Cowboys vs. Cardinals Point Spread: NFL Pre-Season Week 1 Odds, Prediction

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Aug 11, 2021

The Arizona Cardinals kick off their 2021 pre-season on Friday night at home against a Dallas Cowboys team fresh off a loss in the NFL Hall of Fame Game.

August 13, 2021, 10:00 PM ET
State Farm Stadium
Pointspread +2 -112
Moneyline +115
Over / Under o +39
Pointspread -2 -108
Moneyline -138
Over / Under u +39

With a shortened pre-season, the Arizona Cardinals are getting straight to work as quarterback Kyler Murray is expected to play at least part of their pre-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

Arizona is a slim 1.5-point favourite to win on the NFL pre-season odds, with a total of 40.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

These teams have met twice in the pre-season over the last four years.  Arizona blew out Dallas 27-3 at AT&T Stadium in 2018 and the Cowboys downed the Cards 20-18 in 2017 at the Hall of Fame Game.

Dallas had the unfortunate luck of hosting the Cardinals in Week 6 during last year’s regular season, a week after quarterback Dak Prescott‘s season-ending ankle injury.  Arizona took the game 38-10, with Kyler Murray throwing for 188 yards and two touchdowns.  Kenyan Drake (now with the Raiders) rushed for 164 yards and two TDs.  Andy Dalton (now in Chicago) started for the Cowboys, throwing for 266 yards, a TD and two interceptions.

Sports Interaction’s NFL futures board has Dallas’ regular season wins total set at 9.5 with the Under favoured at -139.  The Cowboys are listed at -175 to make the playoffs.  Arizona’s regular season wins total comes in a little lower at 8.5 and is split evenly on the Over/Under.  The Cardinals are -200 to miss out on the playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys stumbled in their first pre-season game of the year.  Dallas dropped the Hall of Fame Game 16-3 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.  It wasn’t surprising to see the Cowboys leave 16 key players out of the lineup.  The game was essentially a matchup of rookies and second string players and I would expect a similar roster against Arizona.  The Cowboys split QB reps between Garrett Gilbert (9-of-13, 104 yards), Cooper Rush (8-of-13, 70 yards) and Ben DiNucci (7-of-17, 89 yards, INT).

Rookie receiver Simi Fehoko only had one reception against the Steelers.  But, Fehoko is in a battle to make the final roster, so I’d expect him to get more targets against Arizona.  Dallas’ 2021 first-round pick, linebacker Micah Parsons, had three tackles against the Steelers and should see a lot of time in the pre-season.

Arizona Cardinals

With the pre-season being cut from four to three games, head coach Kliff Kingsbury has already confirmed Kyler Murray will play against Dallas.  For the run-game, expect a lot of reps split between Chase Edmonds and free-agent pickup James Conner.  Kingsbury essentially said he plans to use the running backs interchangeably.  I would expect Kingsbury to try to get Edmonds and Conner comfortable with the system immediately.

Don’t expect to see new addition J.J. Watt as he’s reportedly dealing with a minor hamstring injury.  Watt is one of what appears to be several defensive players dealing with injuries.  Kingsbury almost never goes into injury details during training camp and the pre-season, but for Saturday’s practice, only Leki Fotu, Michael Dogbe and undrafted rookie Cam Murray were healthy on the defensive line.

NFL Prediction: Who Will Win Cowboys vs. Cardinals?