NFL Picks: Bengals vs. Cowboys Preseason Week 3

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 3:39 PM GMT

Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 3:39 PM GMT

The Cincinnati Bengals seem to be firing on all cylinders offensively during the exhibition season, as they prepare to take on the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.
Let’s take a closer look at the NFL betting lines for this non-conference 2013 preseason matchup, with the opening kick-off scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET at AT&T Stadium. Who should we back with our sports picks in this game?

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Looking good

Cincinnati has won and covered the number in both of its preseason games, including a 27-19 victory over the Tennessee Titans as 2.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while the ‘Over’ has cashed in both opportunities.

The Bengals lead the NFL in averaging 431.5 yards per game, which includes gaining 211.5 yards on the ground.

Sloppy in the desert

Dallas lost the turnover battle by a 6-1 margin in suffering a 12-7 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals last Saturday, while falling ‘Under’ the total for the first time in three exhibition affairs.

The Cowboys have been out-gained by a combined 202-yard margin in three games thus far, but it’s important to point out that quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant have played in just two of those games.

Romo has completed 13 of 18 passes for 230 yards, while Bryant has seven catches for 129 yards.

Backup battle

There’s no doubt that Andy Dalton is locked in as the starting quarterback for the Bengals entering his third year out of TCU, but the franchise isn’t sure who will back him up during the regular season.

NFL handicappers need to realize that Josh Johnson and John Skelton will likely see a good amount of action in this affair, as they come in with passer ratings of 98.6 and 110.7 respectively.

Preparing for the G-Men

I’m under the impression that America’s Team is listed as a betting odds favorite simply for the fact that it will play in front of its home fans for the first time since the end of the 2012 season, but the players might not be prepared for this contest.

Dallas has already started to game plan for its regular-season opener with the New York Giants—a division game that head coach Jason Garrett has made a priority for all coaches and players during camp.

[gameodds]16/227812/?r3=349/dec&r-1=349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Bengals with their NFL picks, as they’ll be properly motivated to continue their strong play heading into the regular season.

NFL Pick: Choose the Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 (EV) at William Hill

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