NFL Betting: Cowboys visit Houston Texans

By: Jimmy Sirody | Friday, August 27, 2010
Kris Brown

Houston is still deciding between kickers Kris Brown and Neil Rackers.

The third preseason game is always the closest look you will get to the NFL regular season since both teams typically play their best players for the entire half and sometimes three quarters.

But don’t expect any fireworks Saturday night at Reliant Stadium when the Houston Texans host the Dallas Cowboys, despite the interstate rivalry.

Vanilla will be the flavor of choice because the teams will meet again during Week 3 of the regular season. The Cowboys and the Texans won’t be looking to game-plan or give a hint of their regular-season strategy.

However, Houston would seem to have the edge when it comes to motivation, always a key factor when trying to handicap the preseason.

Dallas coach Wade Phillips has come right out and admitted that his team is tired and most players are looking forward to going home. The Cowboys opened the season in the Hall of Fame Game at Canton and this will be their fourth trip to the preseason post.

Phillips said he will have to do his best to get his club recharged before Saturday.

The Dallas first-team offense has scored one touchdown in three games and that came off an eight-yard drive. Quarterback Tony Romo has thrown for 141 yards in three games. What does that mean? Not much, if recent history is a guide.

The top five quarterbacks in passing yardage during the exhibition season last year were Todd Bouman, A.J. Feeley, Joey Harrington, Tyler Palko and Andre Woodson. None took a snap in the regular season.

Is there reason for Houston fans to worry after two postseason losses, including an embarrassing one in New Orleans? Sure there is.

The Texans need to prove that they can get their running game going and need to step up on the defensive side and prove that they aren’t the team that got slapped by the Saints’ starters.

Coach Gary Kubiak should have a much easier time getting Houston motivated this week than Phillips.

Dallas nipped the Texans as 5 ½-point home favorites in the last preseason meeting in 2008. Houston held serve as two-point home dogs, 28-16, in 2007.

The Texans have been one of the worst bets on the NFL betting board as favorites, failing in eight of their last nine. They have also come up short in six of eight off a double-digit loss.

The Cowboys have failed to cash six of their last seven as dogs versus an opponent of back-to-back SU losses.

Houston topped the ‘total’ in its first two exhibition games this season and the Texans have ended on the high side in 11 of their past 14 preseason tests.


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