Cowboys vs. Raiders ESPN Monday Night Football Odds Preview, Free Sport Pick

It’s ESPN Monday Night Football odds between the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders. It’s already been a great start for the handicapping pros and a rough start for the bookmakers.

Offshore and Vegas oddsmakers have the sports handicappers odds at Oakland (-1) with a total of 35.

The Raiders are expected to make finding a replacement for departed RB Michael Bush a high priority. Starter Darren McFadden will play little and backups Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones are out, Look for Lonyae Miller to see at least 10 carries.

Miller was mostly a special teams player in his rookie year and 2010 and spent last year on the practice squad. Oakland has another new head coach in Dennis Allen. He admitted to weighing the preseason “very heavily.”

Oakland’s QB rotation will be Carson Palmer starting followed by Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor. This rotation appears pretty much set, but expect to see Pryor and the third-team get a lot of playing time. Oakland is also breaking in a new defense after years in press coverage. 

For Dallas, talented but troubled WR Dez Bryant is game-time decision with a left hamstring injury. They are already without veteran Miles Austin. Bryant had 63 catches and 9 TDs last year. Austin grabbed 43 for seven scores.

Dallas will be without six starters even if Bryant plays. Pro Bowl NT Jay Ratliff is another significant scratch. C Phil Costa headlines a list of OL hurt, leaving them thin especially at center.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys starters are expected to play two series. Owner Jerry Jones admitted the play calling is “plan vanilla.”

Top expert pick on this game is from the wunderkinds of the Canadian Crew. Friday it was NFC Best Bet of the Week on San Francisco. Saturday, the wunderkinds nail Houston/Carolina over 35.5 points as NFL Totals Best Bet of Month. Sunday, it was St. Louis/Indianapolis over 34 points as the Sunday Total of the Month to improve to 3-0 with named plays in NFLX.

Now Dallas/Oakland side is Monday Night Best Bet of Month. has the winnning pick for MNF.

Now to a free pick from the famed Canadien Crew. Texas Rangers at New York Yankees (-110) Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET

Ryan Dempster will start for the Rangers.  Dempster is 6-5 with a 2.64 ERA this season, but his debut with Texas was a rocky one.  The righty was absolutely shelled by the Angels, getting chased after allowing eight runs in just 4.2 innings.  He allowed nine hits and issued three walks.  Dempster was much better in last week’s start against Boston, when he allowed three runs (all unearned) in 6.2 innings of work.  He added six strikeouts against just one walk.  But Dempster could be in for a rough day against the Yankees, as he’s 0-3 with a 6.45 ERA in four career starts versus New York.

The Yankees are slated to start David Phelps.  Phelps is 2-3 with a 2.42 ERA, but he’s worked mostly out of the pen.  The rookie right-hander has made three starts this season, compared to 19 relief appearances.  His last start came on July 4 against the Rays, and it was a dandy.  Phelps only lasted 4.1 innings, but he allowed just one run and racked up eight strikeouts.  He last pitched on    August 9, when he picked up two outs and recorded a hold against Detroit.  Phelps was burned in 2.1 innings against Texas earlier this year, allowing three runs and issuing three walks.

Dempster has a bad track record against the Yankees, but there’s no telling how long Phelps will last either, which will tax the New York bullpen.  I’m guessing Dempster will do enough to let the Rangers lineup carry the team to a win.

Top expert pick on this game:  Texas


About the Author

Grandmaster Sports Handicapper Joe Duffy got his start in the sports handicapping industry with the Dial Sports (Communications Team) audiotext network. It was owned by sportswriter, broadcaster and handicapping pioneer Mickey Charles. Dial Sports was the sister company of the popular Sports Network Wire Service. Upon graduating California University of PA, where he was a play-by-play announcer on student radio station WVCS (now WCAL) and cable channel 29 (now CUTV), he became a full-time sports announcer and handicapper for the Sportsline scorephone network. He learned from NFL legends coach Hank Stram and broadcasting icon Ray Scott the ins and outs of the sports betting world. His Amazing Cadillac Club became the most successful 900-number in sports betting history. He left to become the first General Manager of the Freescoreboard scorephone network broadcast all over North America. His articles have appeared on several dozen websites and hard copy publications. He is now CEO of, the top sports betting site in the world. Email:

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