Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos, 9-17-2017 - Expert Prediction

Game Snapshot

#283 Dallas Cowboys
vs.
#284 Denver Broncos

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Dallas Cowboys (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 0-1 O/U) vs. Denver Broncos (1-0 SU, 0-0-1 ATS, 1-0 O/U)

NFL: Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 4:25 p.m. EST

The Line: Denver Broncos -2.5. Total: 43

Both the Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys will be trying to improve to 2-0 when they square off at Sports Authority Field in Denver on Sunday afternoon. Dallas picked up a crucial win over the Giants this past weekend. The Broncos also had a divisional showdown on their hands and beat San Diego on Monday night.

Zeke squad

After various back-and-forth rulings by the higher-ups, Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott is allowed to play. Previously suspended for six games stemming from a domestic-violence investigation, Elliott had the suspension blocked by Judge Amos Mazzant’s preliminary injunction. The NFL is now appealing, asking Mazzant for an emergency stay of the injunction and also filing a notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. With that, the league is following a similar path to the one it took against Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, whose four-game suspension was ultimately moved from 2015 to the start of the 2016 campaign. The bottom line at this moment is that Elliott can play–in Week 2 against the Broncos and beyond.

It also meant that he played this past Sunday night, when Dallas prevailed at home against the Giants 19-3. The second-year star out of Ohio State rushed 24 times for 104 and also caught five passes for 36 yards. Quarterback Dak Prescott arguably had a bigger impact, completed 24 of 39 passes for 268 with one scoring strike to Jason Witten. Prescott also rushed for 24 yards on three keepers.

Just enough

Not unlike the Cowboys in Week 1, Denver managed to get the job done with a solid but unspectacular offense and a strong defense. Quarterback Trevor Siemian finished 17-of-28 for 219 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while C.J. Anderson gained 81 yards on 20 carries during their team’s 24-21 victory over the Chargers. Wide receiver Bennie Fowler III hauled in each of Siemian’s scoring strikes despite finishing with just three receptions for 21 yards. On the other side of the ball, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes but accumulated only 192 yards through the air. He was also picked off once. The Broncos were dominating through three quarters, leading 24-7, before holding on while being outscored 14-0 in the fourth.

“It was a little bit too exciting,” linebacker Von Miller noted, “but a win is a win.”

“You hold a team with a quarterback like that to under 200 yards passing, you’re going to win some games,” cornerback Chris Harris Jr. added.

NFL Trends:

The Dallas Cowboys are:

  • 4-0 ATS in their last four Week 2 games
  • 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games on grass
  • 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games following a win

The Denver Broncos are:

  • 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams with winning records
  • 2-5 ATS in their last seven games on grass
  • 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games on Sundays after playing their previous game on Monday night

Dallas dominated from start to finish against New York, even though the offense was unspectacular. The Broncos dominated most of the way against San Diego before a near-collapse in the fourth quarter. Assuming Elliott is on the field, the visitors should be able to control the clock and once again keep their defense fresh. The Cowboys are 4-0 ATS in their last four Week 2 contests, 19-7 ATS in their last 26 on grass, 10-4 ATS in their last 14 following a win, and 6-1 ATS after throwing for more than 250 passing yards in their previous outing. Denver is 1-4 ATS in its last five against winning opponents, 2-5 ATS in its last seven on grass, and 3-8-1 ATS in its last 12 on Sundays after playing on a Monday night. Count on those trends continuing.

Pick: Dallas Cowboys +2.5

Dallas’ offense was good enough in its opener against New York, but it was the defense that really got the job done. The Giants amassed a mere 35 rushing yards on 12 attempts and Eli Manning threw an interception in his 29-for-38, 220-yard effort. The under is 5-2 in the Cowboys’ last seven overall, 14-3 in their last 17 on the road, 10-2 in their last 12 on grass, 4-1 in their last five Week 2 contests, 4-1 in their last five after allowing fewer than 90 rushing yards in their previous outing, and 4-1 in their last five following a win. It is also 4-1 in the Broncos’ last five overall, 13-6-1 in their last 20 at home, and 8-3 in their last 11 against winning opponents. Look for this one to stay under the total.

Pick: Under

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Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.

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