MNF betting props: Vikings can't contain Jimmy Graham
They say there is no great genius without some touch of madness. It’s the thin line between brilliance and madness. And by all accounts it’s legit. I’m no scientist, but it’s something to do with genes and your brain development. But what has all of this got to do with the Vikings vs. Bears on Monday Night Football?
Well, I certainly don’t claim to be a genius, but when selecting prop bets for this game I can see why some people would call me mad. That’s because I’m going against the record-breaking history-making Red-hot Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.
Here’s exactly why, plus three other prop bets to get stuck into for Monday Night Football.
Tue, November 17 2020, 1:15 AM
Dalvin Cook rushing yards
Cook comes into tonight's contest off a staggering game against the Detroit Lions in Week 9 where he ran for 206 yards off 22 carries and added another 46 yards through the air. More than half of the Vikings' yards in that game came via Cook.
Cook has now gone for more than 130 yards rushing in four of his last five games, but I’m still backing him to go under 87 on Monday Night Football.
The Bears’ run defense is just a different kind of beast compared to the Lions, and this is a new level of challenge for Cook. In Week 9, the Bears held Derrick Henry to just 68 yards, and in Week 8 they held Alvin Kamara to just 67.
Vikings fans will claim Cook is unstoppable, but they may be in danger of forgetting what happened last year. Cook went into last season’s game with Chicago in red-hot form, racking up 111 yards against the Falcons, 154 yards against the Packers, and 110 yards against the Raiders before heading to Soldier Field. The Bears held him to 35 yards on 14 carries.
It wasn’t the start of any bad form either, as Cook went and ran for 132 yards against the Giants a week later. It was just that the Bears had his number.
Cook is explosive, but I expect the Bears to pump the brakes on him on Monday night.
Darnell Mooney receiving yards
Mooney has seen at least five targets in his last seven games – a number that is trending upward. Last week against the Titans, he saw a season-high 11, and with Allen Robinson hobbled, Mooney could see more looks from Nick Foles.
Foles has been happy to keep throwing, which is good news for Mooney, despite the fact the Bears have averaged less than 20 points per game on the scoreboard this season and are managing just 317 total yards of offence per game. Only the Jets and the Giants are worse.
Mooney has 40 yards or more in his last three games, and the Vikings pass defense shouldn’t scare him. Mooney is the main deep threat for the Bears and Minnesota has allowed 32 pass plays that have gone for 20+ yards this year (ranking fourth-most in the NFL). If Foles and Mooney can connect on a long one this line could be beaten on just a couple of plays.
Justin Jefferson receiving yards
There have only been five wide receivers who have managed to go for more than 58 yards against the Bears this season. That's an incredible stat which goes to show just how tough this matchup is for the Vikings receivers. It's made even tougher by the fact Kirk Cousins just isn’t throwing the ball. The Vikings have attempted an average of just 26 passes per game this season, which has led to plenty of frustration for Jefferson.
Jefferson has had just four targets in each of the two games since the Vikings' bye week, and although he ripped one for 35 yards against the Lions in Week 9, he’s going to be in for a rough ride in Chicago.
Jimmy Graham receiving yards
Tight ends have performed well against the Vikings this season and Graham could continue that trend on Monday. He’s racked up at least 30 yards in six of his last seven games, and now goes up against a weak Vikings defense. That should give bettors confidence, especially as Graham has seen at least six targets in each of his last four games.
The Vikings are allowing a league-high 10.5 yards per target to tight ends this season and in just the last three weeks, T.J. Hockenson, Robert Tonyan, Jace Sternberger, and Hayden Hurst have all racked up at least 36 yards against them.
Get ready to add Jimmy Graham’s name to that list.