NFL Picks: Texans vs. Cowboys in Preseason Week 4

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 6:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 6:00 PM UTC

The battle of Texas takes place this Thursday night, and although the game doesn’t count, and there likely won’t be any starters playing, there could still be some NFL betting value to be had.

NFL Odds for this game favor the road Texans at -2 ½, with a total of 37 ½ points. Which side of these lines should we back with our sports picks?

Week 3

The Texans got beat by the Saints in Week 3, and exactly what I said was going to happen did. Without Arian Foster this preseason, the Texans have struggled to run the football. Matt Schaub played well while he was in the game, going 15/26 and 213 yards passing, but it wasn’t enough. Of course none of the bigger named Texans will touch the field in this game upcoming against the Cowboys, but it might speak to a larger problem the Texans will have in this game, and during the season if Foster doesn’t stay healthy. If Houston can’t run the ball or play defense, their entire strategy goes out the window. 

Dallas had a nice win against the Bengals in Week 3, and their starting offense looks ready to start the season. Although he won’t play in this game, Tony Romo played very well, tossing two touchdowns on 137 yards passing. Kyle Orton will be the QB who gets the most work in this game for the Cowboys, and he played well also, going 4/4 with 44 yards and a touchdown pass in the third quarter to DeMarco Murray.

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Kubiak’s late week struggles

I mentioned this about the Texans with my pick on their game against the Saints, and since it is still very much alive, it is worth mentioning again. Gary Kubiak has been a solid preseason coach, but he has done most of his damage (including this season) in the first two weeks, not the latter two. Kubiak’s Texans are 14-4 SU in Weeks 1 and 2 of the preseason, but only 6-11 SU in Weeks 3 and 4.

With the backups in the game, I have to take the points with the home underdogs. Orton should carve up the Texans backup defensive guys, and although the same could be said about the Cowboys second and third string defense, I’m not as concerned with TJ Yates and Case Keenum from Houston. Although Yates does have as many playoff wins as Romo, it’s a lot different throwing the ball to back up receivers.


The Sharp Pick

With Kubiak’s struggles in the latter half of the preseason, combined with being favored here, it smells bad from Houston’s side. Taking points with a home team is almost always a good decision, no matter what starters are sitting out. Teams will have to cut their rosters down to 53 after this game, and for over 20 guys, this will be their last NFL game.

With those kind of cuts looming over the heads of so many undrafted players, I would much rather place my NFL picks on the home team who happens to be slight underdogs. This could also be a very low scoring game, and that always favors the underdog. Take the points. 

My Pick: Cowboys +2 ½
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