Bettors have a fascinating puzzle regarding the Dallas Cowboys and host Minnesota Vikings.
Several variables have credence and it won’t be easy to find the right one.
Oddsmakers view parity with these NFL power brokers, but the first hint of separation unfolded early Thursday morning. As this story was being written, Dallas grew from -1 to -1.5. The juice attached, -115, suggests the possibility of the line reaching -2. Minnesota was a -105 price at +1.5.
Cowboys backers faced an unattractive -125 on the moneyline and -115 on the spread and may wait for a more suitable number before taking the next stab.
This game may be jockeyed right until kickoff.
The spread indeed looks unusual. Minnesota has won seven straight games and features an 8-1 mark compared to the visiting Cowboys’ 6-3.
What do the bettors know?
Let’s roll that into some wagering angles.
Cowboys-Vikings betting storylines
The Cowboys love Minnesota.
Dallas has enjoyed late magic at U.S. Bank Stadium. It has won the last three games in Minnesota’s backyard. All were tight. The last one involved Cooper Rush’s first victory as a Cowboy last year. Prescott’s current backup guided them to a late game-winning drive. When the Cowboys play in Minnesota, they expect to win late and may therefore create the reality.
Minnesota’s home field resembles a comfort zone for the Cowboys. Just like a certain hole would on a golf course. Some players can par or birdie a hole every time, regardless of wind conditions, time of day or how they feel.
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told How Bout Them.
“We opened it as a pick and then made Dallas the favorite. You wonder how Dallas can be the favorite when Minnesota just defeated one of the league’s top teams in the Buffalo Bills. The answer, I think, is that bettors just believe Dallas is a stronger team overall.”
How Dallas Adjusts from Emotionally Draining Week 10
Bettors for both teams may have gone through their supply of blood-pressure pills last week.
Each team was on the cusp of one verdict and finished with another.
The Cowboys were so close to beating the Packers that Green Bay was +1700 in game at DraftKings when trailing the ‘Boys 28-14 in the fourth quarter, Avello told How Bout Them.
The Packers stared at 4th-and-7 in Dallas territory. Fourth and the season for a team that had lost five straight.
Dallas did not get the stop. It instead gave up a touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to his new favorite target, Christian Watson. The ‘Boys also failed to shut down Green Bay’s game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter and lost in overtime.
“Dallas hasn’t been a juggernaut in the league for a long time. They have good personnel, they just can’t close the deal sometimes.”
What bettors will look at this week: Aaron Jones had 138 rushing yards and Green Bay ran for more than 200. That spells prop-betting action on Dalvin Cook for the Vikings.
How Minnesota Adjusts from Emotionally Draining Week 10
Absolutely crazy. The Vikings were down 27-10 on the road against the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills, climbed within 27-23 and had the ball on the Bills’ one-yard line in the final minute. This was after Justin Jefferson made an improbable 4th-and-18 catch to keep the drive alive.
The Vikings got stuffed at the half yard-line on the potential game-winning play. Buffalo merely needed a successful quarterback sneak to win. Game over 999 times out of 1,000.
But this was 1,000.
Josh Allen fumbled the ball and Minnesota recovered in the end zone.
Impossible. But it wasn’t over. The Bills rallied for a game-tying field goal and drove again for a game-tying field goal in overtime. But Allen went for the win and threw a pick.
The Vikings were rescued several times in this game. Is there anything left?
Prop Betting Nuggets: Kirk Cousins will almost always throw a pick. Maybe a Pick 6. And Jefferson is always a threat to record a high-yardage game. He had 193 in the overtime thriller last week. Bettors might see opportunities in both props.
Both teams come off overtime games, an oddity.
Cowboys Betting Targets
When used properly, CeeDee Lamb is a monster. Eleven catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns last week was using him properly.
Dalton Schultz looked healthy again with six catches, 54 yards and a touchdown. A star barely under the radar.
Tony Pollard has emerged as a 100-yard threat every week. When yardage props go up, bettors will take a good look at all three.
Finding the Comfort Zone
DraftKings already put up one prop with its breakaway threats. Jefferson to record 125 receiving yards and Lamb to notch a touchdown is +500. Would have been a slam dunk last week. Does that mean it’s due to cool off or can these teams continue their track meet?
The Cowboys’ point total of 24.5 is +100 for the Over and -120 for the Under.
Minnesota’s 23.5 total is -110 on each side.
Will the total yardage of all the touchdowns in the game be more than 80 yards? The Over is -110 and the Under is -115. That’s a fun one no matter who you back.
Seven of the last Vikings’ home games have gone Over the total. This one at 47.5 is mildly challenging.
Highest Scoring Quarter:
- First +800
- Second +205
- Third +800
- Fourth +165
- Tie +850
Some popular props will go up closer to the game.
Lamb, Pollard and Schultz to score will be worth examining. So will Jefferson and Cook on the Minnesota side.
However it turns out, Avello anticipates strong interest in this matchup. Not only are the games exciting, but this one, in particular, is placed right.
“There are only three afternoon games and this is by far the best one,” he said. “The game is going to be pretty isolated. You have the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos, two teams that are going nowhere. You have the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, which is a good division game and will appeal to the diehards.
“But this is the one that will draw all the attention. This one will have most of the eyes and most of the money.”