One of the highlights of the Week 2 NFL schedule is a heavyweight clash between the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. Kickoff is at 4:25 EST on Sunday, September 17 at Sports Authority Field in Denver, Colorado. A majority of the nation can see the game on Fox.
Oddsmakers have made the Cowboys 2-point road favorites in this game. The over/under is 43 points. Click here for a full list of Week 2 betting odds and links to game previews.
Cowboys vs Broncos Game Preview & Betting Odds
Dallas is coming off a rather convincing 19-3 win over the Giants in Week 1. The score wasn’t particularly lopsided, as the Cowboys only found the end zone once. But the Dallas defense held the Giants under wraps for much of the game. The Cowboys were particularly dominant during the first half. Of course, they now have to take their act on the road.
The Broncos were nearly as impressive for much of their Monday night win over the Chargers. A couple Denver turnovers allowed the Chargers to climb back into the game. The Broncos actually needed to block a field goal as time expired to avoid overtime. However, before those turnovers, the Broncos held a comfortable 24-7 lead heading into the 4th quarter. For the first three quarters of the game, the Broncos showed glimpses of their 2015 team, especially on defense.
This will be the first time these two teams have met since 2013. The Broncos lead the all-time series, but somehow the Cowboys have won the last five meetings. For what it’s worth, three of those five games have been decided by a field goal or less, so another close game could be in the cards.
Free NFL Pick Against the Spread: Denver +2
The Cowboys were impressive in Week 1. There’s no denying that. But making a team with Denver’s defense underdogs at home just seems wrong to me. I’ll side with the Broncos to win this one at home.
Despite tossing three touchdowns against the Broncos, Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers only threw for a grand total of 192 yards. If he weren’t known for his quickness in getting rid of the ball, he may have had a couple fewer completions and took a couple more sacks, as Denver’s pass rush got quite a few hits against him.
More importantly, Denver’s defense held the Chargers to less than three yards per rush attempt. This was a weakness of the Broncos last year, but something they’ve addressed over the offseason. Obviously, the Dallas offensive line is one of the best in the league, but the Broncos may be up to the challenge. The Cowboys only scored 19 points at home last week, so it’s tough to predict them to do much better on the road against one of the league’s best defenses.
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One factor of Monday’s game that’s being overlooked is how competent the Broncos were on offense compared to last season. Trevor Siemian looked more comfortable and confident running the offense and even ran into the end zone for a score. Denver also ran the ball effectively, which was a rarity last year and should make things even easier for Siemian.
To be fair, the Dallas defense was exceptional in Week 1. But that was against an offense that was missing Odell Beckham Jr., which made a huge difference. The Cowboys will have to contain both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders this week. Third receiver Bennie Fowler is also a factor after catching two touchdowns last week.
This game has a chance to be one of the best in the NFL this week. I would expect a fairly low-scoring affair that’s close from start to finish. In those situations, it’s hard not to side with the home team, especially when they have such a great defense. That’s why I’m leaning toward the Broncos in this matchup.