minnesota is certainly better at home over the years that has not really been the case this season (1-2 ATS as a home favorite) and the Vikings apply to a negative 81-178-5 ATS home favorite letdown situation. Dallas, meanwhile, is coming off a bye week and bad teams that have really underperformed tend to come off of their bye week with a renewed enthusiasm. Teams that are 3 games or more below .500 straight up and have a spread win percentage of less than .333 are 63-32 ATS after their bye week, including 37-9 ATS as underdogs of 6 points or more. The Cowboys came through for us as a Best Bet against Pittsburgh before their bye week and they should be even better with Andy Dalton at quarterback instead of Garrett Gilbert. Dallas is a 2-Star Best Bet at +7.5 or more and 1-Star at +7.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Cowboys
  • Vikings


  • Pass Plays 46.2 34.6
  • Succ Pass Plays 48.9% 45.2%
  • Sack Rate 7.1% 5.6%
  • Int Rate 2.1% 1.2%
  • Deep Pass Rate 16.7% 18.6%
  • Big Pass Yards 36.0% 44.3%
  • NYPP 5.9 6.5


  • Rush Plays 27.2 31.7
  • RB YPR 3.8 4.6
  • Stuff Rate 22.2% 16.2%
  • Succ Rush Plays 51.5% 50.7%
  • Big Rush Yards 32.1% 35.2%
  • Yards Per Rush 4.0 4.7


  • All Snaps 73.4 66.2
  • Early Down Succ 52.5% 50.6%
  • Succ Rate 50.1% 49.3%
  • Big Yards Rate 35.9% 43.4%
  • Yards Per Play 5.3 5.7
  • Fumble Lost Rate 1.7% 0.7%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 23.4 28.6
  • Run Ratio 37.8% 47.7%
  • Starting Field Pos 25.4 32.6
  • Game Control -6.9 6.9
  • Points 22.7 32.2
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