Titans -4 the Pick vs. Cowboys After Convincing Opener

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 5:30 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 9, 2014 5:30 PM UTC

Week 2 NFL betting lines are in full swing as NFL bettors weigh in on the action. Before us, we have the clash between the Dallas Cowboys & the Tennessee Titans.

These two sides enjoyed contrasting fortunes in week 1. How much should we take away from week 1 and apply to the projected outcome of this game, set on a 4-point spread?


Cowboys (0-1, 0-0 away) Trot out Swiss Cheese Defense
The Cowboys trotted out a Swiss cheese defense against the Niners in week 1, a side of the ball every team from here on will look to exploit in the coming weeks and put up points against. And when that doesn’t work, they can rely on Romo’s turnover ratio potentially increase.

In the blink of an eye, the Niners were up an incredible 21-3 in the first quarter. The game was practically done and dusted right there and then. Top to bottom, the Cowboys left much to be desired. And the most worrying sign for the maligned Cowboys’ centre, over and above his three interceptions and the sight of him flat on his back, was his errant throwing that missed the mark as it sailed well past his intended targets. It’s hard to determine how much of that was down to rust and lack of game-play and how much was down to simple scoreboard pressure. Worst-case scenario: it’s symptomatic of other glaring issues a quarterback faces following intensive surgery combined with aging...watch this space.

Fact of the matter is the Dallas’ defense was a liability last year – ranking third worst in the league after scoring near bottom in every category –and things aren’t looking up obviously. Tony Romo wasn’t efficient at all in his season opener debut with a 60.8 passer rating after going 23-of-37 for 281 yards a touchdown and three interceptions (compared to Colin Kaepernick on the day who hit a 125.5 passer rating); establishing the run in order to take the pressure off Romo didn’t pan out as they’d hoped; and the game’s overall score was nowhere nearly close enough to expectations, which had it a tight affair with just a 4.5-point spread., to augur well for week 2 NFL betting. The inescapable verdict: Dallas Cowboys were abysmal. That they are matched as the mere 4-point underdogs seems a tad generous.  Of course, unbridled optimism amongst Cowboys fans would have America’s boys bouncing back in week 2, but for our part taking the points on the Cowboys is ill advised.


Did the Titans (1-0, 0-0 home) Expose the Ugly Truth?
Tennessee Titans romped to a 26-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and had NFL bettors collectively scratching their heads. That few expected the Titans to win at Arrowhead goes without saying. But nobody expected the blowout that sent seismic shockwaves through NFL betting markets.

Titans, who finished the season with a sub-par 7-9 record (.438), took playoff contenders Kansas City Chiefs (behind an 11-5 mark) to the mat. Jake Locker and Ken Whisenhunt’s new offensive system got off the ground and picked apart the Chiefs’ defense. Locker went 22-of-33 passing for 266 yards and two touchdowns, brining his passer ratio up to 111.4. Smith, by contrast, scored a measly 45.2 passer ratio merely days after signing a hefty $68 million extension last week. Clearly, the revamped defense under Ray Horton had a hand in Smith’s forgettable outing after sacking him four times.

All in all, offense did its part to put up points on the board while defense forced turnovers. There was no luck in the victory over Chiefs, just good old-fashioned hard work and a clear game plan. Statistics that stood out: 405 total yards, 162 rushing yards, 24 first downs and 7-16 third down efficiency. Indeed, had they not collected as many as 12 penalties, the game might have been even more lopsided than it was. Based on week 1’s performance, therefore, the Titans look rather tempting as the 4-point favourites on the spread along with home advantage.


NFL Betting Verdict
One week is a tiny sample size upon which to make grand assumptions. NFL bettors alone must consider how much stock they are willing to put into Week 1’s results. Other key thoughts to consider before placing your NFL picks are a) are the Titans as good as their win over the Chiefs or were the Chiefs only as bad as their defeat and b) just how bad are the Cowboys really?

The X’s and O’s: Whisenhunt’s offense clicked and put up the needed numbers while Cowboys’ defense continued its agonising decline towards the nether regions in just about every defensive category. Crucially, Titans’ defense proved pivotal against the Chiefs and could do so again against a suspect Romo in week 2. Romo was intercepted three times in the Niners game and made some ill-advised throws and decisions under pressure. Ray Horton’s revamped defense played a big part in the win sacking Smith four times for a loss of 24-yards. They could have a similar (if not better) outing against the hapless Romo. Had the Titans beaten an NFL straggler from last season – say Raiders – we probably wouldn’t be waxing lyrical or putting any stock in them. As it stands, they beat a legitimate playoff team in the Chiefs and that’s a big statement in any book.

Free NFL Picks: Tennessee Titans -4.0 at Bookmaker

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