Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys: 2021 Week 9 NFL Pick

Denver Broncos (4-4) at Dallas Cowboys (7-1)

The Broncos are 4-4, but they’ve had one of the easiest schedules in the league and have yet to beat a team that has more than two wins on the season. On top of that, three of those four wins were the first three games of the season. Those wins all came by double digits, but the Broncos have had as many injury absences as any team in the league since then and, as a result, they are not nearly the same team, barely beating an underwhelming Washington Football Team last week. 

In total, the Broncos are without stud left tackle Garret Bolles, starting tight end Noah Fant, talented edge defender duo Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, every down middle linebackers Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson, and impressive slot cornerback Bryce Callahan, who all played for this team week one this season. That’s a lot of missing talent. The Cowboys are favored by 10 points in this matchup, but I don’t think the public quite realizes how much worse the Broncos are without all of the players they are missing, as my calculated line has the Cowboys favored by 13.5 points. 

The Cowboys have a key injury absence with stud left tackle Tyron Smith out, but the Cowboys are much better equipped to deal with an absence like that than the Broncos are with Bolles out, as the Cowboys have much more talent on the rest of this offensive line. Right tackle La’El Collins isn’t as good as Smith, but he has missed most of the season and the Cowboys hardly missed him and brought him back in a reserve role because of how well this offensive line played without him. Now Collins can plug into the lineup with Smith out and the Cowboys can still field a strong offensive front. 

This line has moved up from 7.5 last week on the early line to 10 this week, so we’re not getting as much line value as we would have last week, but the Cowboys did have an impressive upset win in Minnesota last week without Dak Prescott and much of this line movement is because of sharp action on the Cowboys. The Cowboys are still worth a bet at 10, and if this line happened to go back down below 10, I would probably make this a bigger bet.

Update: Some 9.5s have started showing up again Sunday morning. I am going to lock this in as a high confidence pick at that number. The talent disparity between these two teams is just so much more significant than this line suggests, with the Broncos losing so much talent since the beginning of the season.

Dallas Cowboys 31 Denver Broncos 17

Pick against the spread: Dallas -9.5

Confidence: High

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