Titans-Cowboys MNF Betting Preview: Bank on a Low-Scoring Slugfest?

Titans-Cowboys MNF Betting Preview: Bank on a Low-Scoring Slugfest? article feature image
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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Marcus Mariota, Ezekiel Elliott

Betting odds: Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys

  • Spread: Cowboys -4.5
  • Over/Under: 40
  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPN

>> All odds as of Sunday evening. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets


Betting market: This line has been on the move from the get go. The Cowboys opened at -4/-5, gradually moved all the way to 7-point favorites at some books before being bet back down.

The Titans are receiving 46% of the bets at the time of writing (see live data here), accounting for 76% of dollars. — Mark Gallant

Trends to know: Dak Prescott is 10-3 straight-up and 8-4-1 against the spread (+3.6 units) in his 13 prime-time starts.

Since being drafted in 2016, Prescott is the second-most profitable quarterback in prime time behind Russell Wilson (7-2-2 ATS, +4.6 units), according to our Bet Labs data.

Prescott is 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS at home in prime time. He’s been especially efficient at AT&T Stadium this season with five touchdowns, zero interceptions, one rushing TD and a 107.5 Passer Rating. Evan Abrams

Metrics that matter: When two teams that have both scored and allowed fewer than 21 points per game have faced each other since 2003, the over is 75-54 (58.1%), clearing the total by more than a field goal per game (3.2) and profiting bettors 16.6 units.

  • Titans: 15.1 PPG (30th), 18.1 PPG allowed (third)
  • Cowboys: 20 PPG (26th), 17.6 PPG allowed (second)

Five of the Titans’ and Cowboys’ seven games this season having gone under the total (72% of games).

When two teams in this spot enter the game with at least two-thirds of their games having gone under the total that season, the over has gone 15-5 (75%) since 2009. Abrams

Jason Garrett and the Cowboys are coming off a 20-17 loss to the Redskins in Week 8. The Cowboys are 16-24-1 ATS (40%) in that spot the week after facing a division opponent under Garrett.

After a loss to an NFC East opponent, they’re even worse: 4-10 ATS, including just 4-4 SU and 1-7 ATS at home, failing to cover the spread by 6.6 points per game. Abrams

Biggest mismatch: Cowboys’ front seven vs. Titans’ run game

The Cowboys have worked as one of the league’s premier pass-funnel defenses this season, ranking fourth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA against the run, compared to 24th against the pass through eight weeks.

This is largely thanks to their devastatingly effective trio of linebackers — Leighton Vander Esch (fourth), Jaylon Smith (12th) and Sean Lee (18th) all rank among Pro Football Focus’ top-20 linebackers this season.

Meanwhile, the Titans’ offense has had a tough time getting on track. Tennessee’s 25th-ranked offensive line in adjusted line yards per rush heading into Week 9 also looks like a liability and unlikely to control the trenches in this matchup.Ian Hartitz

Which team is healthier? Titans

Both teams had a Week 8 bye to get healthy, but the Cowboys remain banged up.

Tight end Geoff Swaim (knee) and right guard Zack Martin (knee) should be considered very questionable to suit up, while defensive tackle David Irving (ankle) has been ruled out and Tavon Austin (groin) is expected to miss several weeks.

The Titans will have wide receiver Corey Davis (hamstring) and right guard Josh Kline (ankle), though linebacker Derrick Morgan (shoulder) has been ruled out. The rest of Tennessee’s roster offers very few question marks.

Note: Info as of Sunday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Hartitz

DFS edge: Davis is one of only 13 receivers with a target share of at least 25%, but he’s failed to see double-digit red-zone targets or double-digit deep-ball targets in the Titans’ pass-averse offense.

This matchup isn’t exactly a get-right spot, as Davis is expected to spend plenty of snaps across from Byron Jones — PFF’s No. 1 overall cornerback this season.

Davis is $4,800 on DraftKings and carries a minuscule 0.1-point projected floor. Hartitz

Bet to watch: Under 40

This is the second-lowest total of the week, but I still don’t think it’s low enough.

  • Both teams are bottom-four in pace through eight weeks (Cowboys, 29.39 seconds/play; Titans, 29.76).
  • Each are top-five rush rate on offense (Titans, 46.7%; Cowboys, 45.9%).
  • Both are top-five in holding opponents below their implied totals (Titans, -4.14 points; Cowboys, -3.61).
  • And both are bottom-five in hitting their game totals (Titans, -8.50; Cowboys, -4.29).
  • Titans games have averaged 33.3 points. Cowboys games, 37.8.

Unless one of these teams scores a defensive or special-teams touchdown — or plays more aggressively on offense than it has to this point in the season — I don’t see how this game goes over. Matthew Freedman


Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.