Vikings vs Seahawks NFL betting picks and predictions: Cousins can snap MNF losing streak

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We’ve got another marquee matchup on Monday Night Football as the Minnesota Vikings travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks.

The Vikings have won six of their last seven games while the 9-2 the Seahawks have the second-best record in the AFC and are coming off a 17-9 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

From the first snap to the final whistle we break down the odds for this primetime showdown with our best bets and predictions. **video

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-2.5, 49.5)

QUICK HITTER

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)

TEAM/PLAYER PROP

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 offenses 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 a 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)

PointsBet USA unveils partnership with Detroit Tigers

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In the absence of MLB games until – hopefully – later this month, MLB betting made some news Thursday with the announcement that PointsBet USA is now the official gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers. It’s the first such arrangement between a sports betting entity and an MLB team, made possible by PointsBet USA’s recent agreement with MLB designating the sportsbook as an authorized gaming operator by the league.

“The PointsBet team is excited to announce our groundbreaking deal with the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball, becoming the first legal sports betting operator in U.S. history to partner with an MLB franchise,” PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken said in a news release. “We offer the most betting options in the world on MLB games via our unique PointsBetting product, and we are excited to inject a unique and robust betting proposition into the great state of Michigan.”

Michigan legalized sports betting in December, for both brick-and-mortar and online operators, and books began taking bets in March. PointsBet USA is not only the first book to partner with an MLB franchise, but the first to partner with any Michigan-based professional sports team.

As part of the multi-year deal, PointsBet USA will have TV broadcast-visible branding at Comerica Park, a sponsored presence on the Tigers’ digital platforms, and will be integrated into The District Detroit app and the MLB Ballpark app.

“We are thrilled to welcome PointsBet as a gaming partner of the Detroit Tigers,” said Chris Granger, group president of sports and entertainment for Ilitch Holdings. “Our incredible fans will love the unique experiences and innovative offerings that PointsBet’s personalized platform provides. We look forward to the fan-friendly enhancements this will bring to the game-day experience in and around Comerica Park for years to come.”

NBA betting: Eight seeding games to bet when NBA returns

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NBA betting is back on the board with the NBA season restarting in Orlando after the COVID-19 shutdown. From July 30-August 14, the 22 remaining teams with NBA Championship aspirations will face off against each other to determine playoff seeding, so get ready for some exciting matchups.

We take a look at eight must-bet NBA seeding games to watch as the league returns to action.

Clippers vs Lakers (-1.5, 218.5), July 30, 9 p.m. ET

When the Los Angeles Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, take on Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA doesn’t get much better than this. Opening day and Christmas Day also featured this marquee matchup and the opening night of the restart in Orlando will mark the fourth time this season that these LA rivals have faced off.

The Lakers are third in the NBA in scoring defense, allowing 106.9 points per game, while the Clippers hold opponents to just 43.6 percent shooting from the field, also third-best in the league. With both teams coming in off lengthy breaks, there may be some rust on the offensive end of the floor making the Under 218.5 an intriguing play.

Betting trend to watch: The Clips won the first two meetings while the Lakers won the last one in March. The Under hit in each of those contests with an average score of 108.7-106.7 in favor of the Clippers.

Celtics vs Bucks (-5, 217.5), July 31, 6:30 p.m. ET

Barring an absolute collapse, the Milwaukee Bucks will wrap up the No. 1 seed in the East, but they will still likely want to play MVP front-runner Giannis Antetokounmpo in this one just to shake off the cobwebs after the break.

This could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals and it will be interesting to see how Boston Celtics point guard Kemba Walker looks after being hampered by knee issues following the All-Star break. Boston split the series with Milwaukee during the season and Walker torched the Bucks both times, scoring 32 points against them in November and putting up 40 on them in January.

Betting trend to watch: Milwaukee opened as a five-point favorite, with the total set at 217.5, but don’t count out the Celtics, who have gone an impressive 14-4 ATS as an underdog this season.

Rockets vs Mavericks (+1.5, 225.5), July 31, 9 p.m. ET

The battle between James Harden and Luka Doncic will be a treat for basketball fans, but the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks have plenty of firepower in addition to their All-NBA guards.

With the full game total for this contest opening at a reasonable 225.5, keep an eye on the first half total when it drops.

Betting trend to watch: Fast starts have been a trend for both squads, with Houston leading the league with 59.9 first-half points per game and Dallas second with 59.3 ppg. For good measure, the Rockets also rank 25th in the NBA in first-half scoring defense, surrendering 58.1 ppg.

Heat vs Nuggets (-1, 212.5), August 1, 1 p.m ET

Both the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets could see their seeding change dramatically based on how they perform in Orlando. Miami has an absolute gauntlet to run through with its first four games against Denver, Toronto, Boston and Milwaukee.

The Nuggets have long had a massive edge at home, due to the increased elevation at the Pepsi Center, and losing that advantage in Orlando could hurt. Then again, Miami could be in the same boat considering that they posted an average scoring margin of plus-9.3 ppg at home — and that plummeted to minus-2.7 in away contests.

Betting trend to watch: The Heat have been one of the highest-scoring teams in the league during the first quarter, but have really struggled to put the ball in the hoop at the end of games, averaging just 26 ppg in the fourth quarter. With Denver holding opponents to just 26.2 fourth-quarter points per game on the road, this is a trend you’ll want to consider when live betting in the final 12 minutes.

Bucks vs Rockets, August 2, 8:30 p.m. ET

It’s always a blast watching two MVP favorites face off against each other, and after Harden came up short against Antetokounmpo last year there seems to be a lack of respect between the two superstars. The Greek Freak took a potshot at Harden when he selected his team during All-Star weekend, with the Rockets guard responding with, “I wish I could be 7 feet and run and just dunk. Like, that takes no skill at all.”

Betting trend to watch: Unfortunately for the small-ball Rockets, defending in the paint is their biggest weakness, especially after trading away Clint Capela left them with the 6’5″ PJ Tucker often manning the center position. Houston allows 51.5 ppg in the paint, sixth-worst in the league, and Giannis is the most dominant inside scorer since Shaq, putting up 29.6 ppg this season.

Grizzlies vs Pelicans, August 3, 6:30 p.m. ET

Not only will this matchup feature the two best rookies in the league in Ja Morant and Zion Williamson, but it will also be a prime spot for the New Orleans Pelicans to gain ground on the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

New Orleans was impressive on offense even without Zion and have become even more unstoppable since the first-overall draft pick joined the team on January 22. Once Zion joined the fold the Pelicans averaged 120.1 ppg and played at the fastest pace in the league.

Betting trend to watch: Thanks in large part to Morant, Memphis also looks good on the offensive end of the floor, ranking seventh in the league in both possessions per game and shooting percentage. With both teams electrifying on offense – and terrible on defense – this should be a very fun game with the Over worth looking at.

Trail Blazers vs Nuggets, August 6, 8 p.m ET

There might not a more dangerous team currently outside a playoff spot than the Portland Trail Blazers, who arguably boast the second-best backcourt out of all 22 teams in Orlando and will also get center Jusuf Nurkic back from a broken leg. The Nuggets are third in the West but sit only 1.5 games behind the Clippers and 1.5 games ahead of the Jazz, so every game matters.

This is a rematch of last year’s Western Conference semifinals, where the Blazers upset the Nuggets in seven games. In three games head-to-head this year the Nuggets went 3-0 SU and ATS.

Betting trend to watch: Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard has struggled against Denver, averaging 21.6 ppg on 37.7 percent shooting over his last seven regular-season games against the Nuggets. Although he played better during the playoff series last season, it was CJ McCollum who carried the Blazers offense, especially in Game 7 when Lillard went 3-17 from the field.

Raptors vs 76ers, August 12, 6:30 p.m. ET

There might not be much on the line if the Toronto Raptors have already secured a seed by this time, but if their nerve-wracking seven-game playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers last year is any indication, this should still be a great game.

Betting trend to watch: It will be interesting to see how these teams play on neutral ground. Toronto has been one of the best teams in the league away from home, going 23-9 SU and 16-15 ATS and posting an average scoring margin of plus-4.2 ppg. On the other hand, the 76ers have been terrible on the road, going 10-24 SU, 9-23 ATS and posting a scoring margin of minus-5.3.