Giants vs Vikings Wild Card Props: Defenses In For Rough Day

Minnesota defeated New York in a nail biter the last time these teams played, and offense was a big story. With both teams expected to score plenty of points again, our NFL player props expect big days from this trio of players.

Rohit Ponnaiya - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Rohit Ponnaiya • Betting Analyst
Jan 15, 2023 • 13:33 ET • 4 min read

The Minnesota Vikings host the New York Giants in NFL Wild Card action on Sunday. These teams also clashed three weeks ago in Minny, with the Vikes winning 27-24.

While both teams will make adjustments, I do expect history to repeat itself in a few areas. That's why I'm backing Richie James and T.J. Hockenson to duplicate their success, while Dalvin Cook should benefit from the possible return of a key teammate. Our Giants vs. Vikings picks and predictions expect Hock to find the end zone while I'm looking elsewhere in a great matchup for the tight end.

Here are my best free NFL prop picks for the Giants vs. Vikings on January 15.

Giants vs Vikings Wild Card prop picks

Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Giants vs Vikings Wild Card props

Vikings' running back Dalvin Cook has been held in check the last few weeks, but the O/U of 69.5 on his rushing yards total still seems too low. Especially when you consider that the three-time Pro Bowler went Over that number in 10 of 17 games this season, and the Giants are one of the worst teams in the league at defending the run. 

The G-Men are last in the league in defensive rush DVOA and have surrendered 144.2 rushing yards per game at 5.2 yards per carry. Although they have a stout defensive line anchored by Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams, they are terrible at making tackles in the second level and in the open field.

A big reason why Cook had a tough time finding gaps toward the end of the season was the absence of Garrett Bradbury, who is 10th in the league among all centers with a run-blocking grade of 72.4 according to PFF.

Bradbury missed Minnesota's last five games with a back injury and the Vikes were down to their third-string center in their last two contests. However, the pivot was a full participant in Thursday's practice and could be available on Sunday. If Bradbury suits up, expect Cook to benefit. 

Dalvin Cook Prop: Over 69.5 rushing yards (-115)

After being signed by the Giants in the offseason, Richie James has emerged as one of their most reliable receivers. James leads the NFL in catch percentage (81.4%) by hauling in 57 of 70 targets, and he has gotten more looks from Daniel Jones during the second half of the season. 

He led the G-Men with 90 receiving yards on eight receptions in Week 16 against the Vikes, then followed up on that with a seven-catch 76-yard performance vs. the Colts before resting in the season finale.

Minnesota allowed the second-most passing yards per game (265.6) during the regular season and it is awful against slot receivers. With James running 75.1% of his snaps out of the slot, look for him to have another big performance on Sunday and bet the Over 47.5 on his receiving yards.

Richie James Prop: Over 47.5 receiving yards (-110)

Vikings' tight end T.J. Hockenson was quiet last week against Chicago, but that was a meaningless game and he was on the field for less than 50% of all offensive snaps compared to his usual 90%.

The previous week he was targeted 12 times vs. the Packers and had 59 yards, and the week before he faced the Giants and went off for 13 catches with 109 yards. 

New York has struggled in pass coverage and has been particularly vulnerable against TEs. The Giants are second-last in the league in pass DVOA against tight ends according to Football Outsiders while allowing 56.1 yards per game to the position.

Teams have focused on limiting deep throws to Justin Jefferson over the last few weeks, but with safeties sitting back in coverage, that's created room underneath for players like Hockenson to operate.

Although Hock destroyed the G-Men in Week 16, I'm expecting Wink Martindale to focus on slowing down Jefferson and Cook which should result in another strong performance from the Minnesota tight end.

T.J. Hockenson Prop: Over 48.5 receiving yards (-115)

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