Dallas Cowboys (6-3) at Minnesota Vikings (8-1)
The Vikings are 8-1, but they have won all seven of their one-score games and have won the turnover battle by 8 (2nd best in the NFL), both of which are not sustainable long-term. They beat the Bills last week, but Buffalo was missing several key defenders and, despite that, the Vikings lost the first down rate battle and yards per play battle by 9.04% and 0.66 respectively, needing to win the turnover battle by two and to score a defensive touchdown to barely win in overtime.
Even with that win taken into account, the Vikings still rank just 19th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about one point below average, which is much more predictive than turnover margin. The Cowboys are a couple games worse in the standings, but rank about 3.5 points above average in schedule adjusted efficiency, 8th in the league, even though starting quarterback Dak Prescott missed five games with injury. The public and the oddsmakers both seem to understand that though, leading to the Vikings actually being 2-point home underdogs in this game.
With that in mind, I actually like the Vikings for pick ‘em purposes. While there is a significant gap between these two teams in schedule adjusted efficiency, my roster rankings have them much closer together, with the Vikings still among the most talented teams in the league, despite what the statistics say, and I think the Vikings could play with a chip on their shoulder being underdogs yet again. There isn’t enough here for the Vikings to be worth betting against the spread, but they seem like the right side for pick ‘em purposes and a small bet on the money line at +105 makes sense as well, as the Vikings should be considered no worse than 50/50 to win this game here at home.
Minnesota Vikings 24 Dallas Cowboys 23 Upset Pick +105
Pick against the spread: Minnesota +1.5