Heading into this Week 9 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos, the status of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was the headline.
Well, that has since changed.
On Monday, the Broncos traded their star edge rusher, Von Miller, to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a second and third-round draft pick in 2022.
Miller was playing excellently this season, having racked up 28 total pressures and five sacks. He also ranked as the best pass rusher and top overall defensive player on the Broncos, according to Pro Football Focus.
On the flip side, Prescott returned to practice on Thursday and was a full participant, making him likely to start in Week 9.
While Cooper Rush played well in relief against the Vikings, Prescott’s availability for Sunday’s matchup with the Broncos will definitely impact the odds. When looking at this game across multiple sportsbooks with our NFL gameday odds, the books seem to believe Prescott will suit up and it’s looking that way.
So, with Miller out of town and Prescott likely coming back, how will this matchup go in Dallas?
Let’s dive in.
Please note that all Broncos vs Cowboys odds are current as of 2:00 p.m. ET on Friday, November 5.
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Broncos vs Cowboys Prediction
Going up against a Prescott-led Cowboys offense, the Broncos didn’t do themselves any favors in trading Miller ahead of this game.
Prescott, PFF’s sixth-ranked passer this season, should now have plenty of time to slice up this Broncos defense adjusting to life without its star pass rusher.
While you may think of the Broncos as a team with an excellent secondary and coverage unit, that hasn’t really been the case. Among the seven Denver players with 150 coverage snaps or more, they all have allowed at least one touchdown and at least 10.3 yards per reception.
This includes players like Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Patrick Surtain II, Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, and Ronald Darby in the secondary.
The Cowboys are also not known for stellar defense, but the issue for Denver mainly lies with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. While he may not be reckless and throw multiple interceptions per game, he doesn’t really have the kind of impact to take advantage of any defensive holes.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Broncos 17
Broncos vs Cowboys Best Bets
Best Bet: Cowboys -10 (-105) at Betfred
Wager: 1 Unit
This number opened up at Cowboys by 8.5-9.5, but quickly got bet up to 10 pretty much across the board.
While laying 10 points is a lot, a week of rest and rehab for Prescott coupled with Miller being traded are two key components to the matchup. Typically, a single player wouldn’t make this kind of impact, but when it’s a top quarterback in the league and a team’s best pass rusher, it makes a difference.
Bridgewater will have wide receiver Jerry Jeudy back in his second game since injury, which does help the Broncos. However, the Cowboys should be able to score with relative ease and put the Broncos into a pass-first situation, which isn’t exactly ideal for a quarterback like Bridgewater.
Bridgewater has only gone over 35 passing attempts three times this season and has now thrown for less than 215 yards in back-to-back games. He’s just too conservative. In games where he is forced to throw a lot, like in Denver’s Week 6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, he threw three interceptions.
The Cowboys should be able to score and control the game throughout.
Best Bet: Under 49 Total Points (-105) at Betfred
Wager: 1 Unit
The books certainly know how to set over/under lines, don’t they?
Even if the Cowboys go over 30 points, the Broncos’ conservative offense that usually relies on the running game may not be able to make up the difference.
When the Cowboys do establish a double-digit point lead or so, they could turn to running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard to drain and control the clock, especially with Prescott coming off an injury.
The Broncos are averaging less than 20 points per game this season, too.
Take the under with a bit less juice at Betfred.
Best Bet: Cowboys Moneyline (-470) at Betfred
Wager: 1 Unit
There have been a lot of interesting outcomes recently in the NFL. We saw underdog wins from the New York Jets, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, and more in Week 8, but this game shouldn’t buck that trend.
The only instance in which we could see the Broncos have a chance is if Prescott suffers an injury setback before or during the game and Rush is forced into action. Rush played well in Week 8, but if he’s playing the score would likely remain closer.
Outside of that, this No. 1 ranked Cowboys offense per PFF should be able to thwart the Broncos with ease.
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