The Minnesota Vikings have won three straight games since their bye week to move to within striking distance of the playoffs for the last half of the season. They will try to keep their good fortunes going against the Dallas Cowboys, who have fallen on tough times since Dak Prescott’s injury. Dallas looked good against Pittsburgh last time out, but that seemed to be the outlier, so Minnesota should cruise in this one. Cowboys vs. Vikings Betting Odds The return of Andy Dalton under center will give Dallas an NFL-caliber starter under center, but it will do nothing to solve the defensive woes. The Cowboys are still allowing the most points in the NFL this season despite some recent success in that department against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The question is whether or not the Cowboys can slow down Dalvin Cook, who has been sensational the last three weeks. Dallas ranks 31st defending the run, which is something neither the Eagles nor Steelers tried to exploit. The Cowboys need to force this game onto Kirk Cousins’ arms and then hope their own offense can find some life with Dalton at the helm. The 19 points Dallas scored on Pittsburgh is the most the Cowboys have scored since Prescott’s injury. Minnesota’s offense is completely dependent on Cook to the point where the Vikings have forced him down the defense’s throats in recent weeks. He tied his career high with 30 attempts last week against the Bears, tying the number he had two weeks prior against the Packers. He only had 96 yards on those 30 carries against the Bears, but Chicago’s championship-level defense is miles ahead of this Dallas unit. In his other two games since Minnesota’s bye, he has rushed for five yards and 369 yards while averaging 7.1 yards per carry. If Cook is having success on the ground, it takes pressure off Cousins, who has been above-average at best this season. He’s thrown six touchdowns to just one interception in the past three weeks after tossing 11 scores and 10 picks in the first six games before the bye. The key for Minnesota is getting its defense to limit Ezekiel Elliott from controlling the game on the ground, something he has failed to do since Prescott’s injury. I am very surprised that the NFL betting sites in New Jersey have set the over/under on the Cowboys’ point total at 20. As we mentioned above, Dallas hasn’t scored more than 19 since Prescott got hurt and it wasn’t like the Cowboys were playing elite defenses, either. The offensive rhythm just disappeared with Dalton under center and I don’t know if he’ll have enough time this week to improve that chemistry. I’m guessing they continue their offensive struggles and I’ll bet the under 20 points for -110 odds. The over/under for the Vikings is at 28, and that seems like a very reasonable total. Minnesota scored 28 against Green Bay then followed up with 34 against Detroit, and this game is far more similar to that than last week against Chicago. With Cook powering the offense, I’ll bet the over 28 points for Minnesota at -112 odds. Vikings to win Minnesota is a worthy seven-point favorite in this game as the hosts, and the Vikings are clearly the better team. The Vikings are playing with confidence on this three-game winning streak and look like the team we thought might challenge Green Bay atop the NFC North. Dallas is heading in the opposite direction and found ways to lose to Pittsburgh last time out to extend its four-game skid. The bye week is sure to re-focus the Cowboys, but Cook is at another level right now and he should carve up this hapless Dallas defense with far less than 30 carries. I think this is an easy two-score win for Minnesota, so I’ll take the Vikings laying 10.5 points at +140 odds at the New Jersey online sports betting sites.