NFL Picks: Dolphins vs. Cowboys in Preseason Week 1

Jordan Sharp

Monday, July 29, 2013 1:39 PM GMT

The long summer of strictly baseball is almost over, as the NFL preseason kicks off this weekend with the Hall of Fame game.


The NFL odds for this intriguing preseason matchup favor the Cowboys at -1.5, with the total of just 34 points. While Dallas has spent the majority of the offseason trying to get healthy from last season, the Dolphins have been very busy revamping their offense. While neither team’s first strings will play very long, this game will be decided in the second half, and the team with the most new moving parts will likely be the team with the most talent on the field to end the game.

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Dolphins’ bigger fins

The Dolphins have several new toys to try out this offseason, but that doesn’t mean they will want to unleash Mike Wallace for two quarters in this first preseason game. It is likely that both of these teams will want to test out their running game a lot in this game, but the Dolphins seem to have more to gain from this game than Dallas on all sides of the ball.

The Cowboys have virtually the exact same offense they put on the field a season ago. Their issue was health a season ago, and Dez Bryant is dealing with a hip injury right now. I sincerely doubt the Cowboys play their offense or defense more than a few series, because the start of training camp hasn’t been kind to them (see below).

Lamar Miller is entering the season as the starting running back in Miami now that Reggie Bush is gone. Last season with only 51 carries, Miller averaged almost 5 yards per carry, had two 20+ yard runs, and had a touchdown. He has some injury concerns of his own, but I expect Miller to get an extra long look in this game, along with the other Dolphin running backs. Now only that, but don’t be surprised if Ryan Tannehill plays a whole quarter.

We continue our NFL offseason coverage with the Dolphins Season Win Total Odds!

Cowboys crutched in Canton

After one of the worst injury-riddled seasons of any NFL team last season, the start of training camp hasn’t been very different for Dallas. I already mentioned the Bryant injury, and that may be the least of their concerns right now. On the first day of camp, Tyrone Crawford DE tore his Achilles and will miss the season. Anthony Spencer also just went under knee surgery and will likely be on the shelf to start the season. There are also a couple of starters who are nursing hamstring injuries.

Sounds like the Cowboys need to get off their asses in July and workout some before training camp. Their defense is very hurt even before the first preseason game, and with the Dolphins likely pounding it down their throats for four quarters, I don’t like Dallas as a favorite here, for my sports picks.

We continue our NFL offseason coverage with the Cowboys Season Win Total Odds!

The Sharp Pick

Last year, in his first season as head coach in Miami, Joe Philbin went 0-4 SU and ATS in the preseason. Even though I don’t think that means a lot, I do think it is in the back of his mind. They got dominated in every game. However, even though Jason Garrett has a solid SU preseason record of 5-3 since he took over, with all of the injuries he is faced with from last year and now, I don’t see the starters in Dallas playing too much, if at all in this game.

The Dolphins will want to test out some of their passing game as well. Tannehill had over 20 pass attempts in each of his first three-preseason games last season. Now that he has a few more weapons around him, I expect a nice balance of hard running and deep pass attempts for the Dolphins. The outcome should be a lot better this time around.

Tony Romo made six pass attempts in his first preseason game last year, and I don’t see much more than that from him or any of the other Dallas starters on either side of the ball. Miami will be victorious, and I’m adding them as slight underdogs to my NFL picks.

[gameodds]16/226854/?r-1=43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NFL Picks: Bet Miami Dolphins +105 on the money line

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