The NFL is back and Mondays are no longer the worst day of the week. DraftKings Sportsbook is here to make this special night even more special. Check out the NFL best bets for the Week 6 Monday Night Football matchup. The action kicks off with the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Dallas Cowboys at 8:15 p.m. ET.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Chargers +2 (-110)
Dallas pummeled three bad teams, lost to a bad team and got smoked by a good team. The Chargers are a good team, but they are mercurial. Over the last handful of years, the Chargers have become notorious for laying eggs. No matter the talent, some times they just didn’t show up. If the Chargers no show, then the Cowboys should continue their throttling of lesser opponents. If the real Chargers show up, then the Cowboys will have their hands full in Hollywood. The Chargers are coming off the bye, but with the Chargers, that could mean two things. Will they be well rested on Monday night or sleepwalking?
The Chargers could be 4-0 or 0-4. They are 2-2. That’s the Chargers. Some things never change. They are much like their logo. No one can predict lightning. No one can predict the Chargers. It’s maddening that a team with this much talent can be this inconsistent. The incalculable Chargers do present an opportunity on the betting markers. If the Chargers always took care of business, then they would be favorites at home. The number could be north of a field goal. Where it stands, they’re home dogs. The real Chargers win outright, if they show up.
Who are the real Chargers? It starts up front. Preseason projections had the Chargers’ offensive line ranked inside the top 10. So far, so good. QB Justin Herbert has only faced pressure on 17.6% of his drop backs. That is top-10 protection. Herbert is missing WR Mike Williams, but he still has Keenan Allen, 1st-round rookie Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer. Making up for Williams’ absence is the return of do-it-all running back — and not just YouTube influencer but creator in every way, shape and form on the field — Austin Ekeler. If the Chargers contain LB Micah Parsons like the 49ers did in Week 5, then the Chargers not only cover but win out right.
Dak Prescott Under 1.5 Passing TDs (+100)
Everyone is expecting Dak and the Cowboys to come out fired up after their embarrassing loss to the 49ers in prime time. This is typical Cowboys coverage. They are America’s team. The expectation is that the Cowboys are one of the best teams in the NFL. They’ve lived up to that expectation during the last couple regular seasons. That’s when Dallas defeated weaker opponents. Against stiff competition, Dallas has exited the playoffs early every season. The Chargers are a good team, but are the Cowboys?
Dallas is good, but how good? Their wins are impressive and decisive, but the underlying numbers do not look great. This offense has had a lot of help from its defense. The loss of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore — to the L.A. Chargers of all places — has been felt. Last season’s offense was the best red-zone offense in the NFL. Dallas scored a touchdown 70% of the time. This season, they rank 28th with a 36.8% TD conversion rate. It’s not surprising. Dallas added Brandin Cooks. He’a a veteran that can stretch the field, but he’s not the most productive red-zone threat. Michael Gallup is a similar archetype at receiver. TE Jake Fergusson has been better than expected, but he’s not Dalton Schultz. The fact that Fergusson is by far and away Dak’s favorite red-zone target says it all.
The Chargers raw defensive stats are middle of the road if not below-average. Better numbers would boost the bet and increase confidence, but they help with the betting line. The numbers aren’t a completely accurate indicator. Los Angeles ceded significant stats to the explosive Miami offense. They also faced the high-powered air attack of the Minnesota Vikings. For the most part, this defense has held it’s own. Who hasn’t held their own? The Dallas offense, and there is no reason to believe that they will snap out of it on the road in another prime time matchup. The only reason for resurgence — the one circling around the media and minds of fans — is that the Cowboys are mad. Maybe the defense rebounds, but this offense has real problems, and motivation is the least of their worries.
Despite the Chargers’ low QB pressure rate, they’re getting to the quarterback. Through four games, the defense has tallied 16 sacks. That’s tied for fifth. The top four teams have all played one more game than the Chargers. In the Cowboys’ humiliating Week 5 loss to the 49ers, Prescott faced a 25.9% pressure rate. That’s not good, but other quarterbacks regularly experience much worse. With that pressure, Prescott barely threw for 150 yards. One in five passes were categorized as bad passes. He was sacked three times while only dealing with six blitzes. The Cowboys’ offensive line is the third-best unit according to the Week 6 Pro Football Focus rankings. They didn’t really struggle against the 49ers. Dak struggled. He could not deal with average pressure. Defensive minded head coach Brandon Staley, along with the insights from his offensive coordinator Kellen Moore (former Dallas OC), should be able to design and execute a scheme that makes Monday Night another long night for Dak Prescott.
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