Week 9 in the NFL concludes with Titans vs. Cowboys on Monday Night Football. For this game and every other primetime contest, we’ll break down the sports betting lines and recommend where to place your bets at DraftKings Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick off since things can change quickly in the NFL. Any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.
Week 9 Monday Night Football Betting
Tennessee Titans (17.75) at Dallas Cowboys (22.25)
The Cowboys should be trending up after their bye week. They traded for a top WR in Amari Cooper, get their best defensive player back in LB Sean Lee, and fired offensive line coach Paul Alexander, who struggled to get the most out of that elite unit.
With more talent on both sides of the ball, Dallas has a real chance to cover this spread while handing the Titans a fourth straight loss.
Ezekiel Elliott should remain the focal point of the Cowboys’ offense against a Titans team that ranks 23rd in rush defense. Elliott is essentially the only safe play to consider in NFL DFS contests on DraftKings and FanDuel with an average of 24.5 touches per game over four appearances heading into the bye.
It looks like all-pro guard Zack Martin (knee) will be active, giving Elliott a huge bump, and the Cowboys would be more likely to control the pace throughout.
Also going into the bye, Dak Prescott began playing well despite his line’s struggles in pass protection. He posted 456 passing yards with 3 TDs and 115 rushing yards and an additional two scores on the ground over his last two starts. Tennessee is allowing the 12th-most QB rushing YPG (18.1) and ranks 21st in DVOA pass defense.
With Amari Cooper presenting a real threat on the outside, Prescott’s prospects are increasing. The new Cowboy will draw a plus matchup this week against struggling RCB Malcolm Butler. Cowboys slot WR Cole Beasley draws the toughest matchup in elite slot CB Logan Ryan. Then, starting TE Geoff Swaim (knee) is questionable, so Cooper could be busy in his debut.
On the other side, Marcus Mariota has been an easy target for opposing defenses this year, suffering a sack on 10 percent of his dropbacks. Dallas ranks sixth in sack rate (7.9%) and will have DE Randy Gregory and DT Maliek Collins available for this game. Solid DT David Irving (ankle), however, has been ruled out.
As a result of that constant pressure, Mariota has 3 TD and 5 INT on the year. He’s also topped 130 passing yards just twice under first-year OC Matt LaFleur. The Titans rank 30th in PPG and YPG. They have very few advantages across the board against an underrated Cowboys defense. That said, Mariota has been playing through injury, so the bye week could be just what he needed to get back on track.
Dallas has allowed the third-fewest YPG and ranks fourth in DVOA rush defense. Since the Titans often experience negative game flow, Dion Lewis has become the 1A option with Derrick Henry serving as the 1B. Lewis out-touched Henry 19-14 in a narrow loss to the Chargers in London two weeks ago.
With 6-foot Dallas CBs Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie playing lights out on the perimeter, Titans top WR Corey Davis has modest prospects in this matchup.
The Cowboys have almost exclusively been vulnerable to opposing slot WRs. Thus, Tajae Sharpe is worth a look as a desperation play. Overall though, Dallas allows the second-fewest points per drive (1.58) and the second-fewest points per red zone trip (4.00). Points could quite simply be hard to come by for Tennessee.
Tennessee has been a bit hard to read early in the season. They hung with the elite Chargers and shocked the Eagles back in Week 3. But it’s hard to trust a Titans offense that ranks 28th in drive success rate and 29th in points per drive (1.46).
Only four of the combined 14 games played by the Cowboys and Titans have reached 41 points, so the Under (40.5) is certainly probable. What’s more, these teams are both bottom four in pace of play, bottom five in pass rate, and bottom seven in plays run per game.
Tennessee allows the highest average time of possession per drive (3:06). Hence, you can expect Elliott to lead a number of long Cowboys drives to shorten this game.
With over half the money coming in on the Titans, we’ve seen movement in the line from 6 points down to 4.5 points in many places. Yet Dallas (-4.5) is capable of dominating this game entirely, as they did in their last home tilt against the Jaguars.
Taking the Cowboys and the Under in a parlay would be a way to double down on the advantages Dallas has on the defensive side of the ball. The point total is a bit risky, but all signs point to the Under. Perhaps a Titans/Under teaser would make for the best combo considering both teams lack of offensive success and how slow they play.