When the Cowboys (5-1) play the Vikings (3-3) in the penultimate game of NFL Week 8 in 2021 on “Sunday Night Football” (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), two teams will try to further their NFC playoff positions. Despite the records, Dallas and Minnesota are evenly matched coming out of byes.
The Cowboys went into the week holding the No. 3 seed behind the Cardinals and Buccaneers. The Vikings, at .500, hold the third and final wild-card spot in the conference.
Dak Prescott and Dallas’ offense haven’t been stopped much since the Week 1 loss at Tampa Bay. Kirk Cousins has led Minnesota back after early heartbreak in close games.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Cowboys vs. Vikings in Week 8, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
WEEK 8 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
Cowboys vs. Vikings odds for ‘Sunday Night Football’
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Cowboys are surprise late-week underdogs after having the edge with the initial line. This suggests the Cowboys would be in a pick ’em game had the game been in Dallas.The Vikings have played a lot of one-possession games and are better than their record.
Cowboys vs. Vikings all-time series
The Cowboys have won three of the past four meetings to take a 17-15 slim advantage. They won without Prescott in Minnesota last season, 31-28. In 2019, the Vikings won at Dallas, 28-24. The Cowboys have taken four of the past seven. Before then, the Vikings enjoyed a five-game winning streak.
Three trends to know
—77 percent of spread bettors think the Vikings will get above .500 and cool off the Cowboys.
—63 percent of over/under bettors think the total is still too low given it’s reached near 55 at times.
—The Cowboys are 8-2 straight up and 9-1 against the spread in their past 10 games with 7 going over. The Vikings are only 4-6 SU and 3-7 ATS in their past 10 but 6 of them have gone over.
Three things to watch
How healthy is Prescott?
The Cowboys’ quarterback plans to play through his latest injury, which he suffered late in Week 6 against the Patriots. But perhaps he might be a little limited with his mobility, like earlier in the season. That said, his arm, accuracy and decision-making have been on point since Week 1.
Zeke vs. Dalvin
The game features two of the highest-paid and most talented workhorse backs in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliott and Davlin Cook. Elliott has thrived running and receiving since a quiet Week 1, while Cook got back on track after more injury issues. They will be key to setting big plays in the passing game for both teams, too.
Trevon Diggs vs. Justin Jefferson
Diggs is having a breakout season as the Cowboys’ top cornerback with his ball-hawking and intercepting skills, but he’s also given up some big plays. He will likely draw a lot of Jefferson, a familiar wide receiver from the Alabama-LSU rivalry. Diggs also is the brother of former Vikings wideout Stefon, whom Jefferson replaced and has dissed a little. Expect an epic battle of speed and quickness with plenty of trash talk, with the “winner” probably being on the winning side.
Stat that matters
41. That’s how many combined receptions top Vikings cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander and Bashaud Breeland have allowed this season in 6 games. The team has to roll with them minus Patrick Peterson. That’s great news for Cowboys wide receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb as they try to out-produce Jefferson and fellow counterpart Adam Thielen.
Cowboys vs. Vikings prediction
The Cowboys should be trusted with Prescott on the road more than Cousins at home. He has equal weapons in a more explosive and diverse offensive scheme. The Vikings have some defensive talent and have been improving, but the results have been limited. The Cowboys are more impactful in complementing their dangerous passing game on the other side of the ball. They make a defensive play to help Prescott win a close one late as a familiar losing M.O. happens for Minnesota.
Cowboys 31, Vikings 27
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