THURSDAY night football and Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) is in the hotseat for us with his betting thoughts.
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings | Friday 01:25 | Sky Sports 1
This is easy right? Cowboys easily. You and I have watched enough of both teams this season to know that. Doesn't it make you nervous though when you see the money go in the opposite direction and people who's opinions you value, also take a different view to your own.
It makes me nervous. It makes me second guess everything I think about the game. You know what though, you're probably just like me and trust your own instincts when it comes to putting money down. That's pretty much been my last couple of days.
Asking everyone else I respect “Why this money for Minnesota?” “Why are smart people tipping the Vikings?” Everyone I asked that question of had no answer. Each thought this was an easy Dallas win. Even last night at the WLB Xmas drinks, I wanted an answer from fellow NFL nerd Tom Selwyn.
Dallas win was the answer I got from Tom. Blank looks were mostly what I got from Julian, Chris, and Mark. Young Will Dyer was too busy being handsome and predicting Arsenal losses.
I digress. The point here is that you may have seen these moves. They are the same ‘sharps' who have been betting heavily on the Browns to cover every week this month. The Browns? Turns out that ‘sharps' may not be too sharp. Follow your head, not the money.
Everything I think I know about the NFL tells me Dallas win. I went in early when the line was -3.5, I have gone in again at -3. You may think I was not too complimentary about Dallas in last week's preview on Thanksgiving.
Dallas winning one of the games of the season against a decent Washington Redskins team. My point in the piece was about the weakness in the Dallas defence. That criticism was strengthened by a performance last Thursday that would have produced a loss for any team that did not have their offence to back it up.
The Cowboys D does not really have a pass rush and the secondary is once again weakened by injury. That may come back to bite them in the playoffs but for the moment, they have a bit of a Newcastle under Keegan thing going on. You score 28 we'll score 35 etc. They are amazing on offence no doubt. That weak defence does not have an awful lot to worry about this week.
Minnesota started the season, as the cliché goes, on fire. 5-0 however soon became 5-4 and is currently 6-5. From looking like contenders for home advantage in the post season, they now trail Detroit in the NFC North and have a resurgent Packers coming from behind for the wildcard.
Those first five wins hid a multitude of problems. All the injuries suffered in pre season really have taken a toll. Their ground game has produced under 700 yards.
Rookie Ezekiel Elliott has nearly 1200 on his own. Steffon Diggs is back out wide this weak but will Sam Bradford have time to find him? Bradford plays behind pretty much the worst offensive line in the NFL. A line that has lost another couple of starters this week.
If you favour the Vikings in this one, the only way I can see that succeeding is if Bradford can keep the Cowboys offence off the field. Does that quarterback, that offensive line, those running backs have it in them to launch long drives that produce points at the end? Not for me. I will stick with my first thought on the game and that's a straightforward Dallas win.
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings: Dallas Cowboys -3 (5/6 Paddy Power)