MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-2.5, 49.5)
Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is third in the league with 1017 rushing yards and is tied for second with 11 rushing touchdowns. The Seahawks Defense has been weak against the run, especially in the early going, giving up 342 rushing yards and 4.8 yards per rush attempt in the first quarter.
Look for Minny to try to establish the run early and take pressure off Kirk Cousins. Cook to score the first TD of the game pays out an intriguing +500.
PICK: First touchdown scorer - Dalvin Cook (+500)
FIRST HALF BET
The Vikings have a strong defense but that's largely due to how well they've played in the second half of games where they give up just 7.2 ppg.
In the first half they've been vulnerable, allowing 11.5 ppg which ranks 16th in the NFL. And that number has ballooned to 14.7 ppg in their last three contests. With Minnesota fifth in the league in first-half scoring with 14.1 ppg and Seattle in eighth spot with 13.4 ppg, take the 1H Over.
PICK: First Half Over 23.5 (-110)
Seattle’s Chris Carson has been one of the most productive running backs in the league this season, rushing for 879 yards on 208 carries.
However, Carson is coming off his worst game of the year with just eight carries for 26 yards against the Eagles. He’s fumbled four times in his last three games and can consider himself lucky that a fifth fumble was officially attributed to Russell Wilson.
Ball security has been a major issue for Carson and 2018 first round draft pick Rashaad Penny is just behind him on the RB depth chart. Penny is coming off a 129-yard performance vs the Eagles, has an impressive 5.9 yards per carry and could see his touches increase.
When you factor in that Minnesota’s run defense ranks fourth in the league in DVOA according to Football Outsiders, all signs point towards Carson going Under his rushing yards total.
PICK: Chris Carson Under 71.5 rushing yards (-115)
FULL GAME TOTAL
These are two of the most efficient offenses in the NFL with Seattle is fourth in the league in offensive DVOA while Minnesota is right behind them in fifth place. And both teams are led by the two hottest QBs in the league not named Lamar Jackson. Russell Wilson has thrown for 2937 yards, 24 TDS and three interceptions while scrambling for another 271 yards and three scores.
Over his last seven games Kirk Cousins has racked up 288.7 passing yards per game while throwing for 18 touchdowns and just one interception. While Vikings wideout Adam Thielen has been ruled out of Monday's game due to a hamstring injury he has just 391 receiving yards in eight games this season so his absence might not hurt as much as it seems.
Despite both teams having big-name pass rushers like Jadeveon Clowney, Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffin they don't put much pressure on opposing QBs. The Vikings rank 24th in the league in QB pressures per dropback while the Seahawks rank 29th in that category.
Both Wilson and Cousins should have time to do some damage through the air and when it comes to running the ball, Minnesota ranks fourth in the league with 142.5 rushing yards per game while Seattle ranks sixth with 136.9. With how well-balanced both offences are, bet the Over.
PICK: Over 49.5 (-110)
FULL GAME SIDE
One number that jumps out is that Cousins is just 0-7 SU and ATS as starter on Monday Night Football. But there's reason to think that he might have shaken his aversion to the bright lights of primetime. In Week 10 he had a very efficient game in a 28-24 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football and two weeks before that he dismantled the Redskins on Thursday night.
While both of these offenses can put up points, Minnesota has the clear edge when it comes to defense. Minny holds opponents to just 18.6 points per game (sixth-fewest in the league) and can defend against both the run and the pass. Seattle allows 23.9 ppg while giving up 268.7 passing yards per game (29th in the league) and 4.5 yards per carry (22nd).
While CenturyLink Field has a reputation for being one of the toughest stadiums to play in, Seattle is just 1-5 ATS in their last six games at home. Although the Seahawks have nine victories this season they've played only five games against teams with a winning record; losing two games (against Baltimore and New Orleans) and winning the other three contests by a total of six points.
With Minnesota coming into this contest well rested after a bye, take them to cover on the road.
PICK: Minnesota +2.5 (-110)
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