Past Expert Picks
The Vikings are on a short week after three straight division wins, so the potential for a letdown is there. But this team has looked completely different since the bye. The young defense is improving, and the offense should keep moving efficiently behind Dalvin Cook. Minnesota outplayed Chicago far more than the 19-13 score indicated. Now that this line has fallen to the key number, I'm laying it and expecting the Vikings to continue their playoff push.
The Cowboys finally got off the schneid ATS against Pittsburgh, losing by five as a 14-point underdog, and emerge from a bye week with a modicum of confidence. QB Andy Dalton (concussion/COVID-19) returns, while juggling on the offensive line results in All-Pro G Zack Martin sliding to T and undrafted rookie Terence Steele mercifully taking a seat. Dallas' defense no longer is a flat-out embarrassment. Minnesota is coming off a short week, having played Monday night.
The Cowboys are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the Vikings, who ended a losing streak as touchdown underdogs coming out of their bye week. Minnesota is 3-0 in its division but just 1-5 outside of the NFC North. Expect the play-calling to put Dallas in a safe spot ATS as it did for the team last time out against Pittsburgh. Play the Cowboys.
Andy Dalton returns as the Cowboys starting QB, but let’s remember he’s the backup and he played worse than the Cowboys third-stringer. He was terrible in just the little play he saw scattered over three games. His two starts were awful blowout losses. He now has to face one of the hottest teams in football with the Vikings finding their stride with wins in their last three and covering the spread in six of their last seven. They know when they run they win. Less Kirk Cousins, more Dalvin Cook. It's that simple. Vikings to cover.
The Vikings have won three in a row to get back into the playoff picture and have covered the spread in six of their last seven games. RB Dalvin Cook has been the difference-maker, but in their last game, it was QB Kirk Cousins picking up his first Monday Night Football win. He and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak seem to be on the same page. Dallas still has life in the NFC East, as it had an extra week to prepare and QB Andy Dalton (concussion/COVID-19) returns. I still have the Vikings a 12-point favorite. I would pass if they get to -7.5 but would use them in teasers.
The Vikings can move to .500 here with a win over a struggling Dallas team that is dead last in the NFL against the run and in points allowed at just over 32. The Cowboys' defense ranks 31st in the NFL with just six takeaways all season. The Vikings are going to pound the football with RB Dalvin Cook, who continues to chew up yards and score touchdowns. QB Kirk Cousins should have a good day against the Cowboys, who are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games and 0-7 ATS in their last seven against the NFC. The Vikings are 7-1 ATS in their last eight overall.