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NFL Preseason Betting: Bengals Want To Throw, Cowboys Need To Block

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/24/2013 4:02:00 AM

The Cincinnati Bengals want to get to a point where they can throw the ball as well as the Dallas Cowboys can. The Cowboys want to improve skills other than passing the ball.

Keep An Eye On: Dallas’ offensive line

When people who frequently try their hand atonline bettingare confronted by the reality of a new NFL season, they can usually determine the areas of foremost concern for various teams. For the Dallas Cowboys, it’s really rather obvious that offensive line play is the first and (frankly) second concern. Dallas has been quite consistent in racking up passing yards in recent seasons. There has never been any question that quarterback Tony Romo is a talented performer who can compile a lot of 300-yard passing games in a given season, making the Cowboys one of the best passing teams in the league in terms of yardage gained. Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and tight end Jason Witten are all quality pass catchers. This is a team that has plenty of weaponry on the edges. Yet, for all of Dallas’ passing ability, this team has not been able to post a winning record the past few seasons. The Cowboys have failed to make the playoffs, stamping themselves as one of the NFL’s foremost disappointments on a recurring basis.

Sport bettingexperts know that the Cowboys won’t take big steps forward unless or until their offensive line solidifies to the point that Romo can receive more consistent protection, and to the point that the running game can really improve. Demarco Murray is a decent running back, but he’d be better if he had a good line to block for him. So much of what the Cowboys hope to become is dependent on the progress and development of their offensive line. It really is that simple.

Watch The Progress Of:Giovani Bernard (Bengals), Lance Dunbar (Cowboys)

When people in the online sports betting legalcommunity try to assess this game, they’re going to look to Bernard, the Bengals’ number-two running back behind Benjarvus Green-Ellis, as an important player. The Bengals have loaded up on pass catchers in recent drafts, and their ultimate goal is to become one of the elite passing teams in the AFC – that’s how they’re going to win a playoff game if they’re able to do the deed.

However, while trying to become a quality passing team, the Bengals know that they need to be able to run the ball well, too. Bernard is an interesting part of the puzzle in Cincinnati. He’s going to get carries in the backfield, but he can also receive flat passes in open space. This is a player the Bengals need to see at his best in this game. If Bernard stuffs the stat sheet with good numbers, Cincinnati will feel good heading into the regular season.

The Cowboys are looking at their offensive line. They’re also looking at their running backs, but Murray is a proven first-stringer. Dallas needs to see what backup running back Lance Dunbar can do here. If Dunbar performs well here, the Cowboys will be that much more encouraged.

Outlook:

The Cowboys have some incentive to play well in this contest, but the Bengals have even more reason to try to max out in the preseason. They have more upside as a team, and therefore more to prove. Take Cincinnati on the road.

Odds: Cowboys -1.5
Pick: Bengals +1.5


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