Dallas Cowboys VS Minnesota Vikings NFC Football Playoffs Pick: This game is holding pretty steady at -3 or -2.5 at every book I’ve seen, and everyone and their mother expect this to be the closest of the playoff match-ups this weekend. It’s a cool combination, the Vikings struggling toward the end of the season and the Cowboys easily playing their best football in a long time, on both sides of the ball. Both teams have 12 wins, the Cowboys just needed an extra game to do it. These teams are actually pretty similar, just as the numbers insist.
The Cowboys averaged just about 8 more points than their opponents, while the Vikings averaged about 10 more. This number would be a little closer if the Vikings didn’t pour it on the hapless Giants in Week 17, but who’s counting? The Cowboys average about 20 more yards than the Vikings offense, 5 more through the air and 15 more on the ground. But the Vikings averaged almost a touchdown more per contest. The Cowboys rank 2nd in total offense, finishing in the top 7 in both rushing and passing. The Vikings rank 5th in total offense, but are the 2nd highest scoring team in football.
The Cowboys defense gives up about 12 more yards per game than Minnesota, but 4 fewer points. Both teams are stingy against the run as the Cowboys rank 4th and the Vikings 2nd. Both teams can run it, both can pass it, and both are better at stopping the run than they are at stopping elite passers, and both can bring pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Both have great quarterbacks (Brett Favre and Tony Romo) and dangerous receivers, which means they can make aggressive defenses pay.
This should be a great game, but in a close one, I’m taking the team playing better football down the stretch, and the Cowboys have really impressed me over the last handful of weeks, I’ll take them – but just barely, and I’m already rooting against myself.
Dallas Cowboys (+3) @ Minnesota Vikings