David Greenberg

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)

Super Bowl odds and NFL MVP futures update: Dak puts a dent in the betting markets

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The NFL schedule rounds the three-quarter mark in Week 12 and the potential Super Bowl contenders are down to a handful of teams. We look at the odds to win the Big Game – singling out the biggest rise and fall heading into this week’s action – and showcase one player putting a dent in the MVP futures.

BIGGEST RISE: DALLAS COWBOYS

ODDS TO WIN SUPER BOWL LIV

OPEN: 20/1
WEEK 11: 40/1
WEEK 12: 20/1

With the Cowboys knocking off the Detroit Lions (without QB Matt Stafford) and the Eagles losing to the Patriots, Dallas jumps to the top of the NFC East with a 6-4 SU record entering Week 12. The Cowboys meet New England this Sunday, and should they beat the defending champs, expect America’s Team to slide way up the Super Bowl odds board. The Cowboys, however, haven’t played many quality QBs so far this season (losing to Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins) and take on the all-time best at the position in Foxborough this weekend.

BIGGEST FALL: HOUSTON TEXANS

ODDS TO WIN SUPER BOWL LIV

OPEN: 30/1
WEEK 11: 20/1
WEEK 12: 40/1

Taking a loss to the Ravens isn’t that bad. Hell, even the Patriots have fallen to Baltimore. But taking a 41-7 defeat will definitely ding your stock in the Super Bowl futures. Houston’s losses have come against some quality opponents but with things getting tight in the AFC South, this week’s matchup versus the Colts will have a huge say in the Texans’ postseason hopes. They’ve already dropped one game with Indianapolis, and should they lose in Week 12, Houston is likely left grasping for a Wild Card ticket.

MVP WATCH: DAK PRESCOTT, DALLAS COWBOYS

ODDS TO WIN 2019 MFL MVP

OPEN: 100/1
WEEK 11: 20/1
WEEK 12: 14/1

Prescott pushed the Cowboys to victory with 444 yards passing and three touchdowns versus Detroit last Sunday. That came on the heels of a 397-yard, three-touchdown performance in a loss to Minnesota the week before. Prescott is among the second-tier contenders for NFL MVP – joining the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and Christian McCaffrey – but would have to put up some huge numbers and lead Dallas to win out in the remaining games to get ahead of Lamar Jackson (+140) and Russell Wilson (+150).

Bet Now/Bet Later NFL Week 12 odds: Now’s not the time to bet the Niners

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Being a successful sports bettor is not about betting on the best team but betting the best number. 

Scoring the optimal odds for your wager can sometimes be a race to the window – or your mobile – to get the spread or total you want before it changes. Or, sometimes it’s a waiting game until just before kickoff, projecting how the public players will manipulate the numbers.

Covers’ Senior Industry Analyst Jason Logan gives you a heads-up on the best “Bet Now/Bet Later” games on the NFL Week 12 board, so download the new Covers Live App and punch these odds into your line alerts.

SPREAD TO BET NOW: DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-6, 46)

Being “America’s Team”, the Cowboys always attract action at the window from legions of Dallas backers blindly betting the Boys. And it would seem, even in a matchup with the defending Super Bowl champs, early money is siding with Dallas.

The Cowboys opened as big as +6.5 at New England in Week 12 and books have trimmed that down to +6 at most books. The juice on Patriots -6 is seeing a discount as low as -105 and there’s even a -5.5 on the board as of Monday afternoon.

New England hasn’t been overwhelmingly impressive this season and is coming off an ugly win over Philadelphia this past Sunday. Dallas also took a “fugly” victory over a Stafford-less Detroit squad but the offense is firing on all cylinders – something Tom Brady & Co. can’t say after scoring 20 and 17 points respectively in their last two games. If you like the Cowboys collect the points at the key number of six while it still stands.

SPREAD TO BET LATER: GREEN BAY PACKERS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-3, 45.5)

According to bookmakers, they expect money on the underdog Packers in this Sunday Night Football showdown. San Francisco hasn’t looked great in its last three games: two near losses to Arizona and an OT defeat at the hands of Seattle. Granted, the 49ers were dealing with dual-threat dynamos, Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson, who amounted for 154 yards rushing on 19 total carries in those three games.

Green Bay gunslinger Aaron Rodgers has plenty of weapons in his arsenal but he’s not as spry as those two QBs. The Cheeseheads are coming off a bye in Week 11, but before that squeaked out a win against Carolina (was McCaffrey in?) and fell to the L.A. Chargers.

San Francisco should get some bodies back in Week 12, with kicker Robbie Gould coming around and TE George Kittle listed at day-to-day. If you’re giving the Niners the nod, wait it out and see how low you can grab them under the key of a field goal.

TOTAL TO BET NOW: OVER 45.5 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS

This number has made a significant dive, from as high as 47 to 45.5 points. Now might be the time to strike if you like the Over. For one: this is a primetime game and the public loves to root for high-scoring football in those night games, so action on the Over is expected.

The Colts will lean on the arm of QB Jacob Brissett more with RB Marlon Mack out with a hand injury. Indianapolis runs the ball on 47 percent of snaps but may have to resort to the air more often in this AFC South matchup, lending value to the Over. Brissett did enjoy his best game of the season at home to the Texans in Week 7, passing for three touchdowns on 326 yards – a game that scored 53 total points and topped the 46.5 Over/Under.

Houston just got cracked for 41 points versus Baltimore and hasn’t been that stout defense in 2019, allowing 30 or more points four times this season. The Texans offense – namely Deshaun Watson – will be eager to shake a stinky 7-point showing in Week 11, in which the QB passed for only 169 yards and an interception. Beat the public to the window and bet this Over now.

TOTAL TO BET LATER: OVER 39 PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS

This total is already on the way down, moving from 39.5 to 39, and I project it going even lower between now and kickoff Sunday. The Steelers mustered only seven points in a short week versus Cleveland last Thursday, which is fresh in everyone’s mind. But before that ugly result, Pittsburgh’s offense was finding its footing, averaging 24 points between Weeks 4 and 10 with second-stringer Mason Rudolph at the wheel.

The Bengals surrendered 27 points in a Week 4 loss at Pittsburgh, managing a lonely field goal in rebuttal. Cincinnati hasn’t been much better ever since, averaging only 15 points per outing in the six games since that dismal Monday night display.

That said, with a total this low, Over bettors may not need much more from Cincy to slide in above the number. The Bengals are notably better on offense at home – 17.5 points per home game versus 12.5 points per away game – and are 6-2-1 Over/Under in their previous nine games inside Paul Brown Stadium. If you like the Over, set your Covers Live App alert and see if you can get something in the 38-point range later in the week.