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Texans vs. Cowboys 2016 odds: Houston finishes preseason as favorites at Dallas on Thursday

The Houston Texans will be trying to complete a 4-0 preseason on Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys as small road betting favorites.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans are 13-6 straight up and against the spread in 19 preseason games since the start of the 2012 season. The Texans will try to close out another strong preseason with a win on the road against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.

Houston is a 3-point road favorite at AT&T Stadium at sportsbooks monitored by Last year, the Texans were a 3-point road favorite at Dallas in the final game of the preseason, but Dallas went on to win that game 21-14.

The Texans improved to 3-0 SU and ATS this preseason last week with a 34-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Houston has won all three of its preseason games by at least a touchdown, taking leads and holding on against Arizona and New Orleans and coming from behind with a 17-0 second half against the San Francisco 49ers. The Texans lost to the Cowboys in Dallas last year, but beat the Cowboys 24-6 in Dallas in 2013.

Dating back to 2008, the Texans have been a strong road team in the preseason with a 10-7 SU and 11-6 ATS road record per the OddsShark NFL Database.

Every team's primary goal in the preseason is to stay healthy, and the Dallas Cowboys were unable to do that this year. Tony Romo's back injury last week bumps rookie Dak Prescott into the starter role -€” and reduces the Cowboys' expected points per game against a league-average defense from 27.2 to 22.5 according to one prediction website.

And that leaves the Cowboys in the precarious situation of starting both a rookie quarterback and a rookie running back in Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in Week 1.

Both of Dallas' star rookies will not be playing in the Cowboys' final preseason game as the team looks to avoid any more injuries to starters. Dallas is just 2-10 SU and 4-8 ATS in its last 12 preseason games, but 2-0 SU and ATS in its last two preseason games at home.

Thursday's total is set at 37 points. The UNDER is 8-4-2 in Dallas' last 14 preseason games and 6-0 in Houston's last six preseason games on the road.

Given Houston's preseason success in recent years and Dallas's lack thereof, it isn't surprising that this line moved from Houston -1 to Houston -3 as action has poured in on the Texans. Both teams start their regular seasons at home next Sunday.

Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys

When: Thursday, September 1, 8 p.m. ET

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Texans at Cowboys OddsShark Matchup Report