Dallas Cowboys (2-2) at Houston Texans (1-3)
The Texans picked up their first win of the season last win in Indianapolis, but they’ve still gotten off to a disappointing start to their season. Expected to be Super Bowl contenders, the Texans are just 1-3 with their only win coming in overtime against a team that’s 1-4. The Texans have been better than their record and Deshaun Watson has continued to play at a high level in his 2nd season in the league, but the Texans have struggled to pass protect and to run the ball and their defense has been underwhelming.
This line suggests the Texans are a little bit better than the Cowboys, but I think that’s backwards. The Cowboys probably aren’t going to make the playoffs in the loaded NFC, but they’re not a bad team either. They’re without Sean Lee with injury, but young linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have played well in his absence and they get their top interior pass rusher David Irving back from suspension this week.
The Cowboys have also been a good road team in recent years, going 36-30 on the road since 2010 (+0.09 points per game), while going just 34-34 at home (+1.19 points per game). The Cowboys have a national fanbase that typically fills road stadiums pretty well and I would expect a lot of Cowboys fans at this game in Houston. I would only give the Texans about a 1-1.5 points for homefield advantage this week rather than the typical 3, so I have this line calculated at even. The Cowboys are worth a play at +3.5 and have a good chance to win straight up.
Dallas Cowboys 24 Houston Texans 23 Upset Pick +150
Pick against the spread: Dallas +3.5