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Dalvin Cook is the difference in picking Vikings over Chiefs [UPDATE]

The Chiefs host the Vikings in what is likely to be Matt Moore’s second start in place of Patrick Mahomes. We break down why the Vikings will cover the spread.

Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings runs off the field after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against Washington at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 24, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Editor’s update, 1:32 p.m.: DraftKings Sportsbook has installed the Chiefs as 2.5-point underdogs

The Kansas City Chiefs host the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, and one big question abounds for sportsbooks. Patrick Mahomes appears unlikely to play in the game, but sportsbooks are taking their time settling on a number.

As of Friday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook and a host of other sportsbooks have not installed a point spread for the game. More than likely we’ll see a line when the final injury report is released later in the day. Until then, it could go one of two ways. If Mahomes does not play, the Chiefs would be around a field goal underdog. If Mahomes plays, they would be around a field goal favorite. Mahomes is worth six or so points to oddsmakers, depending on the opponent.

Arrowhead Pride folks seem to expect Mahomes will sit, and that makes the most sense. The Chiefs want Mahomes back, but they don’t want to aggravate the injury, and they have a decent-sized lead in the division. In making this pick, I’m operating under the assumption Mahomes sits and the Vikings are laying a field goal. And with that assumption, I’m going to lay the points with Minnesota.

Matt Moore put together a solid performance last week against a Packers defense that has been fairly solid against the pass, but still up and down at times. The Vikings defense ranks 12th in pass efficiency and tenth in rush efficiency. I think we end up seeing them give Moore a tough night. I was intrigued by Moore in his first start with ten days to get ready. I’m not feeling it quite so much this time around.

On the other side of the ball, Dalvin Cook is a serious problem for the Chiefs defense. They rank 30th in rushing efficiency. Aaron Jones “only” rushed for 67 yards, but averaged over five yards per carry. And of course, he also had 159 receiving yards. I look for Cook to give the Chiefs all sorts of problems, and that seems enough to secure a field goal or more win.

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