Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys - 8/3/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys - 8/3/17 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys (0-0) at Arizona Cardinals (0-0)

NFL Football: Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium)

The Line: Arizona Cardinals +2.5 -- Over/Under: 40 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys play Thursday night in the NFL Hall of Fame preseason game at Fawcett Stadium on NBC.

The Arizona Cardinals hope to set the tone early after finishing 7-8-1 last season and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The Cardinals enter training camp extremely healthy considering linebacker Deone Bucannon is the only player on the PUP list due to an ankle injury. The Cardinals have pretty much the same offense they’ve had for years, as Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown are on the outside at wide receiver, David Johnson continues to shine at running back and quarterback Carson Palmer hopes he has something left in the tank to get Arizona back to the postseason. The Cards defense will get another season of Chandler Jones, while Antoine Bethea is added to a secondary that already included Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. For this game, I’m watching the Arizona Cardinals linebackers in Jarvis Jones and Haason Reddick, as they have the potential to be the difference makers in this defense that already had a playmaking feel to it. 

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The Dallas Cowboys have increased expectations after winning 13 games with an offense that was led by two rookies. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott won’t be surprising anybody this season and it’ll be interesting to see if they can avoid the sophomore slump. Of course, the rest of the Dallas offense returns the usuals in Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and one of the best offensive lines in the league led by Zack Martin and Travis Frederick. The Cowboys defense also looks the same from a year ago even with the addition of Nolan Carroll, but its effectiveness also is determined on the health of linebacker Sean Lee. The thing I’ll be watching this preseason for the Dallas Cowboys is their countless rookie defenders, including Taco Charlton, Marquez White, Xavier Woods and Chidobe Awuzie, all guys who have potential to see playing time this season and provide a boost to Dallas’ Super Bowl hopes.

The Cowboys are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games on fieldturf, 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Arizona, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings and the underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

Due to both of these teams getting an extra preseason game, coaches tend to play the backups more in this contest because they view it as a free chance to see the questionable guys in meaningful minutes. Regardless, for me, preseason games are all about the backup quarterbacks with the rest being a wash. It's hard to predict anything in preseason, but backup QBs with starting experience or simply NFL playing time is key. And with Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert in Arizona, the Cards have the Cowboys beat in that department, as they are throwing out Kellen Moore and rookie Cooper Rush. I like the Cardinals backup QB depth more than the Cowboys. Also, the home team has won six of the last eight HOF games, so another point for the underdogs here.

Give me the points in our first NFL preseason game.


Randy’s Pick Arizona Cardinals +2.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.