Monday Night Football Predictions: A Giant fail?

Monday Night Football may not quite have the lustre of days gone by (that could be about to change, more on that later) but it’s still a must-see primetime matchup.

We will have predictions for every single game of the 2022 NFL season, we are already on to Week 3.

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Week 3 Predictions & Best Bets

Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants (Monday September 26, 8.30pm ET, ESPN/ABC)

A terrific Monday Night Football matchup brings us an iconic NFC East rivalry featuring two teams who have fallen on hard times.

The Cowboys have not appeared in an NFC title game since 1996, while the Giants have endured a decade of futility since their last Super Bowl success.

On Monday night the 2-0 Giants host the 1-1 Cowboys at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Dallas – with Cooper Rush deputizing for the injured Dak Prescott – comes in as a 1-point underdog.

Here are our predictions and picks – we will add more as additional prop lines become available:

Dallas Cowboys (+1) to beat New York Giants (-107, PointsBet)

You are really betting on whether you believe Cooper Rush can win a key road game, and if you do the line is an absolute no-brainer. The great things is we already have evidence he can.

Last season Rush led the Cowboys to a terrific win at the Minnesota Vikings in a Sunday Night Football showdown on Halloween. He is not afraid of the bright lights.

Rush of course also led Dallas to an upset victory over Cincinnati last weekend, and he looked extremely poised in doing so. Yes he has a short hand when it comes to receiving targets, but his rapport with the unheralded Noah Brown was a revelation. There is a chance Michael Gallup is back Monday night as well.

We expect this to be a low-scoring game with both offenses not firing on cylinders, but it is the Dallas defense we believe which is the key. This improving unit has some really great pieces – none greater than the sensationally talented LB Micah Parsons.

Already favorite to be DPOY in 2022, Parsons has 4 sacks already and he terrorized Joe Burrow as the Cowboys beat Cincy last weekend. Expect him to line up all over the field and make it a very long night for Daniel Jones.

Jones has struggled so far this season, failing to put up 200 passing yards in either game. He is still prone to the sort of head-scratching throws which should have interception-hungry Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs smacking his chops. We expect turnovers.

The Giants have relied heavily on Saquon Barkley in their games so far, he racked up 164 in the road win at Tennessee before a quieter 72-yard day in the home success over Carolina.

While New York is 2-0 and Dallas is 1-1 it is worth comparing the opposition. Dallas has faced Tampa Bay and Cincinnati while the Giants have outscored Tennessee and Carolina – there is a definite gulf.

The mantra for Dallas is clear until Prescott returns from that thumb injury – play great defense to keep the game close and have Rush and his depleted receiving corps produce just enough offense to get over the line. Along with the odd flash of speed in the ground game from Tony Pollard.

We haven’t mentioned Ezekiel Elliott yet, which says much about how far the former Ohio State Buckeye has fallen since his early years in the Metroplex. He has been quiet so far in 2022 but we do expect him to get the bulk of the workload on the ground. It just happens that Pollard is the guy who produces the big plays.

Expect a close game which goes down to the wire, but also expect Dallas to cover that generous line.

New York Giants to score Under 19.5 Total Points (+100, BetMGM)

We’ve already talked about the potential of this Cowboy defense and we are now going to do it again, just not quite in the same depth.

Dallas has held Tampa Bay to 19 points and Cincinnati to 17 in their first two games, offensive units which are far stronger than this Giant unit right now. It is basically Saquon and then close your eyes and pray in the passing game.

Parsons is terrific, DE Demarcus Lawrence is excellent vs the run and the Cowboys now have plenty of beef on the interior of their defensive line to help stuff the run. Throw in the ballhawk that is Diggs in the secondary and it’s easy to see why folks are so high on what Dan Quinn is building.

The Giants for their part have struggled to put points on the board, with 21 in Tennessee and 19 vs Carolina. We expect their struggles to be even greater here, so take the Under with a small wager.

Dallas Cowboys to win by 1-6 Points (+350, PointsBet)

We have already told you why we expect the Giants offense to struggle, and it is not like Dallas is set up for fireworks either. Rush, while pretty serviceable, is a downgrade on Prescott and there are other concerns too.

While Gallup may return to the starting lineup it is unlikely he’ll be at full speed for a couple of weeks, while TE Dalton Schultz will likely be limited if he suits up after suffering a posterior cruciate ligament injury last week.

It’s difficult to imagine anything other than a low-scoring game, and we like Dallas to win. Adding a small interest on the Cowboys to win by 1-6 points at pretty nice odds is the smart play.

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Monday Night Football Schedule 2022

The full NFL schedule for 2022 is now official, and here it is. Kickoff time is 8.15pm ET unless stated:

Week 1

  • Monday September 12, 2022: Denver Broncos 16-17 Seattle Seahawks

Week 2

  • Monday September 19, 2022: Tennessee Titans 7-41 Buffalo Bills (7.15pm ET)
  • Monday September 19, 2022: Minnesota Vikings 7-24 Philadelphia Eagles (8.30pm ET)

Week 3

  • Monday September 26, 2022: Dallas Cowboys 23-16 New York Giants

Week 4

  • Monday October 3, 2022: Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

Week 5

  • Monday October 10, 2022: Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week 6

  • Monday October 17, 2022 : Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 7

  • Monday October 24, 2022: Chicago Bears @ New England Patriots

Week 8

  • Monday October 31, 2022: Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

Week 9

  • Monday November 7, 2022: Baltimore Ravens @ New Orleans Saints

Week 10

  • Monday November 14, 2022: Washington Commanders @ Philadelphia Eagles

Week 11

  • Monday November 21, 2022: San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 12

  • Monday November 28, 2022: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 13

  • Monday December 5, 2022: New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 14

  • Monday December 12, 2022: New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals

Week 15

  • Monday December 19, 2022: Los Angeles Rams @ Green Bay Packers

Week 16

  • Monday December 26, 2022: Los Angeles Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts

Week 17

  • Monday January 2, 2023: Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals

When does Monday Night Football kick off?

Kickoff for Monday Night Football is normally 8.15pm Eastern Time (7.15pm Central, 5.15pm Pacific). There are some exceptions (see above schedule).

Which TV channel shows Monday Night Football?

Monday Night Football had its halcyon years between 1970 and 2005 when it was a staple of ABC programming.

Since then the primetime matchup has aired on ESPN and it is still pretty easy to get access to.

As well as watching on cable, you can get to it via a number of streaming services including Fubo TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV and Hulu. There is also a Spanish language version of the telecast on ESPN Deportes.

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If you’re watching online, you can catch Monday Night Football on ESPN Watch on all major platforms.

The huge offseason news so far is that there will be a new high-profile duo in the commentary booth in 2022 – namely Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

The pair – who have been the number 1 team on FOX for seemingly forever – will now pair up under the brightest lights of all on the iconic Monday Night Football platform. The news was announced Friday on Instagram by Buck’s wife and an official unveiling by ESPN is believed to be imminent:

  • Aikman will reportedly become the game’s highest broadcaster on a deal worth $95million over five years, surpassing another former Cowboy in Tony Romo over at CBS.
  • Buck will receive a five-year deal worth $65million. Not too shabby.

The news means that NBC vet Al Michaels – who bolted Sunday Night Football after a terrific run – now appears ends up on Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime.

Meanwhile the Manning brothers Eli and Peyton proved a real hit doing an alternative telecast on ESPN2 for some games during the 2021 season. Lisa Salters currently staffs up the sideline.

During its glory days the likes of Frank Gifford, Michaels (in a previous life) and John Madden made MNF THE game of the week for America – it became an institution. Aikman and Buck coming on board returns it to something like that status for the first time in many years.

The product has lost some of its lustre in recent years – there have been some failed experiments in the booth (‘Booger’ McFarland and Jason Witten anyone?) and the schedule is often pretty average.

The lack of ability to flex games means what looks a good scheduling choice in August looks pretty awful by October. As a result MNF has fallen some way behind Sunday Night Football in the pecking order.

There have been reports that games can be flexed from Week 12 on – but it has to be done with at least 12 days’ notice. Moving a few hours on a Sunday is manageable – moving a game a full day into a work week for most of America has all sorts of knock-on…