Dallas Cowboys (10-1) at Minnesota Vikings (6-5)
This line has shifted from 2 in favor of the visiting Cowboys on the early line last week to 4 now this week. Ordinarily, big week-to-week shifts like that are the result of overreactions to a single week of play and create line value, but I think this line is right about where it should be. The Cowboys enter this game 3rd in first down rate differential, while the Vikings enter in 20th and likely missing their head coach with emergency eye surgery and talented center Joe Berger with a concussion.
The Cowboys also travel as well as any team in the league. Since 2010, they are 31-21 ATS on the road, as opposed to 19-35 ATS at home. Over that time period, they’ve been outscored opponents by 0.02 points per game on the road and outscored opponents by an average of 1.20 points per game at home, meaning home field advantage hasn’t even been worth a point for them in recent years. That makes sense, as the Cowboys have fans throughout the country and get great support on the road.
That being said, I’m taking the Vikings here for a no confidence play because they’re in a good spot. While the Cowboys have arguably their toughest and biggest game of the season next week, a road game in New York against the Giants team that gave them their only loss of the season way back in week 1, the Vikings instead go to Jacksonville, a much easier game. This could be a bit of a trap game for the Cowboys as a result. Home underdogs like the Vikings are 47-27 ATS since 2008 before being road favorites, as the Vikings are expected to be next week. This pick is only for pick ‘em purposes though, as I wouldn’t recommend betting on either side.
Dallas Cowboys 20 Minnesota Vikings 17
Pick against the spread: Minnesota +4