Both teams are coming off a bye, which gave them some extra time to work out a few kinks and get some banged up bodies healthy. The biggest issue facing the Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys has been offense. Both clubs rank near the bottom of the league stat categories in total yards and scoring, and they have played solidly on the other side of the football, which is why oddsmakers set the total at just 40.5 for the Week 9 Monday Night Football matchup. The Titans are trying to end a three-game losing streak, and with a little luck they could do that. Two defeats during the slide have come by a single point, though the one in Buffalo will haunt them for some time.
Watch this Week 9 regular season matchup live on Monday, November 5, 2018, at 8:15 p.m. ET at ATT Stadium.
Opening NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu
Tennessee Titans +6
Dallas Cowboys -6
The Titans have played well on defense and that group has kept them in most of their games. The same can be said of the Cowboys, and as a result we’ll see plenty of props showing up on the low side at BookMaker.eu. And of course, we are going to go the other way on several prop chances, and I’ll explain why further down.
Both teams took advantage of the off week to address the one problem that has been keeping them down – offensive production. The Titans showed some promise their last time out. One week after giving up 11 sacks and collecting just seven first downs and 106 total yards in a shutout loss to the Ravens, the Titans looked like the team most thought as Marcus Mariota began a relationship with Sean McVay protégé Greg LaFleur.
Mariota had his best game since a Week 4 win over Philadelphia, throwing for 237 yards and a touchdown. His lone interception occurred in the red zone, thwarting another drive and marking the first time Mariota’s thrown a red zone pick. Still, he looked comfortable and had better protection. Mariota also appears to building a rapport with receiver Tajae Sharpe, who was targeted nine times against the Chargers with seven catches for 107 yards.
Over the first six games of the season Sharpe was targeted only 15 times and had just nine receptions. He operates in the middle of the field and creates separation, giving Mariota a target much the way Delanie Walker did. And we know the relationship those two had. The Titans need to have success throwing the football and Sharpe will be looked at. Taking the over on his receptions and receiving yard total is a smart play. And look for Mariota to click on a scoring pass. He has only three, and that’s just not acceptable.
Following the retirement of Jason Witten and the release of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys felt they could get by with a group of receivers who are more suited for a role as a No. 3 guy on most teams. Surprise, it didn’t work, and they realized that just before the deadline by giving up a first-round pick for Amari Cooper. Now we’ll see just how the former first-round pick affects the offense.
Coop is quickly being worked into his new role and the off week helped get him acclimated to the playbook and his new teammates, which should help the offense. Even if he doesn’t have 10 catches for 150 yards, his mere presence is going to help the running game. The Boys have one of the best in Ezekiel Elliott, who ranks second in the NFL with 619 yards, and he should have better numbers now that teams have to respect the passing game with Cooper on the field. The Cowboys are still a run first team and Elliott will get plenty of chances. With the Titans defense spread out and Zack Martin back on the line, you can expect Zeke to pile up the yards. Taking the over on his rushing yards total is the right play.
With two strong defensive teams, we’d be remiss for not visiting a few props on that side of the football. It’s rare when Demarcus Lawrence doesn’t have an impact during a game, and he’s been kept quiet lately. That’s about to end, especially against a team that surrendered 11 sacks a few games ago. Lawrence hasn’t gotten a sack in three consecutive games, but he still has 5.5 on the year. He’s one of the best at getting to the quarterback, and you can bet he’s going to do that on Monday night.
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