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NFL Week 4: Cowboys Favorites Against the Chargers

Dallas Cowboys vs. San Diego Chargers Betting Preview

Start Time: Sunday, September 29th 2013 at 4:25pm ET
Location: Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California
Live: Watch on FOX

The Dallas Cowboys 2-1 (3-0 ATS) have been great to handicappers to begin the season and now they’re road favorites against the San Diego Chargers 1-2 (2-0-1 ATS) who have also surprised bettors. This will be a close match-up between two teams playing well.

Since 1986 these two teams have played against each other just six times with the last match-up in 2009, so there are going to be no H2H trends to look at in this game. Let’s take a look at the latest Cowboys vs. Chargers odds as well as a complete match-up analysis.

Latest Cowboys vs. Chargers Betting Lines

This line opened as a pickem at most betting shops earlier in the week, but the Cowboy are now up to –2 at Bovada and taking most of the action at the moment. This line could jump to –3 at which point I’d expect some sharps looking to middle their Cowboys bet.

Bovada Live Odds
Dallas Cowboys
San Diego Chargers
Point Spread:
-2 (-110)
+2 (-110)
Money Line
Game Total
O46.5 (-110)
U46.5 (-110)

Can Phillip Rivers Continue Running the Offense Effectively?

Phillip Rivers has completed 70% of his passes for 798 yards, 8 TD’s and 1 INT through three weeks of the season. Last season SD had problems with turnovers, but right now the offense is playing effectively due to Rivers handling the pressure better than last year.

The Chargers average 257 PYPG (12th) and that has helped them score 26 PPG (9th). Rivers has only been sacked 5 times, but Dallas is going to test the Chargers o-line. The Cowboys rank #2 with 13 sacks and if they put pressure on Rivers he’ll make mistakes.

Dallas has got pressure, but they still allow 274.7 PYPG (22nd) on average, as the secondary has been beaten deep. Eddie Royal has to be the #1 priority for the Cowboys defense, as he has excellent speed. Royal already has 12 receptions for 148 yards and 5 TD’s.

Will the Cowboys Be Able to Establish the Run?

San Diego has lost twice because they have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Chargers have given up 27 PPG (23rd) and they have allowed an average of 130 RYPG (28th). The Cowboys need to establish a rush attack if they want to keep Rivers off the field.

During the first two weeks the Cowboys struggled to run the football, but against the Rams they carried the football 34X and gained 193 rushing yards. Demarco Murray had 26 of those carries (175 Yards & 1 TD). Murray needs to have another big game.

Biggest Mismatches in the Dallas vs. San Diego Game

The Chargers have given up more passing yards (340.7 PYPG) than any other team after three weeks. Dallas has gained 242.7 PYPG (18th), but part of the reason for the low total is because Tony Romo wasn’t needed too much against the Rams.

Romo has looked great to start the season. He has completed 72.2% of his pass attempts for 771 yards, 6 TD’s and 1 INT. He should be able to light up this Chargers secondary and it’s unlikely that he’ll turn the ball over, as the Chargers have just 1 INT this season.

San Diego is picking up an average of 102.7 RYPG (18th), but the Cowboys have been shutting the run down. Dallas has allowed just 66.3 RYPG (2nd). If the Cowboys can shutdown the run game against SD it’ll put way more pressure on Rivers.

When Rivers is under pressure and forced to throw the football a lot he’s prone to make mistakes. The battle upfront is going to be a big part of who wins this game. I expect the Cowboys to establish the run and the Chargers to be forced to pass the football.

Cowboys vs. Chargers Best Bets

This is a huge game for both teams. Dallas can move to 3-1 on the season and keep a comfortable lead in the NFC East with a win on the road. San Diego also needs a win badly, as the Broncos and Chiefs are both undefeated at 3-0 in the AFC West division.

Demarco Murray should rush for 100+ rushing yards for consecutive weeks, as SD can’t stop the run. Teo is expected to start in his 1st game, but I don’t think he’ll be a big factor. Dez Bryant will also be a huge match-up nightmare for the Chargers secondary.

ScottThis article was written by Scott

Scott is one of the original degenerates working for MobileSportsBetting.com. Although he's most successful betting on NFL football and international soccer, he's also active in UFC and NHL hockey betting.

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