Vikings vs Cowboys Odds, Picks, Prediction | NFL Week 11
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Dak Prescott.
- The Cowboys are 2.5-point favorites over the Vikings at FanDuel.
- Minnesota is coming off a thrilling win over the Bills last week.
- Anthony Dabbundo previews the game and makes his betting pick below.
Vikings vs Cowboys Odds
Another week, another close victory for the Vikings, who find themselves tied atop the overall NFC standings with Philadelphia at 8-1. The Vikings had less than a two percent chance to come back and beat the Bills after trailing 27-10 late in the fourth quarter.
A huge Dalvin Cook run, a miraculous Justin Jefferson catch, a Bills fumble and a Josh Allen interception led to the Vikings win. Next up for Minnesota is a home game against the Cowboys, who had a collapse of their own in an overtime loss to Green Bay.
It may seem weird to see the Cowboys (6-3) as a road favorite in Minnesota, but you can't discuss the success of the Vikings without analyzing their underlying numbers. They paint a much less rosy picture of the team's true talent.
All of Minnesota's wins are by one score. A lot of them came against teams near the bottom of the standings or playing backup quarterbacks. Regression looms in the near future, and Dallas' defensive line could be the position group best designed to exploit Minnesota.
Za'Darius Smith (knee) is officially listed as questionable and corner Akayleb Evans (concussion) has been ruled out for the Vikings. Left tackle Christian Darrisaw (concussion) is expected to start at left tackle, but if his effectiveness is limited, the Cowboys will be able to get to Kirk Cousins frequently.
Vikings vs. Cowboys Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Vikings and Cowboys match up statistically:
Vikings vs. Cowboys DVOA Breakdown
You can and should credit Minnesota for finding ways to win close games, but it’s not a sustainable path moving forward. There are a ton of holes in the secondary that competent passing offenses like Buffalo and Philadelphia have exploited. Even Kyler Murray and Andy Dalton had their way against them.
The Vikings have a negative net yards per play differential for the season. The offense has been right around league average in yards per play, but the defense is the fifth worst in the league. One way the Vikings have gotten by this is turnovers — Minnesota has the second best turnover differential in the league. Those turnovers have happened to come in high-leverage spots, too.
Cowboys -1.5 | Vikings +1.5
Allen's fumble is a prime example, but consider Jaylen Waddle's fumble heading in for the go-ahead score and Taylor Heinecke's ill-advised turnover deep in his own territory. Whenever Minnesota has needed a timely play, it's gotten one. That's unlikely to continue at the same rate.
When Cousins has time in the pocket, he’s one of the better quarterbacks in the league. But when he’s under pressure, his numbers drop off considerably and his turnover-worthy play rate skyrockets. Cousins is sure to be under pressure often facing a Dallas defensive line that is top five in pressure rate.
Cousins has a 80.1 PFF passing grade from a clean pocket; when under pressure, his grade drops to 55.5. His turnover-worthy play rate also more than doubles from 2.2% to 4.8%.
The Vikings defense will have major problems stopping the Cowboys, which has been elite since Dak Prescott returned from injury.
Dallas lost in Green Bay, but the offense had no issues moving the ball up and down the field on a Packers defense that grades out better than Minnesota’s. The Vikings haven’t played great quarterbacks all year — a handful of backups included — and the secondary is bottom seven in passing success rate allowed.
There are 26 quarterbacks with at least 100 snaps since Prescott returned. The Cowboys quarterback ranks seventh in efficiency, sixth in completion percentage over expected and second in success rate.
The Vikings secondary is going to have major issues stopping Dallas. And as well as Cousins has played, he's really been around league average in CPOE + EPA composite in that same time frame.
Prescott was clearly rusty when he returned against the Lions, but he's posted back-to-back quality performances.
If you compare DVOA ratings, the Cowboys rank fourth — despite playing Cooper Rush for a month — and the Vikings sit in 17th despite solid health.
Though the market clearly doesn't have that much respect for the Vikings' hot start, this is still a prime sell-high spot. Dallas is the better team and I’d bet them on the moneyline at -130 or better.
BetMGM has the best number as of 2:15 p.m.