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Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas Cowboys Point Spread - Pick

Minnesota Vikings (6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS)
Week 10 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, November 10, 2019 at 8:20PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: MIN +3/DAL -3
Over/Under Total: 47.5

The Minnesota Vikings come to AT&T Stadium for a Sunday Night Football showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings were looking for their fifth straight win in a row, falling in the final moments to the Kansas City Chiefs on the road, 26-23. But nearly winning, and they really should have won, against a good team on the road actually serves further notice that the Vikes might in fact be contenders. They now again take to the road, facing a Dallas team that looks to be on the right track, winning their second straight on MNF with a 37-18 road-win over the Giants. Now out in front in the NFC East, can they kick it into overdrive? Or will we see that inconsistency manifest?

Minnesota was looking good against the Chiefs, holding a lead into the 4th quarter. In a tough out-of-conference road spot, the offense wasn't on fire and they were allowing a lot of offense to a Mahomes-less Chiefs' squad, but they had the upper hand. The defense shares some blame, allowing KC to get in position twice in the game's final minutes to hit field goals. The offense, however, could have put the game away and they shoulder the responsibility, as does the coaching, which sometimes gets too conservative in late-game sequences of the like. After being at 6-2, the Vikes will be pining to not sink to 6-4, where anything can happen, as opposed to being 7-3, which suggests a team with a definite playoff future.

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A bit muted on Sunday, the Minnesota offense has made some big gains from last season and even earlier this year. Kirk Cousins threw for three more TDs on Sunday, giving him 13 against just one pick in his last five games. But he threw for a modest 220 yards on just 19-for-38 passing, with Dalvin Cook running for just 71 yards on 21 carries, Adam Thielen was limited with a bad hamstring, while Stefon Diggs caught just one pass for four yards. Not having their two top dogs in the swing of things definitely hurt. At the same time, they are developing other weapons, with TE Irv Smith. WR Laquon Treadwell, Alexander Mattison, and Ameer Abdullah making up a nice supporting cast.

Again, the late-resistance shown by the Vikings' defense wasn't inspiring. The win was there for the taking and they couldn't convert. They are, after all, an imperfect team. Giving up big plays to a Kansas City offense, even without Patrick Mahomes, doesn't paint a defense in a bad light necessarily. But the Vikings still gave up too many against KC through the air and on the ground, including a 91-yard gallop by Damien Williams. They continued getting good results from their pass-rush, with Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen, and Danielle Hunter among those who registered five team sacks. Looking ahead, Minnesota looks for better results on this side of the ball and for the purpose of this matchup, the rushing "D" is an area for concern.

Dallas has been inconsistent, but at least now are on the winning side of that equation. A 3-0 start evaporated with three straight defeats. A 37-10 win over Philly before the bye and then a 37-18 win over the Giants served two purposes in getting them back on the winning track, while also allowing them to take control of the division, however tenuous it might be with merely a half-game lead over the Eagles. Two straight games of 37 points scoring has the offense back on the right track, while the defense has rediscovered its footing. Where will they take it from here?

The Dallas offense is moving nicely now, led by Dak Prescott who is trying to make a good impression to get that big deal. Having Ezekiel Elliott doing his thing and now on a run of three straight 100-yard games really helps. He has hit his gear and should make life hard on a Vikings' defense that is on some weeks and off on others. Prescott has tools with which to work, operating behind that stout offensive line. Amari Cooper is the top weapon, but with Michael Gallup, Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin, Elliott, and Randall Cobb, the options are rich. They are the top-gaining offense in the NFL, ranked in the top five both aerially and on the ground. They're hard to stop, especially late in a game when they get rolling. On MNF, it was 16-15 Dallas going into the final quarter, before they turned the afterburners on and cruised home with a 19-point lead.

During their three-game slide, we saw a Dallas defense on the fritz. With 28 combined points allowed in two straight divisional games, they appear to be back on the right track. They were able to re-establish their pass-rush and on Monday, Michael Bennett made his presence known, while DeMarcus Lawrence, Maliek Collins, and Dorance Armstrong also had sacks on the night. Safety Xavier Woods had a pick. At their best, they are very deep on this side of the ball, able to play stout defense, while also making enough game-changing plays to really help the overall team effort. Minnesota will really be up against it this week against this home-defense.

It's not an easy call. Minnesota is an easy team to overlook, but results this season would indicate that they're legitimate threats. I don't see a reason why they can't be competitive in this realm. We have two teams with winning records, but also two squads that play with a wide range of form from week to week. I see Dallas as having found something and I don't think it will be easy to separate them from this newly-found momentum. I'm laying the number on the Cowboys.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Dallas Cowboys minus three points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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