Houston at Dallas Preseason Week 4 Odds & Free Pick
The Dallas Cowboys begin life without starting quarterback Tony Romo on Thursday night as Romo has a broken bone in his back and is likely to miss at least the first four games of the regular season. So that means rookie fourth-rounder Dak Prescott is the man under center for Dallas, but might the Cowboys hold him out of their final preseason game on Thursday? Dallas is a slight dog in online NFL betting vs. Houston.
Here’s a Look at the Houston at Dallas Preseason Week 4 Odds, Free Pick & TV Info
When: Thursday, Aug. 1, 8 PM ET
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: check local listings
Radio: Houston / Dallas
Opening NFL Lines: Texans -1 (39)
Houston vs Dallas Historic Betting Series
The Texans close the preseason by taking on the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium for the second straight year. The head-to- head preseason series is tied at 4-4, dating back to the first contest in 2003. The two squads last matched up in the preseason in 2015, with Dallas winning 21-14. Houston QB Tom Savage finished 18 of 29 for 135 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, and Dallas third-stringer Dustin Vaughan was 11 of 20 for 115 yards.
Why Bet on Houston?
The Texans (3-0) beat Arizona 34-24 last Sunday. Brock Osweiler threw for 146 yards and a touchdown and Houston intercepted two of Carson Palmer’s passes. Osweiler led the Texans to scores on three of his four drives. He connected with rookie Will Fuller on a 26-yard touchdown pass that extended Houston's lead to 24-10 before sitting down with about three minutes left in the first half. Osweiler finished 11-for- 13 for 146 yards and a touchdown, and he could have had another score had rookie receiver Will Fuller not dropped a long pass in the second quarter.
Fuller finished with 67 yards receiving and fellow rookie Braxton Miller, the former Ohio State star quarterback, added three receptions for 29 yards. Tyler Ervin touched the ball six times in the game and produced 111 yards. The rookie running back from San Jose State rushed twice for a total of 13 yards. He caught a pass for 20 yards. He fair-caught a punt for no yards, and he peeled off a 58-yard and 20- yard kickoff return.
Linebacker John Simon scored his second defensive touchdown of the preseason in the game. During the second quarter, Simon tipped Cardinals quarterback Palmer’s pass to himself, making a one-handed catch for the interception. He ran the ball 59 yards to the end zone for the touchdown. Houston remains without star defensive lineman J.J. Watt off back surgery. Coach Bill O’Brien said he “could definitely see” Watt play in the Texans’ season opener against the Bears. “He’s made a lot of improvement in the last couple of weeks,” O’Brien said. “He’s really on the right track and we feel good about where he is right now.”
Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown unsure when he will return from quad injury. Brown doesn’t have a target date to return to practice, but he is "very hopeful" to return for the start of the regular season. Brown has been out since he tore his quadriceps in the last game of last season, in January against the Jaguars.
Why Bet on Dallas?
Romo was hurt early in last Thursday’s loss in Seattle and will be sidelined from 6-10 weeks. Romo first learned of the MRI results on his back Friday night, which showed a fractured vertebra. Coach Jason Garrett said the injury is not related to the surgeries Romo had in 2013. The coach would not say if it is the transverse process fractures Romo suffered in 2014 that forced him to miss a game. Romo was hit from behind by Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril while scrambling upfield Thursday. Romo immediately reached for his lower back but was able to walk off the field under his own power. Romo missed 12 games last year and 27 since the start of 2008.
Prescott has been sensational in the preseason. Prescott has shown every indication he can help the Cowboys win games, completing 39 of 50 passes for 454 yards, with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Prescott impressed the coaching staff and his teammates with the way he handled the game in Seattle. He was supposed to play in the third quarter, but Romo’s injury forced him into the game after three plays. He played into the third quarter, finishing 17-of- 23 for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Prescott was the 135th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Teams don’t use low selections on quarterbacks and expect an immediate contribution, but that is the situation the Cowboys now find themselves in. Last year, only the top two picks of the draft — Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota — were opening day starters. And in the last 10 years, Seattle’s Russell Wilson (a third-round pick) is the only rookie quarterback to start his team’s opening game despite not being drafted in the first two rounds. Kyle Orton, an early fourth-round pick in 2005, was the last rookie quarterback to start in Week 1 despite not being drafted in the first three rounds.
You likely won’t see Prescott in this game. Ditto Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, who said he doesn’t expect to play. He made his debut vs. Seattle off a hamstring injury and looked good in his seven carries. Dallas star receiver Dez Bryant is for sure out this game as he’s recovering from a concussion.
My Expert Pick
Take Houston on NFL lines and the under.