(2-1, 2-1 ATS)
(0-2, 0-2 ATS)
NFL betting action from the Lone Star State commences on Saturday night, as the in-state rivals the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys have a good ol’ fashioned Wild, Wild West showdown at Reliant Stadium.
Dallas probably isn’t so concerned about the way its defense has played so far in this preseason since, save two very bad quarters of ball, the unit has been relatively spotless. Instead, the Cowboys are going to be working on their offense, which only has produced a pair of touchdowns in three games played thus far in the preseason. Expect to see some more out of QB Tony Romo, as he has a tremendous number of options that he needs to get used to throwing the pill to in preparation for the regular season. Not only are the starting receiver spots still up in the air, but there are roster spots on the line as well. Last year, this was the time that WR Miles Austin started to shine, and we see what ultimately happened to him a trip to the Pro Bowl later. Could a guy like Sam Hurd be next? After leading the team with nine catches and 100 yards in the first three preseason games, the possibility seems like it is there, though many around Cowboys camp are worried that Hurd might not make the cut either.
For HC Gary Kubiak, this game is more psychological than it is physical. He already knows that his first team offense can score on any defense in the NFL, as has been demonstrated by the fact that QB Matt Schaub has successfully directed one touchdown drive in each of his first two starts of the preseason. However, the question is going to be whether Houston can really string it together for a full four quarters. So far, that hasn’t happened. The offense didn’t ultimately do enough in the 19-16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago, and the defensive collapse from that game carried over to the duel with the New Orleans Saints in the Bayou, when the Texans allowed 28 points in the first half alone. Getting in the win column is important, especially in the home opener when the fans are going to be expecting a taste of the product that might be on the field this year. Considering the fact that this is a make or break season for Kubiak in terms of the playoffs, those high expectations had better start to be fulfilled, even if this is just an exhibition.
Though we don’t generally like laying more than a field goal in the preseason, we succeeded with it on Thursday night with Green Bay over Indianapolis, and we are going back to the well once again. It’s all just going to come into place for the Texans on Saturday night, and especially with a national TV audience looking on in front of the home crowd, the hosts should put forth a fantastic effort for the full 60 minutes for the first time this preseason.
Selection: Houston Texans -3.5