Focus NFL Picks on Total in Texans-Cowboys: Plus Bonus Prop

Kevin Stott

Thursday, October 2, 2014 11:42 AM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 11:42 AM GMT

Although they both call the Lone Star State home, the host Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans seldom meet, but on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington the two tussle in Week 5 action. Is there a pick here?

 

Odds Overview
Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys (-4, 46, bet365), Sunday, (CBS, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT: Whenever the public deems Cowboys QB Tony Romo done at his position leading the Dallas offense, the Eastern Illinois University graduate always seems to bounce back and show the world what’s up, as the 34-year-old did last Sunday in an impressive 38-17 pounding of the Saints here at AT&T Stadium in Arlington where he threw for 264 yards and 3 TDs, using eight different receivers along the way. In this interstate meeting with the Houston Texans on Sunday, the Week 5 NFL odds boards list the host Cowboys as -205 Favorites on the Moneyline with the Texans at +170 and although Houston looks like an enticing Underdog and a team which can very well win this game straight up in this spot, it’s important to note going in that the Texans are just 3-15 in their L18 SU—a pretty amazing reality when you think about the division (AFC South) in which they play (Houston lost twice to lowly Jacksonville last season). Both teams have very nice starts to the season, but are they for real? This game may not totally answer that question but another solid Romo performance and a Cowboys blowout might really open some eyes around the league.

Find out why another capper is backing a Dallas Cowboys Cover with his NFL Picks.

Houston Texans
Like the Cowboys, the Houston Texans (2-14 SU, 4-12 ATS in 2013) are 3-1 SU and ATS, but wins against the Redskins, Raiders and Bills probably doesn’t reveal as much as the 30-17 road loss against the Giants does. So an upset win in Big D would give Houston (4-2 ATS as a Road Underdog) the kind of respect, momentum and record (4-1) it would need to make a serious run at a potentially good season. Last week against the Bills in Buffalo, the Texans used an 80-yard interception for TD from that man JJ Watt to help roll to a 32-17 victory in upstate New York as QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (25/37, 268 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs vs. Bills LW) and WRs Andre Johnson (6 catches, 71 yards, TD) and DeAndre Hopkins (5 catches, 64 yards, TD) had productive games. But one thing sorely lacking last weekend was a Houston rushing attack (34 yards) as RB Arian Foster (6 rushes, 8 yards) and the rest of the Texans were virtually non-existent. The Texans (7-14 ATS L21) are a sour 1-8 in their last 9 straight up on the Road and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 away from home so even taking Houston +4 here is betting into the teeth of a trend.

 

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas (3-1 SU 3-1 ATS) has also started out with a bang, and, like the Texans, the Cowboys (8-8 SU 9-7 ATS LY) early wins against the Titans, Rams and Saints in Dallas don’t reveal as much as the Opening Day loss here at AT&T Stadium to the San Francisco 49ers does. This too will be a test for Dallas (3-3 Home Favorites LY) and Romo (24-34 ATS Home, 35-46-1 ATS as Favorite) who, as just mentioned, led his team to an impressive 34-17 rout over New Orleans where he went 22-for-29 for 3 TDs as WR Terrance Williams (6 catches, 77 yards, 2 TDs), TE Jason Witten (5 catches, 61 yards), WR Dez Bryant and RB DeMarco Murray (24 rushes, 149 yards, 2 TDs) all had memorable days. The host Cowboys are actually #1 in the NFL in Rushing (165 ypg) right now thanks in great part to Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas) graduate Murray, who could be a pretty good Anytime TD Scorer prop bet when odds come out closer to game-time. And as bad as the Texas are ATS on the Road lately, Dallas has been no bargain at Home in its last 6 games (2-4 ATS). Cowboys DTs Davon Coleman (calf) and Terrell McClain (concussion)are listed as Day-T0-Day, LB Bruce Carter (quadricep) as Doubtful and DB Jakar Hamilton will be eligible after serving a suspension.

 

Best Betting Approaches
When trying to land your NFL picks, this one is really a toss-up and probably best stayed away from and that is a “Betting Approach” many sports gamblers need to work into their arsenal when tempted by a high-profile, in-state game like this or a nationally televised game  (CBS) as this one is. Too often, many sports gamblers bet games they are unsure of just to have action, and, while there’s nothing wrong with that approach for the recreational gambler, it’s a bad habit to fall into and it takes potential bankroll money away from other games possibly more worthy of your Money and your Time for the semi-serious or the professional sports bettor. Looking at the Total here (46, bet365), the Under looks enticing and with Texans Unders going 5-2 in their L7 and Cowboys Unders 4-2 in their L6, the recent trends point to a potentially low-scoring dance. But the Texans Overs are 4-2 in their L6 on the Road and with the Over going a loud 10-3 ATS in NFL Week 4, the final Total points scored here could end up in the 30s just as well as it could end up in the 50s. The last time these two teams played—and they rarely do despite their Texas homes—Dallas beat the Texans in Houston 27-13 as 2½-point Underdogs (U47½) in 2010.

In the end, the most logical thing to happen here is that the Texans offense again potentially won’t having a rushing attack and Houston will having to try to throw more against a Dallas side that’s 26th in the league against the pass, meaning that the Texans will likely be passing the ball more than they are running it. The Cowboys will look to run the heck out of Murray here while also passing and they should generate enough offense to win by around a 27-24 score, so a very lukewarm Over bet for the smallest amount is all to be squeezed out of this meeting, which may end up being extremely close and come down to the final minutes of play.

NFL Pick: Over 46 (bet365)

NFL Prop Pick: Terrance Williams Anytime TD Scorer (Cowboys)

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