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The Vikings vs the Giants NFC Wild Card game is going to be a must-watch based on the betting splits. Will Dalvin Cook show up for the Vikings? Ben Rajavuori answers.

Vikings vs. Giants Player Prop Pick: Can Dalvin Cook Run Over the Giants in NFC Wild Card Game?

The Vikings and Giants have one of the closest splits of the weekend in the betting market. 53% of tickets are on the Giants, while 47% are on the Vikings. With such a close split, the line has not budged from -3 since opening. The line is pretty stuck, and the books tend to think this will be a tight, one-score game down to the wire. That seems to fit the bill well in this game, considering the Vikings set the record for one-score wins this season, and the first meeting against the Giants came down to a last-second field goal for the win. With the stage set, and a close game expected, what is the best player prop for this game?

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Vikings vs. Giants Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Sunday, January 15, 2023
  • Start Time: 4:30 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: FOX

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Vikings vs. Giants Prediction

Many people expect me to say, Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, Adam Theilen, and T.J. Hockenson will have the biggest games today for the Viking's offense, and maybe that ends up being true, but I'm looking to the backfield today. Dalvin Cook has had a lackluster season, and it is arguably the worst season he has had as a starter statistically.

Despite playing a full 17 games, he barely edged out his 2019 and 2021 rushing yards by less than 50, and he didn't pass his 2020 total of 1,557 total by a longshot. He had 1,173 rushing yards this season on 264 attempts, which averages out to 4.4 yards per carry. 4.4 yards per carry is the lowest of any season in Cook's career so far. So if he is having his worst career season, why would I back him here?

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Well, think back to my first sentence in the paragraph. The Vikings have some of the best receivers in the league, and they stood out in the first meeting this season. In the three-point game, the Vikings and Giants had earlier this season, Jefferson had 12 catches for 133 yards, and T.J. Hockenson had 13 catches for 109 yards. Add in the fact that Osborn is emerging as a top receiver in the lineup as well, and I think the Giants will have their eyes on the wideouts all day.

Jefferson and Hockenson had 25 combined receptions for the Vikings in the first meeting, and I bet all their time in the film room has been spent focusing on slowing down the passing game for the Vikings. It's where they have done all their damage this season, so it makes sense. Cook has also had a below-average season, so he may not be viewed as a large threat in this game. In the first meeting, Cook had 14 carries for 64 yards, and his 4.6 yards per carry in that game was one of the highest he had all season. This is no coincidence, as the Giants rank dead last in rushing DVOA in the league.

Dalvin Cook's rushing line is 69.5 yards today. In 10 home games played this season, Cook has passed this line in eight of them. One of the two he went under that was against the Giants, but the passing game was cooking all day, meaning Cook's legs were not needed. I don't expect that to happen again, which means the Vikings will look to run the ball more in this game against the last-ranked rushing defense by DVOA in the league. The only other game Cook finished under this line was against the Patriots, who have a much better-rushing defense.

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If the Vikings win this game today, it HAS to be partly due to Cook. Jefferson will be doubled all day, and Don Martindale will be focused on the explosive receivers all game, which opens up the opportunity for Cook to have a big game. Also, Cook has essentially taken two weeks off, as he had nine and eleven carries over the past two games, resting up for the playoffs. He has seen limited action since the Christmas eve game against the Giants, so he should be fully healthy and rested for this playoff game. I'm on Cook to notch at least 70 rushing yards today.

Vikings vs Giants Player Prop Pick

Pick: Dalvin Cook O69.5 Rushing Yards @ (-115) Bet $100 to collect $186 FanDuel has the best odds, click here to bet

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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