At this point, the Dallas Cowboys would be the No. 5 seed in the NFC Playoffs. Dallas is 11-4, but the Cowboys have the misfortune of being in the NFC East, so the Cowboys are two games behind the Philadelphia Eagles for the right to host a playoff game. Meanwhile, their opponent on Thursday Night Football, the Tennessee Titans, can potentially win its division at 8-9. Tennessee’s game against Dallas means nothing for its playoff hopes, as the Titans’ Week 18 showdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars is a win-and-in situation for both teams.
The Dallas Cowboys will continue their late push to run down the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East race. Dallas needs to win its last two games and have Philadelphia drop its last two games in order to claim the division. That has the Cowboys motivated ahead of their Thursday Night Football showdown with the Tennessee Titans. These teams will play on Thursday, December 29, 2022, at 8:15 p.m. ET on Prime Video from Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
NFL Week 17 Betting Odds
Dallas Cowboys -10
Tennessee Titans +10
Money Line: Cowboys -500, Titans +384
The NFL betting odds for this game have changed significantly over the last couple weeks. Tennessee was likely to be a short underdog initially, but the Titans lost starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to injury, and this game became a non-issue for the Titans after they lost to Houston and Jacksonville defeated the New York Jets in Week 16. That led to the opening NFL betting line for this game being Dallas -8.5 and it is currently up to Dallas -10.
Dak Prescott has come under fire for his performance at times this season, but he was great in last week’s win over Philadelphia. Prescott threw an early interception that was returned for a touchdown, yet he was able to settle down and pick apart one of the best secondaries in the NFL in a game where the ground game wasn’t that effective.
Although Prescott ended up being sacked six times, he completed 27 of 35 passes for 347 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. CeeDee Lamb had 10 receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and Tony Pollard caught six passes for 61 yards out of the backfield.
This offensive line is fully healthy once more, but Tyron Smith has had some issues acclimating to playing right tackle. Tony Pollard is 12 yards away from surpassing 1,000 yards on the season, and Ezekiel Elliott could give the Cowboys two 1,000-yard rushers. CeeDee Lamb is the top receiver on the Cowboys, and he is making his second trip to the Pro Bowl, but the No. 2 receiver has been hit or miss.
Dallas is allowing 20.2 PPG and 5.1 yards per play. The Cowboys aren’t great at stopping the run, ranking outside the top 20 in the NFL in that area, but they have a very good pass defense. They rank second in the league in sack percentage, and Micah Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Trevon Diggs were all Pro Bowl picks.
Ryan Tannehill has already been ruled out of this week’s game after undergoing a procedure on his ankle. Tannehill hasn’t been great this season, but it’s clear that he is more ready than rookie Malik Willis. The Liberty product lost to Houston in his first start last week, and he is completing just 50.8% of his passes for 276 yards (4.5 YPA) with three interceptions this season.
The Titans are going to lean on the best running back in the game to move the chains on the ground. Derrick Henry has been excellent over the course of his career, and he has run for 1,429 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Henry has three straight 100-yard games, but the Titans have dropped five in a row after a road win over Green Bay in mid-November.
Jeffery Simmons has been the star in the middle of the defensive line. Tennessee has the second-best run defense in the league, and its largely due to his size and strength up front. Safety Kevin Byard has played well too, but this pass defense has struggled and is surrendering an NFL worst 279.6 YPG.
Cowboys at Titans Free Pick
This isn’t a great matchup for Tennessee and rookie quarterback Malik Willis. If Willis can’t lead the Titans to at least 27 points, they will have no chance of pulling off the upset.
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