NFL Pick: Dallas Cowboys vs Pittsburgh Steelers 8/5/21 NFL Picks and Predictions

Dallas Cowboys (0-0) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)
August 5, 2021 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Pittsburgh Steelers -1.5 / Dallas Cowboys +1.5 ; Over/Under: +33.5
(Click here for latest betting odds)

The Dallas Cowboys face off with the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday in the annual NFL Hall of Fame preseason game at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium isn Canton, OH. The Cowboys enter their second season under coach Mike McCarthy and are considered by oddsmakers to be a dark horse Super Bowl contender. The Steelers are coming off a 12-4 season and enter year 15 under head coach Mike Tomlin.

The Dallas Cowboys enter the preseason with a lot of key injuries and the hope should be just to get healthy. DeMarcus Lawrence will begin the year on the PUP list due to back surgery, Amari Cooper won’t practice for another two weeks due to an ankle injury and Dak Prescott is dealing with a strained muscle in his throwing shoulder. Because of the question marks with Prescott, you should see a ton of Garrett Gilbert at quarterback in this game. Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush should get second half reps as they fight for a third string job. It will be worth keeping an eye on linebacker Micah Parsons, as the first round pick is expected to start as a rookie. Keanu Neal is with a new team and is going from safety to the linebacker position. Rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph has a chance to earn a starting job. Needless to say, the Cowboys preseason question marks heavily favor the defensive side of the ball. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers have an offensive line that they have to figure out, as David DeCastro, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert and Alejandro Villanueva are no longer around. The Steelers also are starting a rookie running back in Najee Harris, so it’s going to be key to get him reps in preseason action. It will be interesting to see how much time or if Ben Roethlisberger plays at all given he’s 39 years old but is also playing behind an inexperienced offensive line. Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins are the main backup quarterbacks for the Steelers. Defensively, Devin Bush has been dealing with nagging issues and T.J. Watt has yet to practice. While neither is a major concern at the moment, it will be fun to see how quickly Melvin Ingram can get comfortable with his new team on a quick turnaround. 

The Cowboys are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 Thursday games and 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The Steelers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The over is 5-2 in Cowboys last 7 games overall. The over is 4-0 in Steelers last 4 games overall.

For me, I put a lot of stock into quarterback depth when it comes to preseason betting. Give me quality backup quarterbacks who are either talented or experienced, as those are the guys who are going to see the bulk of the reps in these games. Mason Rudolph has been with the Steelers for a while and has flashed moments throughout his career. Dwayne Haskins is eager to prove he belongs in the league and has a chance to steal the backup role. The Cowboys have never had a reliable backup quarterback and Prescott probably doesn’t play a second of this game. I’ll lay the small chalk with the Steelers.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Pittsburgh Steelers -1.5
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Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.

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