(0-2, 0-2 ATS)
(2-0, 2-0 ATS)
The Lone Star State will be burning with a crucial NFL betting affair on Sunday afternoon at Reliant Stadium, as the Houston Texans will lock horns with the Dallas Cowboys.
For the Cowboys, this is a very, very dangerous game. Not only is this a case where an 0-2 team can drop to 0-3, but in all likelihood, Dallas will be two games back in its own division and two back from the postseason, and going into the bye week, owner Jerry Jones clearly won’t be a happy man and might be inclined to make a change at the top. HC Wade Phillips could legitimately be coaching for his job on Sunday. The good news for the Cowboys is that they have done a good job in the passing game, ranking second in the NFL at 325.5 yards per game. The real issue is the rushing attack, which is only putting together 69.5 yards per game. When push comes to shove though, there have only been three TDs to speak of for this team in two games, one of which came on a WR Dez Bryant punt return for a score. After rushing for a total of 14 TDs last year, Dallas still has yet to punch one into the end zone this year. The defense didn’t play poorly against Washington, allowing just two field goals on offense, but last week’s 27 points against the Chicago Bears was very unacceptable.
For Houston, the situation really couldn’t possibly get any better. The Texans are 2-0 and are favored to move to 3-0 on the season, which will put them in a prime spot to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Houston could legitimately end up at 6-0 going into its bye week if it can get past this game, which would be very important considering what the schedule looks like after the break (@ IND, vs. SD, @ JAX, @ NYJ, vs. TEN, @ PHI, vs. BAL, @ TEN). The Texans might rank dead last in the NFL by a ton in pass defense, but this is a problem that is fixed by ranking first in the league in total offense, rushing offense, and scoring offense. Last week’s overtime victory was the first for the Texans ever. QB Matt Schaub legitimately is rounding into an MVP candidate, as he threw for almost 500 yards last week. WR Andre Johnson and WR Kevin Walter ended up catching at least ten passes and at least 100 yards worth of receiving last week, making them the first duo in team history to reach those goals. Keep a close eye on TE Owen Daniels, who seems to be the only person on this offense that hasn’t blown up yet. He has just three catches for 33 yards on the year.
Once again, we can’t stress what an important game this is for both of these teams. The Cowboys just don’t look like a side that is ready to get into the win column, while the Texans look like a team that is ready to steamroll the competition. These teams met here at Reliant Stadium in the third week of the preseason in the regular season tune up. Houston won that day, and it can expect another ‘W’ to come out of the third week of the regular season as well.
Selection: Houston Texans -2.5