A prelude of things to come, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans will be be back at NRG Stadium on Oct. 7 for a Week Five regular-season matchup, and that's not necessarily good news for the hometown Texans. Houston is 1-1 at home against the Cowboys in regular-season play, that lone win a 19-10 victory on Sept. 7, 2002 in the very first regular-season game in Texans history, and also the first-ever meeting on a football field between the Cowboys and Texans.
As much as Houston has enjoyed success against the Cowboys in preseason play, it's been all Dallas ever since that first game in the case of the regular season. The Cowboys have won the last three regular-season meetings with the Texans, twice by sizeable margins - 34-6 at Dallas in 2006 and 27-13 at Houston in 2010. The last game saw the Cowboys win 20-17 in overtime at Dallas. For spread bettors, the series has split down the middle, each team winning twice against the spread.
Low Is Where It Goes - Maybe when the Texans play the Cowboys they should rename Texas the Low Star State, because it's a virtual certainty that the total will go under when Dallas meets Houston. Every regular-season game between the Texans and Cowboys has gone under. Only twice in four games has the total reached 40 points, and Houston has never scored more than 19 points in a regular-season game against the Cowboys.
The last Texans-Cowboys preseason game in 2016 was a 45-point festival of scoring, a rare over winner from a game between these two teams, but it was also the exception to the rule. In the three previous games, the total never exceeded 35 points and twice it didn't top 30 points. Dallas and Houston have never gone over 45 points in a preseason game, and in five of their nine clashes on the exhibition schedule, the total was 35 points or lower. Dallas has averaged 12.75 points per game in the last four preseason games with Houston.
Odds Against - Things are bigger in Texas, and that includes the odds on the Cowboys or Texans winning Super Bowl LIII. At Bovada, the Cowboys are deemed the co-13th choice to win the big game at odds of +2500. The Texans are just ahead of Dallas, listed as the co-11th betting choice in this market at odds of +2200. The posted odds of the Texans winning the AFC championship are +1000, while the Cowboys are given odds of +1200 to be the NFC representative in Super Bowl LIII.
The Cowboys are the second betting choice to win the NFC East Division title at odds of +350. In the AFC South Division, the Texans are pegged as the +185 second betting option. Bovada likes Houston as a playoff team, giving the Texans odds of -135 to qualify for postseason play. The odds on Houston having a poblem and missing out on the postseason are +105. Houston was a dismal 4-12 last season. In 2016, the Texans went 9-7 and were AFC South champions.
Bovada isn't as sold on the Cowboys as postseason material. In this instance, you will get odds of +150 if you play the Cowboys to make the playoffs, and odds of -180 if you see them as being absent fom the postseason. Last season, Dallas went 9-7 and missed out on the playoffs by one game, a year after going an NFC-best 13-3 and capturing the NFC East Division crown. At MyBookie, you can play a Cowboys-Texans Super Bowl LIII matchup at odds of +14000.
It's Elementary - Last season, when DeShaun Watson was at quarterback, the Texans were an exciting, dynamic team. And when he wasn't, they were a shambles. After Watson suffered a season-ending knee injury, the Texans went 1-7 without him. No wonder there are prop bets out there regarding the impact Watson figures to make on Houston's 2018 NFL season. After all, he did throw for 19 touchdown passes in seven games.
Betway is offering a season special on Watson's passing yardage totals this season. The total is set 3950.5 yards. Go with the over or the under and you will get odds of -117. Betway has odds of +500 on Watson to earn recognition as the NFL's comeback player of the year. He's at +2000 to win the NFL MVP award. You can get odds of +1600 on Watson finishing as the NFL leader in passing yardage. And Bovada puts Watson down as the chalk to lead all NFL quarterbacks in interceptions at +500. He was picked off eight times as a rookie.
Upping The Watt-age - Right there with Watson in Betway's wager on the NFL comeback player of the year, also at odds of +500, is Texans defensive tackle J.J. Watt. Among the NFL's most dominant defensive performers in his career, injuries have limited Watt to eight games played the past two seasons. But a healthy Watt figures to be a force to be reckoned with, and could be worth the gamble. You can also play Watt at odds of +600 to be the NFL's defensive player of the year, or at +1000 to lead the NFL in sacks.
Filling The Tank - Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is also a contender in Betway's NFL sacks leader prop bet at odds of +1400. The man known as The Tank was tied for second in the league last season with 14.5 quarterback sacks, so at that price he could prove to be a very solid value wager. You can also get a +2500 price on Lawrence to wind up as the NFL's defensive player of the year recipient.
On The Move - A six-game NFL suspension for a domestic violence incident scuttled Ezekiel Elliott's sophomore season, so the 2018 campaign for the Dallas running back will be one watched with significant interest from the betting public. Bet365 is offering a prop wager on Elliott's 2018 rushing yardage numbers.
The sportsbook has set the total bar on this play at 1395.5 yards. If you choose to play the over, the odds assigned to that wager are -110. The under play will garner you odds of -125. Elliott ran for 983 yards in 10 games last season. He rambled for an NFL-best 1631 yards as a rookie in 2016.