Dallas Cowboys vs Minnesota Vikings Matchup Preview - November 20th, 2022


The Minnesota Vikings come in as 2.0 point home underdog as they play the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday. The last time these teams battled was Week 8 of 2021 when the visiting Cowboys pulled off an upset on the road, beating the Vikings 20-16. Dallas entered that game as a 4.5 point road underog. They had an implied win probablity of only 36% before pulling of the upset. The Game Total for that game was 49.0 and which the Under hit.

Minnesota's primary disadvantage has been their defense, which has allowed a monstrous 392 yards per game this year, sliding them into the #5 spot among the league's worst. They've struggled in large part because they've been unable to keep opposing offenses from moving the chains via their pass attack. Opposing QBs have thrown for the #4-most yards per game (278) against the Vikings. A big part of the problem is their inability to put pressure on the quarterback. It's taken them an average of 2.56 seconds after the snap before a defender gets close enough for the QB to feel it -- #3-slowest among all teams. Opposing tight ends have given the Vikings the most trouble, posting 8.82 yards per target (#4-worst in football). Minnesota's coverage problems have been exacerbated by their safeties, who rank just #28 in the league in locking down opposing pass-catchers. When it comes to their offense, the Vikings check in at #5 in football when it comes to total yards per game. Their passing game has compiled 277 yards per game (#6 in football). Their run game has ranked #12 with 4.64 yards per attempt on the ground.

Dallas's biggest strength has been their pass defense, which ranks #4 in the league while allowing just 204 yards per game this season. They've made it a habit of getting to the quarterback quickly, averaging just 2.39 seconds after the snap before applying pressure -- #5-quickest in the league. The Cowboys have done the best job shutting down opposing running backs, holding them to 25 yards per game (#2-best). Dallas's best position group in coverage has been their linebackers, which rank #2 in the league in locking down route-runners. Dallas's pass rush has been strong this year, led by their defensive ends, which check in as the #5-best unit in terms of getting to the passer. In terms of their offense, the Cowboys have ranked #18 in the league in total yards per game. They've passed for 212 yards per game (#26 in football). On the ground they've ranked #6 with 4.83 yards per carry.

Dallas Cowboys Insights

  • The Sharp Model projects Ezekiel Elliott to be a much smaller part of his offense's run game this week (34.5% projected Carry Share) than he has been this year (58.5% in games he has played).

  • The Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles project as the best DT corps in the NFL this year with their run defense.

  • The Sharp Model projects CeeDee Lamb to accumulate 0.56 receiving touchdowns this week, on average, ranking in the 99th percentile among wide receivers.

Minnesota Vikings Insights

  • The Sharp Model projects this game to see the most plays run out of all the games this week at 140.5 plays, accounting for the tendencies of each team and game dynamics.

  • Justin Jefferson has compiled substantially more receiving yards per game (116.0) this season than he did last season (90.0).

  • The Dallas Cowboys pass defense has been quite strong when opposing tight ends have gotten into space, conceding an average of 4.27 yards-after-the-catch this year: the 10th-least in the NFL.

Betting Trends

  • The Minnesota Vikings have hit the Game Total Over in 12 of their last 17 games (+6.50 Units / 35% ROI)

  • The Dallas Cowboys have scored first in 7 of their last 9 games (+5.00 Units / 42% ROI)

  • Dalton Schultz has hit the Receptions Over in 10 of his last 15 games (+4.15 Units / 23% ROI)