NFL Week 5 Picks: Time For The Underdogs To Take Over

JJ Watt

Houston Texans (+5.5)* at Dallas Cowboys

By the time the Texans had knocked off the Bills, the home win could have been considered more a function of luck than talent. EJ Manuel was largely responsible for giving the game away, highlighted by a botched screen pass that turned into a J.J. Watt interception return for a touchdown.

To downplay Houston’s ‘Impressive Win Factor’ would be equivalent to boosting Dallas’ after thrashing the Saints on Sunday Night Football. But how much of Dallas’ victory could be attributed to their play versus that of the reeling Saints?

Both 3-1, and both coming off home victories against teams suddenly scuffling, the Texans and Cowboys have yet to reveal their true identities. A win in this game goes a long way for either team, improving to 4-1 and giving credence to the argument of a potential playoff chase.

The key matchup of the game will feature Dallas’ offensive line against Houston’s defensive line. While J.J. Watt anchors what appears to be a ferocious pass rush, his team will have to turn pressure into sacks or turnovers to keep up with the Dallas offense. In addition, they will have to find a way to stop the league’s best rushing attack.

Dallas tends to receive favorable spreads due to their sprawling nationwide fanbase and the impact it has on public perception, but the 3-1 Texans are clearly being overlooked in this matchup. Houston’s defense allows the Texans to beat the spread, but Dallas ultimately wins by a field goal.

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola