Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings: 2021 Week 8 NFL Pick

Dallas Cowboys (5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-3)

This game is the toughest call of the week because the status of Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott is probably going to be a gametime call. Prescott is not only one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but his backup Cooper Rush is one of the least experienced backup quarterbacks in the league, so the dropoff would be enormous if Prescott could not play. Given that, it’s surprising that a line has been posted, favoring the Vikings at home by a field goal. 

That seems to suggest that the oddsmakers think it’s more likely than not that Prescott does not play, as the Vikings would not be considered better than the Cowboys if Prescott was healthy. My calculated line would have the Cowboys favored by 3 points in Minnesota even if Prescott was not quite 100%, as the Cowboys have been the significantly better team this season, ranking 1st, 28th, and 17th in schedule adjusted offensive, defensive, and special teams efficiency respectively, while the Vikings have ranked 9th, 17th, and 30th respectively. 

However, if Prescott could not go, my calculated line would have the Vikings favored by 6. If it’s truly 50/50, the Cowboys are a value play at +3, but I don’t want to make any pick on this game until we know Prescott’s status, even if that makes going up to gametime. I am leaving this as a no confidence pick on the Cowboys for now, but this could change considerably depending on Prescott’s status and any line movement related to whether or not he plays.

Update: Dak Prescott is officially out and the line has moved to Minnesota -4.5. We are getting a little bit of line value with the Vikings, who are better than their 3-3 record and could easily be 4-2 or 5-1 right now, despite an above average schedule. However, there isn’t quite enough here for Minnesota to be bettable.

Minnesota Vikings 27 Dallas Cowboys 21

Pick against the spread: Minnesota -4.5

Confidence: Low

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