Monday Night Football Betting - Titans-Cowboys in Week 9

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

November 3rd, 2018

NFL WEEK 9 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BETTING Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys Monday, November 5th – AT&T Stadium – 8:15pm ET Odds: Cowboys -6.5 (41)

Two teams who still have playoff aspirations battle it out on NFL Week 9 Monday Night Football. The 3-4 Tennessee Titans sit a game and a half behind the Houston Texans in the AFC South. Coach Mike Vrabel has the Titans are playing great defense, but that hasn’t been enough for Tennessee to get above .500.

Like the Titans, Dallas has leaned on their defense to secure their own 3-4 record. The Cowboys boast a top rushing attack. Led by Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys average 137 rushing yards per. Now that wide receiver Amari Cooper’s in the fold, will the Boys take it to the Titans?

Tennessee Titans Still Searching for Offensive Identity

When Mike Vrabel hired offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur away from the L.A. Rams, most NFL analysts thought Tennessee’s offense would improve. Similarities between the Titans and Rams were numerous. Both had young quarterbacks, strong offensive lines, a seemingly top-notch wide receiver, and proven running games.

Tennessee even signed a rusher more in the pass-catching Todd Gurley II mold, Dion Lewis, to complement thunder back Derrick Henry. With Lewis and Henry together, most thought that the Titans had Frankensteined some sort of weird, hybrid Gurley clone. There was a lot of preseason optimism with Tennessee.

Anybody who’s paid any attention to the Titans, even just watching their scores show up on the moving ticker at the bottom of NFL broadcasts, knows Tennessee’s offense is worse this season than it was last season. At first, it’s hard to understand why because the only thing that’s changed is that this version has more talented skill players and a supposed genius calling the plays.

I believe one of the reasons Tennessee only averages 320 total yards and 20 points is because nobody on the team has grasped LaFleur’s playbook.

That includes quarterback Marcus Mariota, who had no problem grasping a dense playbook while at Oregon. For some reason, Mariota’s looked totally out of sorts. It hasn’t helped that LaFleur also seems out of sorts. Mariota has battled nagging injuries all season, but the Titans look and feel like they are a bunch of square pegs being asked to jam themselves in to triangle-shaped holes. There's zero flow to their game plan.

So, here we are in Week 9 and the Tennessee Titans haven’t yet established an identity on offense.

Dallas Cowboys Hope Cooper Expands Rushing Attack

Make no mistake, trading for Amari Cooper helps quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys’ signal-caller has performed admirably this season even though the best wide receiver he’s thrown to is Cole Beasley. No offense to Beasley, but he's not a top receiver and there is a reason that he's left in single coverage. Cooper has the moves that could lead to some magic with his quarterback, but Amari’s real value is how he might impact the Cowboys’ rushing attack.

Dallas has moved the ball on the ground even though opponents have put an eighth man in the box to stop the ground game up until now . With Cooper on the field, Ezekiel Elliott should find wider rushing lanes. Elliott remains one of the top players in the NFL once he gets into open space. He can take it to the house on every carry.

Giving Elliott more room to run is the real reason the Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper. Don't just look at Cooper's production on Monday Night. It's his overall impact on this offense that's the real key to the long term success of the Cowboys. On Monday night, we get a chance to see if the Cooper trade will have a significant, positive gain both through the air and on the ground.

Titans at Cowboys Betting Analysis and ATS Prediction

The line has moved up a point and a half from Dallas -4 to Cowboys -6.5. At -6.5, slightly more NFL handicappers back the Titans than the Cowboys. That’s massive line movement, though.

Trends should back up line movement like that. They sort of do. Tennessee is 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 versus a team with a losing home record, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on field turf while Dallas is 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games following a bye week.

The real reason to back the Cowboys is because they allow just 17.6 points while Tennessee can’t move the ball. Long story short, Dallas wins and covers.

Week 9 Monday Night Football Betting Free Pick: Cowboys -6.5