A pair of teams that could meet next month in the NFC playoffs adds some intrigue to our Week 13 NFL Monday Night Football prop bets and picks when the 8-3 Minnesota Vikings travel to Seattle to take on the 9-2 Seahawks.
Please check the odds for the Week 13 NFL Monday Night Football prop bets as they are likely to have changed since this was published.
Week 13 NFL Monday Night Football prop bets and picks
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-3, 50 over/under), Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
I’ve gone back and forth on this game quite a few times. Bear with me and you’ll see why.
Even though this game is in Seattle, the Seahawks haven’t been impressive at home. The Seahawks are 1-4 against the spread at home this season and just 3-2 overall. Seattle’s only home win against a team with a winning record was a one-point victory over the 7-5 Los Angeles Rams.
But few players shine under the bright lights like Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson is 23-8-2 against the spread over his career in night games, including the playoffs, according to ESPN. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been the exact opposite, where he is 0-7 both outright and against the spread in his career on Monday Night Football, per ESPN.
ESPN also notes the Seahawks are 9-3-2 against the spread in the past two seasons when the point spread is between +3 and -3. The Vikings, on the other hand, are 1-6 against the spread in similar situations over the same span.
All that data should make this an easy decision, yet the smart money is coming in at a higher rate for the Vikings.
Let’s see if we can figure out why.
The Vikings will be without wide receiver Adam Thielen for a third straight game as he continues to deal with a hamstring injury, adding one more challenge for Cousins.
Despite his poor Monday track record, Cousins has been efficient this season, throwing 21 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions. He ranks third in yards per pass attempt (8.6) and fourth in completion percentage (70.6).
With Thielen out, guys like wide receiver Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph will have to pick up the slack – and both are capable. Diggs is coming off a 121-yard performance last week with a touchdown. However, Diggs’ touchdown last week was his first since Week 6. Rudolph has been getting into the end zone much more of late, recording four touchdown receptions in his last three games.
Rudolph is +220 to score a touchdown Monday on DraftKings and +450 to score a touchdown in a Vikings win. Both are worth a wager.
Because I still think Diggs is still capable of having a big game, a better play for him might be over 18.5 fantasy points scored (-110).
Just in case the Vikings can’t cash in with touchdowns, I like over 1.5 field goals by the away team (-125). Vikings kicker Dan Bailey has hit 15 of 17 tries this season, so he is reliable.
The defensive line is where the Vikings can really make a difference Monday against an overmatched Seahawks offensive line, which is especially poor in run protection.
Defensive ends Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen are two of the best in the NFL and could also put a lot of pressure on Wilson and can contain him like few teams are capable of.
Recent betting trends or not, the Vikings are the better team Monday and they are receiving three points. Home-field advantage has meant next to nothing this season and the Seahawks haven’t done much at home anyway. The Vikings also enter Monday coming off a bye, so they should be particularly rested and ready to go.
I like the Vikings +3 a lot more than I do at +2.5, but Minnesota does still have a very realistic chance to win this game outright (+128 on the moneyline) – so the points might not even be necessary.
Steven Inman’s NFL Monday Night Football prop bets and picks
For my prop bet choices, I’ll be using PointsBet so odds could be different than Neil’s selections.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is having his best season statistically and I want to bet that continues Monday night against a porous Seattle Seahawks pass defense. The Seahawks are allowing 268.7 passing yards per game, the fourth most in the NFL.
Cousins is -115 to have over 261.5 passing yards in Monday’s contest. Considering the Seahawks are averaging more than 261.5 passing yards allowed per game and how well Cousins is playing, this looks promising.
Cousins is also coming off a 29-for-35 effort with three touchdowns, zero interceptions and 319 passing yards against the Denver Broncos.
If you’re extra bullish on the recent surge of Cousins, also consider Cousins (+120) to get at least 300+ passing yards vs. the Seahawks.
To further capitalize on the Vikings enticing matchup against the Seahawk’s pass defense, Vikings’ No. 1 wide receiver Stefon Diggs is the player to target.
Diggs is -115 to have over 77.5 receiving yards. Diggs is averaging 104.3 receiving yards per game over his last six contests.
The Seahawks defense doesn’t have a Richard Sherman type of corner to hang with Diggs these days.
Wide receiver Adam Thielen has already been ruled out again this week with a hamstring injury, so more targets for Diggs.
Also consider Diggs to collect 70+ receiving yards and the Vikings to win the game at +220.
I expect both quarterbacks to have big games so while the odds aren’t great, look at any quarterback reaching 300+ passing yards at -238, which could be a layup on Monday Night Football.
With the way Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson is playing lately, Russell Wilson needs a big performance on national television to keep up in the MVP race.
Both starting running backs, Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson have had strong seasons but will be up against fierce run defenses. While I don’t like either of them on their own, the prop bet Carson and Cook combine for 175+ rushing yards should be considered.
Cook was dealing with a chest injury but is expected to play. I probably wouldn’t touch either running back Monday night, especially considering the two had 26 rushing yards each in their last games.
I would avoid them altogether but if you must get in on the running backs Monday night, picking them combined would be the way to go.
Prediction: Seahawks (-2.5) cover, over 49.5 (-110)
This could be a NFC title game preview as both of these teams have all the tools needed to make a long playoff run. They both have similar strengths and weaknesses, so I’m taking the home team and hoping the power of the Seattle 12th man, makes the difference in this one.
I expect both quarterbacks to have big days which could make this a high scoring affair.
Considering both running backs are coming off tough days, coupled with the fact that both of these teams are excellent run stoppers, I expect the ball to be in the air more, which means less of a moving clock, so more time for scoring.
It’s a high number but I’m rolling with the over 49.5 and hoping it shrinks a point before the game begins.