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Taking the points with a slightly better Vikings squad

Dear lord, I’m betting on Kirk Cousins on the road in prime time.

Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 18, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks host the Minnesota Vikings to close out Week 13 with some serious playoff implications. This week’s Monday Night Football matchup features the top two teams in the NFC wild card race. The Seahawks are 9-2 and would move into first place in the NFC West with a win. The Vikings are 8-3 and would remain tied with the Packers in the NFC North, but behind in the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Seahawks are a field goal favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the point total set at 50. The Seahawks are -148 on the money line, while the Vikings are +130. Both teams are 6-5 against the spread and both teams have gone over the point total six times.

Injury report

The Vikings are dealing with a host of injuries. The team downgraded wide receiver Adam Thielen to out due to his hamstring injury. Starters listed as questionable include safety Anthony Harris (groin), defensive tackle Linval Joseph (knee), strong safety Harrison Smith (hamstring), and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (knee).

The big news for the Seahawks is that they expect defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to return to action on Monday. He missed Week 12 with a core muscle injury, but will reportedly play through it and get surgery in the offseason. Although his sack total isn’t high, he’s been a consistent presence harassing quarterbacks.

Pick against the spread

The line has moved back and forth a bit, but is finally settling at a field goal. If you could get it Minnesota at 3.5 points I would say jump all over it. That being said, I’ll still take the field goal with the Vikings. I’ve spent much of this year, and much of the past couple years willing to bet on Kirk Cousins on the road or in prime time ... or on the road in prime time. And yet, it seems like he’s starting to put some things together.

The Vikings and Seahawks are similar in offensive efficiency metrics, while the Vikings defense has been a step better on the season than Seattle. In looking at net yards per play, the Vikings seventh at 0.7, while the Seahawks rank 14th at 0.1. Net yards per play isn’t the end-all, be-all of stats, but it’s a valuable one for trying to remove some of the randomness out of the equation.

This should be a fun one, and I think the Vikings actually win this game outright. And I’m sure I won’t regret betting against an MVP candidate like Russell Wilson.

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