From the Lockerroom: Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans Betting Preview

A look at the Thursday Night NFL matchup between Dallas and Tennessee, with a pick on the side and total.

A breakdown and picks for Thursday Night Football - Cowboys at Titans

The Dallas Cowboys head to Nashville Thursday night to take on the Tennessee Titans. It's not relevant to the Titans, but that's not the case with the Cowboys. Dallas is a 10-point favorite (total at 41), according to NFL odds.

Cowboys Still Alive in East

It may seem crazy, but the 11-4 Dallas Cowboys still have a chance at the NFC East title. Obviously, the Philadelphia Eagles have been the best team in the NFL, having been atop the division since the outset. However, the Cowboys are two games back with a couple to play, that after beating the Eagles, 40-34, in Arlington last week. Dallas needs to win its last couple of games, hoping that Philadelphia loses its last two, Philly may continue being without quarterback Jalen Hurts. But, that's not an issue here. 

Dallas Cowboys TNF free picksWinning the NFC East could mean the Cowboys get a No. 1 seed and a bye week. An unlikely scenario, but not totally out of the realm of possibility. At worst, Dallas is the strongest wild-card team in the NFC. There's never a "gimme" game in the league, but this is close, as the 'Boys visit a reeling, injured Titans team with everything on the line . . . next week.

Dallas has a top-10 offense and a top-10 defense, though the former (quarterback Dak Prescott’s interceptions) and the latter (having surrendered 74 points) have both shown cracks the past two weeks (losing to Jacksonville in overtime, beating Philly). As bad as Tennessee is playing, however, this shouldn't be a difficult task.

Titans Lost Five in Row

The 7-8 Tennessee Titans have been one of the biggest disappointments in the second half of the NFL season. Tennessee was seemingly waltzing to the title in AFC South, until that wasn’t happening. It's lost five games in a row, ceding the baton to the Jacksonville Jaguars in terms of controlling one’s own destiny. With the quirk in the schedule, the Titans’ season comes down to Week 18 at Jacksonville. Winner-takes-the-division, with only one team out of this mundane lot making the playoffs. Tennessee is +195 (Jax -250) to win the South, as per NFL division odds.

Titans Thursday night predictionsQuarterback Ryan Tannehill is sidelined (at last through this game) after ankle surgery, so it’s rookie Malik Willis once with the assignment. A poor effort (14-of-23, 99 yards, two interceptions) helped doom Tennessee in its game with Houston last week.

Willis will be the quarterback, but running back Derrick Henry (1,429 yards, 13 touchdowns) remains the star. Henry has three consecutive hundred-yard games after a month of sub-par efforts. Willis is also dangerous with his running. Expect Dallas to load the box, daring the Titans' quarterback to try and win this game through the air. Dallas surrenders 130 rush yards/game, a bottom-tier ranking in the league.

It is imperative to see who the Titans are playing/resting (hurt) in this game, since their season shall be decided next week at Jacksonville.

Cowboys Whip Titans, But . . .

The Tennessee Titans need to win next week, so this game has much more significance to the visiting Cowboys. Tennessee's losing, and indeed hurting now. A short week is not helping. Expect Dallas to win, but less than the 10-point spread.

Expect this to be a close-to-the-vest game despite Dallas' defense getting exposed the past two games. Quarterback Dak Prescott has been too cavalier with the football of late, so the run game should be utilized. Willis hasn't proven that he can produce the points. Go under here. 


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