Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
Sunday, October 7, 2018 – 8:20 pm Eastern TV: NBC
NRG Stadium – Houston, Texas
Opening Line: Houston -3
Current Line: Houston -3 (-120)
Opening Total: 45 1/2
Current Total: 45 1/2
Opening Money Line: Texans -180 / Cowboys +155
Current Money Line: Texans -170 / Cowboys +150
The 1-3 Houston Texans host their in-state rivals the 2-2 Dallas Cowboys Sunday night. The Cowboys lead the series 3-1 against the Texans. The Cowboys have won three straight games against the Texans including 20-17 in overtime in 2014. For what’s it worth Houston beat a Dallas 14-6 at home in the last pre-season game this season.
Dallas is coached by Jason Garrett. The Cowboys have home wins over the New York Giants 20-13 and Detroit Lions 26-24 last week. Dallas has road losses to the Carolina Panthers 16-8 and Seattle Seahawks 24-13. The Cowboys were 2.5 point favorites against the Lions and the total was 43.5. Dallas is 1-3 ATS and the total is 1-3 this season.
Houston is coached by Bill O’Brien. The Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts 37-34 in overtime last week on the road. It was their first win of the season. Houston has road losses at the New England Patriots 27-20 and Tennessee Titans 20-17, plus a home loss at the New York Giants 27-22. The Texans were one point favorites against the Colts and the total was 48. Houston is 1-3 ATS and the total is 2-2 this season.
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Dallas is being outscored 19-17 this season. The Cowboys are #7 in points allowed and #30 in scoring. Dallas averages 312 yards per game on offense including 167 passing and 145 rushing yards. The Cowboys are #4 in rushing offense, but #27 in total offense and #30 in passing. On defense, the Cowboys allow 306 total yards per game including 209 passing and 98 rushing yards. Dallas is #5 in total offense and #6 in pass defense. Dallas is 16/51 on third and fourth conversions and opponents are 27/58. Dallas has forced 14 sacks and allowed 14 as well. The Cowboys are even in turnovers.
Quarterback Dak Prescott has completed 61.7% of his passes for 753 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 17 carries for 87 yards. He has been sacked 14 times. Cooper Rush is the backup.
Running back Ezekiel Elliot has 73 carries for 426 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 15 catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Elliott is probable with a knee injury. Rod Smith will also get some carries.
Receiver Cole Beasley has 16 catches for 185 yards. He is probable with an ankle injury. Tight end Geoff Swaim has 11 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. Deonte Thompson has 9 catches for 83 yards. Tavon Austin has 5 catches for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns and also has 41 rushing yards on four carries. He is probable with a shoulder injury. Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup will also get some catches. Receiver Terrance Williams is on injured reserve with a broken foot, and so is center Travis Frederick with a serious illness. Nine defensive players are listed on the injury report.
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Houston is being outscored 27-24 this season. The Texans average 414 total yards per game on offense including 291 passing and 123 rushing yards per game. Houston is #5 in total offense and #9 in rushing. Houston allows 382 total yards per game on defense including 288 passing and 94 rushing. The Texans are #9 in rush defense and number #27 in pass defense. The Texans are 23/54 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 29/63. Houston has forced 11 sacks and allowed 17 sacks this season. The Texans are -4 in turnovers.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson has completed 62.2% of his passes for 1,246 yards with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, and has 24 carries for 161 yards and a touchdown. He has been sacked 17 times. Brandon Weeden is the backup.
Running back Lamar Miller has 58 carries for 225 yards, plus 8 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a chest injury. Alfred Blue has 29 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Receiver DeAndre Hopkins has 30 catches for 443 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with an ankle injury. Receiver Will Fuller V has 17 catches for 263 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hamstring injury. Keke Coutee has 11 catches for 109 yards. He is also questionable with a hamstring injury. Eleven defensive players and four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.
Dallas has struggled in the passing game but has shown flashes of life. The Texans struggle to stop the pass so maybe it will help the Cowboys. I think Dallas wins a close low scoring game.