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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Cowboys vs. Vikings (11/20/2022)

By Ryan Potts
November 18, 2022
Photo by: Stephen Maturen - Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings (11/20 @ 4:25 p.m. EST.)

Line: Cowboys -1.5
Total: 48.5

CLICK HERE FOR A INDEPTH MATCH-UP BREAKDOWN ON THIS GAME

Dallas Cowboys vs Minnesota Vikings Breakdown and Betting Odds

The Dallas Cowboys (6-3) are heading to Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Vikings (8-1) Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. The Cowboys are 1.5-point favorites. The over/under is set at 48.5 points.

The Cowboys lead the all-time series 18-15 with 14 regular-season wins and four playoff wins. In the last 10 years, Dallas has won four of five matchups, knocking off Minnesota in 2013, 2016, 2020, and 2021. Last season, the Cowboys won a Sunday Night Football game in Minnesota despite starting backup quarterback Cooper Rush.

Dallas Cowboys Overview

The Cowboys have had a strange season. Despite the 6-3 start, they are third in their division and sixth in the NFC playoff picture. They were without quarterback Dak Prescott for a chunk of the season, but they won four of five Rush starts. With Prescott, they are 2-2 with a pair of ugly losses. The Cowboys have been good on both sides of the ball, but they have had general quarterbacking issues, particularly in their losses. The defense began the season by holding five straight opponents under 20 points, but they have allowed at least 26 points in three of their last four games.

The Cowboys have the 11th-ranked scoring offense, but they have been below-average in many regards. They rank 20th in total offense and 18th in yards per pass. The rushing attack is eighth in total yards per game, but they are 13th in yards per carry. Prescott has had the worst year of his career so far. He has the lowest passer rating and QBR of his career to this point. The offense around Prescott has been injured with Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup, and Tyron Smith missing time. Tony Pollard has been a legitimate star in the rushing offense, but the Cowboys continue to mix a healthy Elliott in. The passing attack has been underwhelming outside of CeeDee Lamb. Lamb has had a Pro Bowl-caliber season, and he is on pace for approximately 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The defense is among the best units in the NFL statistically, but they have had some issues in recent weeks. They are coming off their worst performance of the season, allowing the Green Bay Packers to score 31 points and account for 415 yards. The game did go to overtime, but the Cowboys were shredded by an offense that ranks 26th in points per game. Despite the recent struggles, Dallas still has All-Pro talent on the defense in Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs. Parsons has eight sacks, and he scored a touchdown against Chicago. Diggs does not have the same interception luck as in 2021, but he has 12 passes defended to lead the team.

Against the spread, the Cowboys are 3-2 in their last five games. They have been favored in their last three games, beating the Bears and Lions outright. They lost as favorites and 7-point underdogs, but they had an impressive outright win as 5.5-point underdogs against the Rams. The over is 3-2 in these games, hitting in each of the last two weeks.

Minnesota Vikings Overview

The Vikings have rattled off seven consecutive one-score wins to jump to 8-1 and a dominant spot in the NFC North. With the Packers falling to 4-7, the Vikings could clinch the division as early as next week if they beat the Packers. The Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the NFC, trailing the Eagles by a tiebreaker. The Vikings are on an incredible streak of close games which speaks to the depth of talent on the roster and the fickle nature of football.

Minnesota has the eighth-ranked scoring offense, scoring more than 25 points per game. They have scored 28 or more five times including two of the last three games. Last week, they had their top offensive game, hanging 481 yards against the Buffalo Bills. Kirk Cousins is playing at a Pro Bowl level, and the Vikings have three potential Pro Bowlers at skill positions. Dalvin Cook broke the longest run of the season last week, scoring from 81 yards out. Justin Jefferson already has 1,000 yards, and he is coming off an iconic game in Buffalo. T.J. Hockenson was a clever trade deadline acquisition from Detroit. Even the offensive line has played well with Christian Darrisaw elevating his play to All-Pro levels.

The defense has been solid but not great. They rank 14th in scoring defense, but they are 29th in total defense. Minnesota has been aided with 18 takeaways, the second most in the league. The Vikings have been gashed through the air, allowing the sixth-most yards per pass. On the turnover front, Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson have been incredibly valuable. Smith has four interceptions and a forced fumble. Peterson sealed Minnesota’s win over Buffalo, nabbing his second and third interceptions of the season. Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter have been dominant pass rushers, accounting for 15.5 total sacks. The bend-but-don’t-break defense has worked well enough for the Vikings so far.

The Vikings are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games. They won all five of them, but they pushed as 3-point favorites against Washington and won by seven as 8.5-point favorites against Chicago. Last week was the only time in the stretch that the Vikings were underdogs as they beat the Bills by 3. The over is 3-2 in the last five games.

Free Pick: Vikings +1.5

Minnesota might not be able to blow anyone out, but they have been able to find ways to win games. Heading into this game, they have home-field advantage as well as the quarterback advantage. Dallas has the better defense statistically, but Minnesota plays excellent situational football. The Vikings moneyline is particularly valuable right now, but take Vikings +1.5 for an extra point of insurance.

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