Dallas Cowboys (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date and Time: Sunday, September 14th @ 1:00 EST
Where: LP Field
by Jeff Hochman, Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: Dal +4/Ten -4
Over/Under Total: 49
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The lowly Dallas Cowboys travel to Tennessee and will take on the undefeated Tennessee Titans. Dallas lost in embarrassing fashion, 28-17 against the 49ers as 4.5-point home dogs. Tony Romo played one of the worst games in his career, while the defense did a decent job given the field position issues. Demarco Murray fumbled on the very first play for a 49ers touchdown. Dallas really did not have any home field advantage as there was just as many 49er fans than home fans. Dallas should be embarrassed by that. The Titans looked good in defeating the Rams 26-10 as 3-point road dogs. The line was bet all the way down from minus -6. I picked the Titans to be a sleeper team this season. They dominated a very weak Kansas City Chiefs offensive line in their big win. The Cowboys offensive line is much better than the Chiefs, so this will be a good test for the Titans’ front seven.
After committing four turnovers (it could have easily been six), Dallas will need to tighten its ship if they want to upset the Titans. No team looked more unready to play than the Cowboys did last Sunday. Tony Romo was very rusty after barely playing or practicing in the preseason. With that said, Dallas outgained the 49ers by 66 yards, but it was those brutal turnovers that cost this team a win. The Cowboys have lost six straight games dating back to last season. They are 2-10 SU and 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games. Jason Garret and the coaching staff just need to stay the course and hope the Cowboys don’t beat themselves in every game. This team has the talent to be competitive in most games. The Titans’ offensive line surrendered four sacks to the Chiefs but the running game was on point. The Titans rushed for 162 yards on 38 carries, which is their highest rush total since Chris Johnson left town. The Cowboys will look to blitz the Titans early after Tennessee had difficulty in pass protection last Sunday.
The Cowboys defense allowed zero points in the second half against San Francisco. Rolando McClain led Dallas with eight tackles and Bruce Carter recorded the only sack for Dallas. The young defense was flying to the ball. They looked quicker than in year’s past. If the Cowboys defense can play like they did in the second half, Dallas will have a great chance to win this game. It won’t be easy though. Jake Locker was flawless with 266 passing yards and two scores while the running game averaged a solid 4.3 yards per carry. Teams that average at least 4 yards per carry will win 55% of the time. That number was a lot higher say like 15-20 years ago. The league now is thought to be more of a passing league. The NFL totals certainly are skewed higher since passing-the-ball has become a little easier. Last Week’s opening over/unders were the highest combined Week 1 totals in the history of the NFL.
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These two teams don’t play each other that often. Just nine times since 1985. The last meeting was back in 2010 and saw the Titans win 34-27 as 6.5-point road dogs. The Titans are 5-4 SU and 5-4 ATS all time against Dallas. This game will most likely be decided in the 4th quarter and if that’s the case Dallas looks to be the right side. The Cowboys are 9-5 after a loss since 2012 and the underdog has covered 18 of the past 21 Cowboy games. Amazing stat. When the Cowboys play, the underdog is 18-3 ATS. New head coach Ken Whisenhunt pushed all the right buttons in the Titans rout of the Chiefs. Tennessee will be going up against a bigger stronger offensive line after having their way with the Chiefs. This should be a very close game.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Dallas Cowboys +4
Lets not overreact after Week one. The Cowboys committed four turnovers and still had a chance to win the game. A few breaks here and there would have put the Cowboys on top. The Titans were pumped up last week, playing its first game with their new head coach. The Chiefs are poised for a down year. The Cowboys are 9-0 ATS as underdogs against the AFC in their last nine tries. Make it 10!