Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
Start-time: Friday 2 December, 01:25GMT
TV: Live on Sky Sports
The 10-1 Dallas Cowboys travel to the 6-5 Minnesota Vikings tonight as only 3.5pt favourites on the Sportsbook and that alone is worth a double take. Lets not beat around the bush here, the Cowboys have been disrespected by the betting markets all season long. They have won ten straight and every time someone socks them with a right hook, they come right back and slog them with a left hook of their own.
Offensively they have the most important piece in place - a dominating offensive line. They can open up holes for Ezekiel Elliott to run through and can give Dak Prescott the time he needs in the pocket to survey his receiving options in the passing game. If you don't have an adequate o-line then you have issues (I'm looking at you Denver and Seattle) but Dallas don't have adequate, they have truly elite.
With that line, the Cowboys often control the time of possession game as they run the ball, dump it off short to Cole Beasley and Jason Witten before hitting the deep ball to Dez Bryant. Opposition defenses are gassed by the end of the game.
To beat Dallas you need to have an offense who can string together timely possessions, thus allowing their defense to catch their breath. This is exactly the type of attack the Vikings don't have. With no Adrian Peterson, they have two running backs who are either a backup (Jerick McKinnon) or a third down/short yardage back (Matt Asiata).
This game looks a slam dunk Dallas win to me. The only question is how many do they win by?
On Sunday I decided to play this market for a point in every game and came up short (three of my tips scored the second touchdown of their respective games), but this is why you get the odds that you do.
Tonight I'll go with Stefon Diggs at 9/1 for Minnesota and Jason Witten at 11/1 for Dallas at a point a piece.
The line has been set at 44.5pts, which I think is extremely fair. The fact is the Vikings don't score a tonne of points and don't have an explosive offense. To score more than 17-20 points they'll need to improve against a Dallas team who are displaying a bend-but-don't break defense.
The Cowboys have a very balanced offense with the ability to run, dink and dunk or go deep. They could score 24-27 relatively easily. I'll sit out this line but I would lean over...just about.
The spread is set at Dallas -3.5pts and I'm just shaking my head. I obviously am tipping Dallas to win straight up and against that small spread so lets look at the alternative lines. You can get the visitors to win with a 9.5pt handicap at 5/2 on the Sportsbook and I'm liking that. If this game ended something like 27-17 I wouldn't be stunned.
10pt Back Dallas to win with a 3.5pt handicap at Evens on the Sportsbook
6pt Back Dallas to win with a 9.5pt handicap on the extended line at 5/2 on the Sportsbook
6pt Back Sean Lee to record over 9.5 tackles plus assists at 5/6 on the Sportsbook
6pt Back Dez Bryant reception to be over 22.5 yards at 5/6 on the Sportsbook
6pt Back Jason Witten over 41.5 receiving yards at 5/6 on the Sportsbook
6pt Back Kyle Rudolph over 52.5 receiving yards at 5/6 on the Sportsbook
6pt Back Dak Prescott over 238.5 passing yards at 5/6 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Stefon Diggs to score the first TD at 9/1 in the First Touchdown scorer market on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Jason Witten to score the first TD at 11/1 in the First Touchdown scorer market on the Sportsbook