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The Cowboys nearly shocked the defending Super Bowl champions on opening night with the upset. Underdogs again on the road in Week 2 facing the Chargers, can they get a better result? Tom Viera gives us his Chargers vs. Cowboys prediction and pick.
ANALYSIS

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys Week 2 Predictions: Against the Spread, Total, and Props

Justin Herbert and the Chargers carried over their 2020 performance and kicked off their season with a big road win against the defending NFC East champion Washington Football Team. Los Angeles beat the WFT 20-16. Herbert threw a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and engineered an impressive drive late to ice the game and preserve the win.

If you missed the NFL's 2021 season opener last Thursday when the Dallas Cowboys took on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers you surely missed out. The Cowboys put up a fight against the defending world champs but came up short as Tom Brady orchestrated another vintage game-winning drive capped off by a go-ahead field goal.

The Chargers are currently favored in this one priced as 3-point home favorites. The total for this one is currently set by oddsmakers as the highest of the weekend with the Over/Under at 55.5 points. This indicates a shootout.

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Los Angeles Chargers Preview

The Chargers went into Washington and were impressive, as the reigning Offensive Rookie of The Year, Quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 337 yards and a touchdown. Washington's vaunted defense ranked second in the NFL last season allowing just 193 passing yards per game. This was a successful debut for new head coach Brandon Staley and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. Herbert led the Chargers down the field late in the fourth quarter converting on three separate third downs with impressive throws to keep the ball in their hands and continue to churn out the clock. Herbert and the Chargers overcame a fumble into the endzone and a red-zone interception by Herbert to come out victorious.

Herbert joined Patrick Mahomes as the only other Quarterback to reach 4,500 passing yards in his first 16 career starts. The new-look offensive line for the Chargers only allowed eight quarterback pressures which is extremely impressive going against the Washington front-7. The Chargers have just as many weapons on their offense as Dallas. Lead by big-bodied receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, Tight End Jared Cook, and star running back Austin Ekeler. Each of these guys can make a big play at any point in the game.

Dallas Cowboys Preview

Quarterback Dak Prescott didn't show any rust in his first game back from last season's season-ending ankle injury. He threw for 403 yards and tied a career-high with 42 completions. He added three touchdowns and an interception in the loss to Tampa on opening night. He also ran a few times for a total of 13 yards which was good to see him showing he's healed from the injury.  Ezekiel Elliott had just 11 carries for 33 yards against the Buccaneers as the Cowboys appeared to have little interest in testing last year's No. 1 run defense.

Prescott hit eight different targets but leaned heavily on wide receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, who combined for 20 catches on 31 targets for 243 total yards and all three touchdowns. 

The Dallas defense conceded 431 yards of total offense but they matched that with their own offensive output even against the Bucs top-rated defense. They were shredded by Tom Brady allowing 379 passing yards and four touchdowns. The interceptions by Brady weren't by any doing of the Dallas defense as one was on a hail mary into the end zone and the other was on a screen pass the Running back Leonard Fournette flat out dropped.

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Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys Prediction

The Dallas Cowboys pass defense ranks 30th overall against the pass after Week 1. The Chargers' defense put pressure on Washington's quarterbacks last week, but they could be in for a more formidable challenge on Sunday, facing a Dallas offense with playmakers everywhere. The one area that Herbert and the Chargers will need to prioritize is ball security after the Cowboys forced three turnovers last week. 

Dallas' best defense in this game will be to establish the run and dominate ball possession. This should be the formula for the Cowboys most weeks. They need to do anything to keep their defense on the sideline. Otherwise, they will find themselves in a shootout just like they did against the Bucs. Most weeks I expect the Cowboys to be in a shootout and this game is no exception! Give us points, points, and more points! If Dallas was able to keep up with Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs, they can certainly keep up with the Chargers. I'll take the points with Dallas of more than a field goal.

My favorite player prop for this one is for Dak Prescott to rush for more than 10.5 yards. He is currently priced at (-110). I mentioned earlier he ran for 13 yards on four rushes last week proving he's healthy enough to scamper for this total. The Chargers allowed the 10th most rushing yards to quarterbacks in 2020 and they allowed 19 yards last week to Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke.

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys Pick

Cowboys +3.5 (-112)

Favorite Player Prop: Dak Prescott Over 10.5 Rushing Yards

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Tom Viera is an experienced betting and fantasy sports writer. Tom brings a vast knowledge of all things NFL, NBA, MLB and soccer to the OddsChecker stable of handicappers.

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