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Cowboys vs. Titans predictions: Four props for Thursday Night Football

Bet on a big night for QB Prescott and the Dallas offense against Tennessee’s makeshift defense

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has passed for at least 250 yards in seven of his last eight games. Yet he's projected for less than 240 yards on Thursday night against a depleted Tennessee Titans defense. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has passed for at least 250 yards in seven of his last eight games. Yet he's projected for less than 240 yards on Thursday night against a depleted Tennessee Titans defense. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)Read moreRichard Rodriguez / Getty Images

If you flip on Thursday night’s Cowboys vs. Titans game, there’s a good chance you’ll quickly start asking “Who’s that?” in regard to the players wearing Tennessee uniforms.

Don’t worry — the Cowboys likely will be asking the same thing.

As many as seven players on Tennessee’s two-deep roster — including at least six starters — have been ruled out with injuries. And that doesn’t include quarterback Ryan Tannehill (who last week was shut down for the rest of the regular season with an ankle injury).

Three other Titans were listed as doubtful on Wednesday night, including running back Derrick Henry. Given that Henry is dealing with a hip injury — and that this game is totally meaningless for Tennessee — there’s probably a better chance that Titans legend Eddie George lines up in the backfield.

With so many unknowns taking the field for the home team, our four pack of Cowboys vs. Titans props doubles as a belated holiday gift to Jerry Jones: an all-Dallas edition.

Odds updated as of 10:45 a.m. ET on Dec. 29.

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Cowboys vs. Titans prop: Dak Prescott total passing yards

  1. Odds: 234.5 yards, Over -115/Under -115 (at FanDuel)

  2. Prediction: Over

There’s only one way Prescott doesn’t obliterate this prop number: If head coach Mike McCarthy orders his quarterback to turn around and hand the ball off all night, knowing it won’t take much to get out of Tennessee with win No. 12.

Even then, it might not take more than 20 pass attempts for Prescott to surpass 235 yards.

For starters, he’s facing a Tennessee defense that is down at least four starters (with two others doubtful). That defense enters Week 17 ranked 31st in the 32-team NFL against the pass, giving up just shy of 280 yards per game.

That average actually dropped last week after the Titans held two Texans quarterbacks to a total of 218 passing yards.

Well, it should rise again this week with a bunch of backups (and some third-stringers) trying to stop Prescott, who has passed for at least 250 yards in seven of his last eight games.

The run started in a 49-29 rout of the Bears on Oct. 30, Prescott’s second game back after sitting out five weeks with a thumb injury.

The only time since Halloween that Prescott didn’t hit 250 yards: A 54-19 Sunday night wipeout of the Colts a month ago. He finished with just 170 yards (and three touchdowns) in that one, as Dallas scored 33 unanswered fourth-quarter points.

Could we be looking at a similar situation Thursday night — with the Cowboys opening a big lead and McCarthy either taking the air out of the ball or yanking Prescott in favor of backup Cooper Rush? Yep.

But we’ll take our chances that Prescott beats this number before either scenario happens.

» READ MORE: Cowboys vs. Titans prediction: Bet on Dallas to steamroll slumping Tennessee

Cowboys vs. Titans prop: Dak Prescott longest pass completion

  1. Odds: 35.5 yards, Over -114/Under -114 (at FanDuel)

  2. Prediction: Over

Consider this a doubling down of the first Prescott prop.

The Cowboys’ quarterback may not throw many passes Thursday, but it’s difficult to imagine he won’t connect on at least one deep ball.

Against a much better Tennessee defense last week, Houston quarterback Davis Mills completed passes of 30 and 37 yards to unheralded wide receivers Jordan Akins and Amari Rogers, respectively.

It was the second straight game and third time in the last four weeks that two receivers had catches of at least 30 yards against the Titans.

Meanwhile, Prescott lit up the NFL’s No. 1 secondary in last week’s 40-34 comeback win over the Eagles. He threw for 347 yards, including a 52-yard bomb to newcomer T.Y. Hilton and a 36-yard TD strike to CeeDee Lamb.

Prescott also had a long completion of 39 yards the previous week at Jacksonville and a 51-yard strike in Week 14 against Houston.

With ideal weather conditions forecast for Nashville — dry weather, mild winds, temps in the mid-50s — we say Prescott beats this long-completion number for a fourth straight week and the fifth time in the last seven games.

» READ MORE: Eagles among biggest Week 17 favorites as they look to clinch top seed

Cowboys vs. Titans prop: Michael Gallup to score anytime touchdown

  1. Odds: +300 (at BetMGM)

We’d prefer better odds with a guy who has just four touchdown receptions in 12 games. But it’s still worth betting on Gallup and Prescott connecting in the end zone for a second consecutive week (which hasn’t happened since Weeks 14 and 15 of the 2020 campaign).

Here’s our reasoning: Lamb, who is Dallas’ unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver, is on fire right now. And Titans coach Mike Vrabel knows it.

Vrabel also knows he’s fielding a depleted defense Thursday. So it makes sense that, in a pick-your-poison situation, he’ll put the focus on containing Lamb.

If so, Gallup should have a ton of opportunities to put up big numbers. As it is, he’s been getting more looks from Prescott: In the last five weeks, Gallup has been targeted 30 times, including at least six times in four of the five contests.

He also has three of his touchdowns this month (two came in the Colts beatdown).

Another reason to like Gallup here: He’s going to be integral to the Cowboys’ offense in the postseason. Because he’s missed so much time with injuries the last two seasons, it’s important that Gallup develops even more of a rapport with his quarterback.

What better way to do that than against a junior varsity-caliber defense, which is what Tennessee will field Thursday night?

» READ MORE: Data shows Eagles fans like betting at Lincoln Financial Field and around stadium complex

Cowboys vs. Titans prop: Dallas Cowboys total points scored

  1. Odds: 26.5 points, Over -105/Under -115 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

  2. Prediction: Over

How do these eye-popping numbers grab you: 49, 28, 40, 28, 54, 27, 34, 40.

Those are Dallas’ point totals over the last eight games. It’s been a remarkable turnaround, considering the Cowboys averaged just 19.1 points over their first seven contests (five without Prescott).

So why is Dallas’ team total for Thursday exactly 11 points lower than its average over the past eight games? Probably because oddsmakers expect both offenses to be conservative.

The Titans don’t want to get anyone else hurt the week before traveling to Jacksonville for a game against the Jaguars that will decide the AFC South.

Similarly, the Cowboys don’t have a ton to play for in this game. They need a minor miracle to steal the NFC East from the Eagles. If that miracle doesn’t come, Dallas will be the NFC’s No. 1 wild card team.

Again, though, we bring up all the parts that will be missing from Tennessee’s defense. That’s why this fact — only three teams have scored more than 22 points against the Titans this season — is meaningless.

Seriously, the Cowboys could throttle down to 75 percent effort Thursday night and still tally four touchdowns. Frankly, we could see them doing it before halftime.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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