The Vikings (8-3) travel to Centurylink Field to take on the Seahawks (9-2) to close out Week 13 on Monday Night Football. It should be an intense battle between two of the NFC’s top teams. Currently holding both of the wild card spots, the outcome of this game will likely end up having playoff implications. A Seahawks victory would vault them atop the NFC West and bump down the 49ers to their current wild card spot. A Vikings win would allow them to keep a two-game cushion ahead of the Rams (7-5), the only team with a record above .500 outside the NFC playoff picture.
Let’s explore some factors to note for each team. You can find all NFL expert picks, expert picks, and best bets at BetQL!
While the Vikings have gone 6-1 in their past seven games, they’ve failed to cover in three of their last four contests. Nonetheless, in their past 20 games against awful passing defenses (who allow 260 or more passing yards per game), they’ve gone 15-5 ATS. The Seahawks have allowed 268.7 passing yards per contest, fourth-most in the NFL. Meanwhile, Seattle’s defense ranks 10th against the rush, allowing 101.5 yards per game on the ground. In all, they’re a far cry from the “Legion of Boom”.
Very quietly, Kirk Cousins has amassed 2,756 passing yards and 21 touchdowns along with just three interceptions. Over his past three games, the Vikings quarterback has thrown eight touchdowns and no picks and has thrown 18 scores and just one interception over the past seven games. It’s worth mentioning that both Dalvin Cook (chest) is expected to play and Adam Thielen (hamstring) will sit out, so ancillary pieces of the Vikings’ offense might be expected to step up alongside primary target Stefon Diggs. Per multiple reports, Cook’s ailment is not considered serious, but if he’s limited in any way, Minnesota’s offense could learn more heavily on backup Alexander Mattison.
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The Seahawks tend to heat up at this time of the season. Over their past 34 games between Weeks 10 and 13, they’ve gone 26-8 ATS. Further, they’re on a four-game SU winning streak and have covered three straight contests. Minnesota’s defense has allowed 244.5 passing yards per game (20th) and have been much more stout against the run, allowing 94.2 yards per contest (sixth).
Although Rashaad Penny broke out last week and outplayed Chris Carson, the two backs are still expected to split work in this contest and Carson is expected to get the start. Pete Caroll and his coaching staff tend to take a hot-hand approach with two healthy backs, and that’s most likely what will happen again tonight. Russell Wilson is firmly in the MVP race and has accumulated 2,937 passing yards, 27 total touchdowns (24 passing), and has thrown just three interceptions. Tyler Lockett (illness) is expected to suit up, but he was a victim of a bug that was traveling around the locker room late in the practice week. It remains to be seen if that plays a factor in this contest, not only for Lockett, but also for his teammates that were affected.
Minnesota ranks third in the NFL in rush-play percentage (50.2 percent) while Seattle ranks fifth (46.4 percent). While both of their passing offenses have shown bright spots at various points of the season, each team’s offensive scheme requires establishing the run. Therefore, if both offenses stick to their normal game plans, expect the clock to keep moving without an abundance of scoring since both defenses rank in the top 10 against the run.
Per BetQL’s NFL Public Betting Dashboard, 68 percent of the total money wagered has gone under the 49-point total, as of Monday morning. Find out whether BetQL’s NFL Model favors the Vikings or the Seahawks against the spread!
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