Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 8/29/13
While it won’t be easy focusing on just one of the 16 exhibition finales on the NFL preseason version of Christmas this Thursday, the Battle of Texas will be particularly enticing. Not only will the moneyline matchup pit two playoff hopefuls against one another, but it could provide some valuable insight for the NFL betting community. For example, Texans-Cowboys might show how well Houston can fare if Arian Foster continues to be plagued by the calf and back issues that have kept him out of action so far. The Texans have a projected win total of 10.5 heading into the 2013-14 campaign, but without their workhorse powering his way to Pro Bowl numbers up the gut, the forecast looks uncharacteristically dim. Fortunately for Gary Kubiak and Co., the 27-year-old insists that he is finally feeling rejuvenated and fresh — although it’s been announced he still will not play Thursday. His good health may come across as fantastic news on the surface, but it can’t be believed until it’s seen. Believe it enough to take a flyer on Houston’s 18-1 odds of winning the Super Bowl, though. Lining up across from the Texans in the Thursday tilt will be Dallas. With 25-1 NFL futures, the Cowboys are a factor in any NFL wagering strategy, just as they seem to be at this point every season. Whether Tony Romo will be able to emerge as a clutch performer this fall is still a major question, though. He and Dez Bryant make up of one of the NFL’s elite duos — one certainly capable of guiding a franchise well beyond its projected 8.5 wins available in the football prop sportsbook. It hasn’t happened with any level of consistency just yet, however. Prior to kickoff in the fourth and final week of preseason, Houston has been granted a three-point advantage on the NFL moneyline, with a combined over-under total sitting at 37.5 points. That means the Cowboys will have a fine opportunity to come out strong in their last showing before the regular season and to upset the NFL odds. Romo and the Cowboys may be one of the household names in football these days, but few have an actual, legitimate idea of what to expect out of him on any given game day. Preseason won’t reveal all of the answers, but it’s a valuable resource to keep fans from betting blindly once the regular season rolls around in September. Filed under: Dallas, Headlines, NFL, Odds, Partner Staff

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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