Minnesota Vikings (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (4-4 SU, 7-1 ATS)
NFL Week 9
Date and Time: November 3rd, 1:00 PM E
Where: AT&T Stadium
by Jeff Hochman, Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: Min +10/DAL -10
Over/Under Total: 47
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The Dallas Cowboys will look to bounce back from another heart-breaking defeat when they take on the reeling Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium. Dallas lost 31-30 as 3-point road dogs to the Detroit Lions last week. The Cowboys had no business being that close as they were outgained by a whopping 355 yards. Dallas is 4-4 ITS (in the stats) this season. Minnesota lost its third game in a row when the Packers won 44-31 as 7.5-point road chalk this past Sunday Night. Minnesota was outgained by 221 yards and are now 0-7 ITS this season.
I have watched every single Cowboys game and there is one glaring weakness with this team. Dallas simply can’t stop any team from gaining huge yards through the air. The Cowboys’s pass defense will make any quarterback look like a future Hall of Fame player. Dallas is allowing 315 passing yards per game compared to 289 for the Vikings. Minnesota will enter this contest with better overall defense, but not by much. The Cowboys are allowing 107 yards rushing yards per game and will now face one of the best at his position. The Vikings game plan will be to feed A.P. early and often in hopes of wearing down the Cowboy’s light defense in the second half. Minnesota has had a lot of success against Dallas going 7-1 SU and 7-1 ATS in the last eight head-to-head meetings.
Earlier this season, Minnesota played both the Lions and Bears tough on the road. Adrian Peterson should have a big day going against a defense that is ranked 32nd overall. The Cowboys will once again be without All Pro DeMarcus Ware, which weakens their pass rush quite a bit. Dallas is having a strange season. They are 4-4 SU and 7-1 at the window. Those four losses have come by a total of 14 points. The offense is averaging 29 points per game, with Tony Romo throwing 18 touchdowns against five interceptions. Look for Dez Bryant to have a ginormous game after his meltdown on the sidelines last week. I would expect at least 8 receptions for 150 yards and two scores from Dez in this game. Minnesota doesn’t have any defensive player that can matchup with him. Dallas should use Dez in the slot more as the Vikings are one of the worst teams at defending slot receivers.
The Vikings may only have one win but they have a great special teams unit. In fact, both the Cowboys (No. 2) and Vikings (No. 4) are ranked in the Top 4. If you want to see great special teams play than you must watch this game. One thing to watch for in this game in red-zone efficiency. Dallas does a good job of converting touchdowns in the red zone as they are ranked No. 11. The Vikings struggle mightily ranking No. 22. It’s a good thing they have a solid place kicker in Blair Walsh. He has been busy this season.
The Vikings are 8-2 ATS vs. Dallas since 1995. The favorite has covered 9 straight times. Dallas is 20-7 SU and 18-9 ATS as a home favorite of 7.5 to 10 points since 1993. That tells me the odds-makers have a strong pulse on this team when playing a so called weaker opponent. Dallas is just 5-11 ATS when playing a team with a losing record over the last three seasons. Tony Romo is just 2-9 ATS when his team is favored by more than 7 points. The Vikings are 2-15 SU and 8-8 ATS as a road dog of 7.5 to 10 points since 1993.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Minnesota Vikings +10
Dallas is 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS vs. the NFC North. My golden rule in the NFL. Never lay double digits with the league’s worst defense. Ever!