Many question marks surrounded the NFL’s two Texas franchises ahead of the 2021 campaign, with many fans in the dark as to whether they should be excited or frightened of what’s to come.
For the Dallas Cowboys, this year marks a chance to start afresh now that Dak Prescott is back and healthy as the starting quarterback, having played just five games in 2020 before a gruesome leg injury ended his season.
The team’s franchise player made an electric return in Week 1 and threw three touchdowns and one interception for 403 yards, though it wasn’t enough to avoid a 31-29 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Houston Texans have also been somewhat apprehensive over their QB1 situation, with Deshaun Watson currently out of the picture after 22 women filed lawsuits alleging the 26-year-old sexually assaulted and harassed them.
Off-season acquisition Tyrod Taylor stepped in to lead the team to a 37-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, but tougher tests are en route.
That’s especially the case for Houston as they face a Week 2 trip to the Cleveland Browns, who are just coming off a valiant effort while losing 33-29 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dallas are also on the road and visit the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday (September 19), presenting a big opportunity to record their opening win of the 2021 campaign.
Nick Chubb first TD scorer vs. Texans (+430)
A total of 12 players got their seasons up and running with two touchdowns apiece in Week 1, and Nick Chubb was among them following his brace of scores against the Chiefs.
That defeat will have been a particularly sore one considering the Browns led 22-10 at the break, and the Texans could be the unfortunate target of Cleveland’s pent-up frustrations in Week 2:
Despite making some tweaks the their defense during the off-season, it may not be enough to vastly improve a Houston defense that gave up more rushing yards than any other team last season (2,564).
Chubb—who recorded the opening score against Kansas City—is a tempting pick at +430 to repeat that feat in Cleveland’s first outing of the campaign at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Cowboys to beat Chargers (+160)
Over at SoFi Stadium, a Week 2 battle between the Cowboys and Chargers looks like a mouthwatering one on paper, replete with numerous individual matchups promising fireworks.
Prescott travels to Los Angeles hoping to outshine quarterback counterpart Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen and Amari Cooper wage a war between wide receivers, and Joey Bosa looks to prove he’s the superior linebacker to Dallas star Jaylon Smith.
There’s a strong belief among many fans that Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay were still fatigued en route to beating the Cowboys in Week 1.
Despite that speculation, Chargers wide-out Mike Williams took a shot at the Dallas defense by hinting he’s looking to feast at home in Week 2:
And yet there was plenty to like about the Cowboys’ performance at Raymond James Stadium, while the Chargers themselves were far from their best en route to a 20-16 win at Washington.
It’s a surprise to see the Dallas betting line as wide as it stands considering, and a +160 price for the Prescott-led Cowboys to bag their first victory of 2021 could be too good to ignore.