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NFL Live Betting Week 17: How to Live Bet Cowboys vs. Titans on Thursday Night Football

NFL Live Betting Week 17: How to Live Bet Cowboys vs. Titans on Thursday Night Football article feature image
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Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Dak Prescott (foreground); Ezekiel Elliott (background, right).

It’s Week 17, which means the final Thursday Night Football game of the season.

This is another week where a matchup that looked enticing when the schedule was made has lost much of its luster. The Tennessee Titans are hosting the Dallas Cowboys in a matchup of two potential playoff teams — but this game is effectively meaningless for the Titans.

Dallas could use a win here, although their playoff position is likely locked in regardless of the outcome. While they could conceivably climb as high as the top seed in the NFC, they’d need an extremely unlikely series of events for that to happen.

Still, we’ll be planning for scenarios where the Cowboys want this game a lot more than the Titans do — which is reflected in the 13-point spread.

Here’s how we’re live betting Cowboys-Titans on Thursday Night Football in Week 17.

The Live Bet to Watch For on Thursday Night Football in Week 17

Unders When Dallas Pulls Away

This is usually the angle we like to attack in expected blowouts. The favored team should play aggressively early in the game, looking to build a comfortable lead. Once they do so, they’ll take the air out of the ball and look to run the clock out.

We’re assuming the Titans offense won’t provide much resistance here. Malik Willis has been benched in favor of Josh Dobbs, and they’re almost certainly resting Derrick Henry. On top of that, they’re facing a Cowboys defense that ranks number two in DVOA on the season.

Which means most of the scoring will be dictated by Dallas. While the Cowboys are also likely to rest Tony Pollard — and probably limit Ezekiel Elliott’s snaps — their passing offense is largely intact.

Which is ideal against the Titans, the league’s starkest pass funnel defense. Tennessee ranks second against the run in DVOA, but 27th in pass defense. Once Dallas gets up by a few scores and starts running more, they’re unlikely to find much success.

When to make this bet requires some nuance. As a rough rule, we’ll be looking for a three-score Cowboys lead in the first half, 14 or more in the third quarter, or double digits in the fourth. We’ll be weighing that against the movement of the total of course, which is roughly 40 heading into the game.

Pick: Live Unders With a Dallas Lead

What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.


Assuming the game flow roughly follows the spread, this bet is more about “when” than “if”. Let’s catch it at the top and have an easy night.

Outside of that, the only things to watch for are player props. At halftime of Thursday and Monday Night Football each week, my predictive analytics colleague Nick Giffen is live on “Bet What Happens Live With Dr. Nick!” He’ll cover props, and possibly join us with a total bet as well.

How We Approach Live Betting in General

The NFL is perfect for live betting, with the pauses between plays providing plenty of time to get bets in. This season, I’ve built a model to project the pace of play under a variety of in-game scenarios. These include first vs. second half, as well as which team is leading or when the game is within a touchdown.

The primary benefit is for betting totals. If the game is going to be faster or slower than was assumed pregame, the application is obvious. Faster-paced games tend to produce more points.

Player props also present some interesting opportunities. Sportsbooks are offering a variety of live player props, and faster or slower than expected games create obvious opportunities.

Take a look around various books before placing bets, though. There tends to be more variation between shops in live markets than there is pregame.

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