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Minnesota opened as a 2.5-point home underdog for this game and moved to as high as +3.5 before news of Zimmer’s injury came out late Wednesday night.
Zimmer underwent his third eye surgery in a month and will leave coaching duties in the hands of special teams coach Mike Priefer, which allows offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and defensive coordinator George Edwards to focus on their respective side of the playbook.
According to Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology sportsbooks in Las Vegas, this line hasn’t moved since news of Zimmer’s absence hit newswires. They opened this game at Vikings +2.5 and went to +3.5 (-120) well before that info became public.
Offshore, at online book GTBets.eu, Minnesota has stayed as a field goal pup but the juice on Dallas -3 has moved from -110 to -125.
“Certainly not enough to move the line a half point, however, it is likely the reason that Dallas is -3 (-125),” a lines manager with GTBets.eu says of Zimmer’s status.
The Vikings limp into the Thursday nighter having lost five of their last six games while posting a 1-5 ATS mark in that span. This skid followed a 5-0 start for Minnesota, in which it covered in each of those outings.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, have won 10 in a row since losing to the New York Giants in Week 1, posting a 9-1 ATS count during that stretch. Dallas failed to cover for the first time since the season opener in Thanksgiving’s showdown with the Washington Redskins, winning 31-26 as a 5.5-point favorite.
The Vikings have covered in eight of their last nine meetings with the Cowboys, including a 6-1 ATS run in their last seven at home versus Dallas.
Thursday’s total is set at 44 points.