Indianapolis Colts (1-0; vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-1; 1-1 ATS; 1-1 O/U)
NFL Preseason: Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 7:00pm EST
Line: Dallas -5.5
The Dallas Cowboys will host the Indianapolis Colts in NFL preseason action Saturday night from AT&T Stadium. The Colts are coming off a 24-10 home loss to the Lions in their preseason opener, and the Cowboys were edged 13-10 by the Rams last week. These teams last met in 2014 with the Cowboys coming away with a 42-7 blowout win.
Colts Offense Struggles, Luck Remains Out
The Indianapolis Colts were without several starters in their 24-10 home loss to the Lions last week. Andrew Luck, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery did not suit up and will not play in the preseason. The 27-year old quarterback is also questionable for week one again the Rams. Colts backup quarterback Scott Tolzien saw limited action last week and completed 2 of 5 passes for 24 touchdowns with no touchdowns. Look for Tolzien to see more action in this contest. Stephen Morris had a strong afternoon, converting on 13 of 20 passes for 94 yards. Frank Gore sat out last week, however he should see a few carries this week. Colts second string running back Robert Tubin did not make much off his five carries, rushing for only six yards. The 27-year old running back registered 164 rushing yards off 47 carries last season, and could see more playing time this season. Colts first round pick Malik Hooker looked good in his first taste of the NFL, making four tackles. The former Ohio State Buckeye is a young promising safety, and was the Colts first round pick in the draft.
The Colts offense was productive last season, averaging 25.7 points per game, ranking them eighth in the NFL. The Indianapolis defense was below average in 2016, conceding an average of 24.5 points per game, placing them 22nd overall.
Cowboys Stars Sit Out in Loss to Rams
The Dallas Cowboys sat their star players in their preseason loss to the L.A. Rams last week. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant were among the starters who did not quit up. Cowboys backup quarterback Kellen Moore converted on 8 of 17 passes for 69 yards in the loss. Moore had a strong showing in the Hall of Fame game a few weeks ago, throwing for 182 yards and one touchdown. Prescott and the Cowboys starters should see some action in this one after sitting out the first two preseason games. Darren McFadden led the way on the ground last week, rushing for 28 yards off six carries, good for an average of 4.7 yards per carry. The big news surrounding the Cowboys this past week was the news of the stiff six game suspension handed to star running back Ezekiel Elliott for an offseason altercation. Head coach Jason Garrett has stated he is unsure if Elliott will suit up in the preseason, however, he will likely at least suit up in one contest. Taco Charlton made his first sack in last week’s loss. The defensive lineman was the Cowboys first round pick in the 2017 draft.
Last season the Cowboys averaged a solid 26.3 points per game, ranking them fifth in the NFL. The Dallas defense also had a great 2016 campaign, allowing an average of 19.1 points per game, good for fifth overall.
The Indianapolis Colts are:
- No Key Trends
The Dallas Cowboys are:
- the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two clubs.
I am siding with the Cowboys in this contest. I expect Prescott to see a decent amount of playing time after he did not suit up last week, and Dez Bryant along with Cole Beasley and Jason Witten should also see playing time, while Luck will not be playing for the Colts. Furthermore, Scott Tolzien struggled last week and overall the Colts offense was sluggish last week, plus I don’t expect much from the Colts third and fourth string quarterbacks. The Colts own a weak 7-13 preseason record under head coach Chuck Pagano, giving me more confidence in the Cowboys.
Pick: Dallas Cowboys
The Colts offense did not look good last week, rushing for only 52 yards and they are going against a Cowboys team that features strong defensive depth, and the under is 6-1 in the Colts last seven games on astroturf. The Cowboys defense looked strong last week, and overall I can’t see them scoring many points after their starters exit the game after they only scored ten points last week.