It’s time to start thinking about the National Football League. When you think of the National Football League, you think about the long preseason that begins the season. It’s time for that to begin. The Hall of Fame Game is traditionally the first game on the preseason schedule. This year, the game is Thursday August 3rd, and will be played at Fawcett Stadium in Canton Ohio. The two teams playing are the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys. While both teams have their eyes on the postseason, one is looking to get back. The Dallas Cowboys made the postseason last year with 13 wins. The Cowboys were edged by Green Bay in their first playoff game. For the Arizona Cardinals, they missed the postseason out of the NFC West. The Cardinals were 7-8-1, with their tie coming to Seattle. In this game, Arizona is listed at -1 over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys lost Tony Romo in the preseason a season ago, and many felt they were doomed. Not only did the Cowboys bounce back, but they were elite in 2016. Jason Garrett saw his Cowboys team win 13 regular season games, and take the NFC East title. The Cowboys beat the Giants in the divisional standings, but New York downed them twice during the regular season. The Cowboys saw Dak Prescott step in and shine. The quarterback out of Mississippi State tossed for more than 3,600 yards, with 23 of them for touchdowns. Another rookie; Ezekial Elliott, out of Ohio State was the top running back in the NFL. Elliott wrapped up a season where he scored 15 touchdowns. Dez Bryant hopes for a full season of health after missing much of the 2016 season.
Arizona is led by head coach Bruce Arians, who certainly has all the momentum to get back to the postseason. The Cardinals just could not find any traction during the 2016 season. Arizona actually outscored opponents on the season, but still remained 7-8-1. The Cardinals are led by a pair of very experienced veterans on the offensive side. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are still cogs in the offense, while David Johnson came into his own a season ago. Johnson was with Elliott all season as one of the best running backs in the league. The Cardinals still remained within the Top 10 in passing yards per game, despite the struggles.
Preseason games are the toughest to predict. There is certainly a niche that can be won by betting on preseason games. You need information on who is going to play, and how teams are going to play it. Many of the top players sit out of preseason games. That’s likely to happen in this game as well. In the end, the veteran team with a little more hunger for the bounce back season is going to win this game. If you are betting on this game, take the Arizona Cardinals -1 over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.
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