John Warner analyzes tonight’s MNF matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks and offers up his favorite bets for the game!
Week 13 concludes with what looks like one of the best matchups of the week between the Vikings and Seahawks. Night games in Seattle are always raucous and I’d expect no different for this one. Both of these teams are in the thick of a stacked NFC playoff race in what should be a very tight game.
Minnesota is looking to keep pace with a Green Bay team that had a gimme on the road vs NYG. The Seahawks hope to join San Francisco at the top of the NFC West after the Niners lost a nailbiter to Baltimore. With a win, they can move into a tie for the #1 seed with the Niners and Saints. This is, in essence, a playoff game for a playoff game, as the loser likely will have to play on the first weekend in the wild card game.
The Vikings have won six of seven, and this is the toughest remaining game on their schedule. The key for Minnesota will be their running game. Kirk Cousins has had a great season throwing the ball, but he’ll need to sustain long drives to keep Russell Wilson off the field. Wilson has been magnificent all year, but this is not the same caliber Seattle defense we’ve been used to seeing in the past.
Cousins has led the Vikings to one of the most potent offenses in the league. The Vikings rank in the top 10 in 3rd down conversion rate and top five in YPP, YPA, and red zone TD rate. Since a horrendous week four game vs Chicago, Cousins has statistically been one of the best QBs in the league. I expect a big game from both Cousins and Dalvin Cook, who has been one of the best receiving RBs this season as well.
The Seahawks have been scratching out game after game this season, racking up close win after close win. They are a ridiculous 8-1 in games decided by one possession and a stunning 5-0 in games decided by four points or less. To me, they are just a bit fraudulent. You can’t bank on winning every single 50/50 game throughout the course of a season, especially if you don’t have the defense to back it up. Seattle is 22nd in YPP and 18th in YPA, which doesn’t bode well on paper against the high-flying Vikings offense.
However, none of this has mattered as Wilson has put on his Superman cape all season, doing just enough to keep his Seahawks ahead. Seattle has a top five offense in YPP, YPA, and red zone conversion rate. If there’s a weakness, it’s on 3rd down, as the Seahawks are middle of the road, converting 40% of their 3rd downs.
If the Vikings can hold strong on 3rd downs, I really like their chances to expose this Seattle defense and come out of MNF with a cover. I can’t believe I’m picking Cousins on the road over Wilson but I just don’t trust that Seattle defense at all. This run of winning every damn close game has to come to a stop at some point. Rolling with the Vikings on the moneyline, too. Bring us home Kirk!
- Minnesota +3 -115
- Minnesota ML +130 .5x
- 19-35 -14.1x