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Cowboys vs. Vikings prediction: Dallas will cool off red-hot Minnesota

Bet on the Cowboys to win in Minnesota for the third straight year and snap the Vikings’ current seven-game win streak

Quarterback Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys travel to Minnesota on Sunday as a small favorite to snap the Vikings’ seven-game winning streak. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Quarterback Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys travel to Minnesota on Sunday as a small favorite to snap the Vikings’ seven-game winning streak. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Read moreStacy Revere / Getty Images

Making a Cowboys vs. Vikings prediction is tricky, because on the surface, the point spread attached to this matchup makes no sense.

Dallas failed to protect a two-touchdown, fourth-quarter lead last week and lost in overtime at Green Bay (a team that just fell at home to the Titans on Thursday night).

Hours before the Cowboys collapsed at Lambeau Field, Minnesota gutted out a wild 33-30 comeback victory in overtime at Buffalo. It was the Vikings’ seventh consecutive victory.

And yet Dallas (6-3) is favored to beat the Vikings (8-1) on Sunday — in Minnesota. If you think that’s puzzling, get a load of this: We’re siding with the road favorite.

Note: Odds updated as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 18.

Cowboys vs. Vikings Prediction

  1. Cowboys -1.5 (at BetMGM)

Cowboys vs. Vikings Prediction: Analysis

Here’s the thing about luck: It’s better to have it on your side than not. But it’s going to run out eventually.

And for the Vikings, “eventually” comes Sunday.

Minnesota deserves all the credit in the world for rebounding from its horrific 24-7 Week 2 loss at Philadelphia with seven straight wins. And last Sunday’s win at Buffalo, which remains the favorite to win the Super Bowl, was amazing.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the Vikings had no business beating the Bills. Buffalo had a 17-point lead late in the third quarter and a three-point lead with 41 seconds left when quarterback Josh Allen fumbled at his own goal line trying to run out the clock.

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Minnesota also had no business winning in Washington the previous week. The Commanders choked away a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, losing 20-17.

In fact, each of the Vikings’ victories during their seven-game winning streak has been a one-score margin. So why do we believe this is the week Minnesota’s good fortune will end? Several reasons.

First, quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ balanced offense should have no trouble carving up a Vikings defense that ranks 29th in both total yards allowed (381.2 per game allowed) and passing yards allowed (262.9).

Those putrid rankings are even worse when you realize that prior to facing Allen last week, Minnesota built its winning streak against the following quarterbacks: Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, Arizona’s Kyler Murray, Miami backups Teddy Bridgewater and Skyler Thompson, Chicago’s Justin Fields, New Orleans’ Andy Dalton and Detroit’s Jared Goff.

Notice a commonality between those quarterbacks (besides the fact they’re all flawed)? Aside from Bridgewater and Thompson — who, again, are backups — none play for teams that currently have a winning record.

Dallas certainly does. And it would be better had the team sealed the deal at Green Bay.

Granted, the Cowboys’ defense has been roughed up a bit lately, yielding 31, 29 and 26 points in three of the last four games. This after allowing an average of 14.4 points in the first five.

Also, Dallas’ 29th-ranked run defense is concerning, especially with Vikings running back Dalvin Cook coming off his best game of the season (119 yards at Buffalo). However, Cook got 81 of those yards on one busted-play touchdown run.

Cook’s rushing numbers in his three previous games: 47 (at Washington), 111 (vs. Arizona) and 77 (at Miami).

In fact, Minnesota has the 23rd-ranked rushing offense going into Week 11. Dallas, meanwhile, ranks eighth, having put up the following rushing totals in the last five games: 163, 134, 139, 200 and 159.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

We expect Tony Pollard — who (hopefully) has finally supplanted Ezekiel Elliott as the Cowboys’ primary tailback — to become the latest back to have a big game against Minnesota. If he does, Prescott will pick apart the Vikings’ weak secondary.

We also expect the Dallas D to load the box and dare Kirk Cousins to beat them. Can Cousins do it? With superhuman wideout Justin Jefferson on his side, it’s possible.

But it’s more possible that Cousins will make three or four boneheaded, Cousins-like mistakes while being harassed by unstoppable Cowboys linebacker/ Defensive Player of the Year favorite Micah Parsons.

Two more points: The Cowboys — whose point differential (+47) is better than Minnesota’s (+35) — have lost back-to-back games just once since the start of last season.

Also, the Cowboys have won three of their last four meetings against the Vikings, with all three victories coming in Minnesota. That includes a 31-28 triumph in 2020 and a 20-16 win in 2021.

Dallas’ quarterbacks in those two victories? Nope, not Prescott, but Dalton (2020) and Cooper Rush (2021).

Add it up, and we’re betting on the Cowboys to bring the Vikings back to earth and validate the oddsmakers’ decision to favor them in this game. And unlike the last four head-to-head meetings, which were decided by a total of 13 points, don’t be surprised if this one isn’t close.

Cowboys vs. Vikings Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Point spread: Cowboys (-1.5) @ Vikings (+1.5)

  2. Moneyline: Cowboys (-120) @ Vikings (+100)

  3. Total: 48.5 points

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