Dallas @ Minnesota
Recommended Wager: MIN -7.0
Strength: 2.75ish – the line was 7.5 when we ran the model. It gave a strength of 2.06. The model would give an additional boost for moving off the 7 point hook.
Sizing: 1 unit
Minnesota Vikings: (Week 7 bye)
-TE Irv Smith Jr. (groin) is QUESTIONABLE, but is expected to play.
-RG Ezra Cleveland (ankle) is OUT after missing practice all week.
-CB Cameron Dantzler (concussion) was injured week 8 and INACTIVE weeks 9 and 10. He’s QUESTIONABLE, but got in a full practice Friday.
IR: DT Michael Pierce (opt out), DE Danielle Hunter (neck), LB Anthony Barr (torn pectoral – season ending), CB Mike Hughes (neck), CB Mark Fields II (chest), CB Holton Hill (foot)
Dallas Cowboys: (Week 10 bye)
-QB Andy Dalton (concussion) was injured week 7. He was INACTIVE weeks 8 – 10. He will return week 11.
-C Tyler Biadasz (hamstring) was INACTIVE weeks 9 and 10. He is OUT and has not practiced since the injury.
-DE Randy Gregory (illness) is QUESTIONABLE. He got in a limited session Friday.
-DE DeMarcus Lawrence (illness) is QUESTIONABLE. He missed practice Thursday and Friday.
-LB Joe Thomas (wrist) was INACTIVE week 9 after being added to the injury report late in the week. He was questionable ahead of week 9.
IR: QB Dak Prescott (ankle – season ending), TE Blake Jarwin (knee), T La’el Collins (hip — season ending), T Tyron Smith (neck – season ending), T Brandon Knight (knee), DT Trysten Hill (ACL – season ending), CB Maurice Canady (opt out), CB Trevon Diggs (foot)
Spread watching: When the model was first ran, the line was 7.5. With a strength of 2.06, this put it as a borderline recommendation. I’d take it at 7, but probably pass at 7.5.
Matchup breakdown: As the games are about to kick off in 90 minutes, I’ll make this quick. The Vikings offense has been solid this season, ranking 10th in DVOA and 12th in EPA/play. Kirk Cousins sits at 6th in PFF grades, and has two excellent receiving options in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is now up to 2nd in PFF receiving grades, behind only DeVante Adams. The offensive line is solid, and Dalvin Cook is one of the best running backs in football. What holds the Vikings back is their play calling — they’re 27th in early down pass rate, and both DVOA and EPA agree that their passing game is more efficient then their running game. Either way, it’s hard to see the Cowboys defense (20th DVOA, 23rd EPA/play) slowing down the Vikings offense. The Cowboys could also be without DeMarcus Lawrence (illness), who is easily their best player on the defensive line.
The Cowboys offense is sitting at 27th in DVOA and 29th in EPA/play. They should be one of the more efficient offenses in football, but a slew of injuries to their offensive line and quarterback has made things a bit of a mess. Luckily for them, they do get back Andy Dalton (concussion). They’ll rely on their dominant receiving trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. The Vikings defense is middle of the road (10th DVOA, 15th EPA/play. There isn’t too much star power to highlight, particularly with injuries to Danielle Hunter and basically every cornerback they’ve put out there. Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith are both having fine seasons, but my I’ve been impressed with what they’ve been able to do with their personnel.