Week 2 NFL Free Pick - Cowboys at Broncos

By Ryan Fowler


FREE PICK: Broncos +2 vs. Cowboys (Covers 54.6%)

Social media was abuzz after Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward dropped a would-be pick-six personally gift wrapped by Trevor Siemian early in Monday night's game. We later learned that touchdown was the difference between the Los Angeles covering (+3) and backdoor pushing 24-21 courtesy of – ironically - fourth quarter turnovers.

Regardless of the Broncos effort to hand the game to Los Angeles, Denver's offense looked better than projected. Siemian – who connected on 17-28 passes for 219 yards – tossed two touches to Bennie Fowler and called his own number, juking out Joey Bosa, for a score. The third-year quarterback only had one game with more than one TD pass in the first seven games of 2016 and only one touchdown pass on 88 attempts against the Chargers last season. As a bonus, running back C.J. Anderson had that wiggle and looked more like he did in 2014. He finished with 20 carries for 81 yards.

Denver's defensive front seven made Philip Rivers uncomfortable despite missing two starters on the line and the “no fly zone” secondary made plays before Siemian's and Jamaal Charles' turnovers exposed their exhaustion in the fourth. When you hold Rivers under 200 yards passing and Melvin Gordon to 3.0 yards per carry, that's a good day at the office.

The Cowboys beat the Giants 19-3 in Week 1.

Stop laughing.

New York didn't have Odell Beckham Jr.

I said stop laughing.

Sigh. OK, you're right, it's hard to gauge much from Dallas' first win against that paltry offense, but Dak Prescott's 263 pass yards with a touchdown against a top-tier pass defense was impressive. Meanwhile, Zeke picked up where he left off with 4.8 yards on 29 touches. The defense did lose cornerback Orlando Scandrick to a broken hand that required surgery this week and that could be their undoing as they were already thin in the secondary.

According to 50,000 games played by our simulation engine at PredictionMachine.com, Dallas beats Denver just 50.1% of the time. As a two-point underdog in what is essentially a coin flip game, the Broncos cover the spread 54.6% of the time, which would justify a $23 wager for an average $50 bettor.