Luke McCown

Cowboys favored over Cardinals to kick off preseason in Hall of Fame Game

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The Dallas Cowboys have not been a lock against the spread recently or in recent preseasons, yet they are the favorite against the Arizona Cardinals at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night.

The Cowboys are listed as a one-point favorite against the Cardinals with 35-point total in their NFL preseason betting matchup at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

While the Cowboys are a contender to represent the NFC at Super Bowl LII next February, they are just 3-13 against the spread and 5-11 straight-up in the preseason since 2013. Dallas also went just 1-6 ATS over in its final seven games last season, when it reached the divisional playoff round.

The Cowboys, who were 13-4 SU and 10-6-1 ATS overall in 2016, are unlikely to play any starters, based on how coach Jason Garrett has approached preseason games in the past. They will be running out some seasoned quarterbacks, with backup Kellen Moore likely to start while Luke McCown (10 career starts), and Cooper Rush will also play. McCown has a tidy 11-to-3 TD-to-interception ratio in the preseason over the last four years, but he has also had just barely a week to learn the Cowboys’ offense.

Dallas is 7-2-1 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games against the NFC West according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Cardinals, who were 7-8-1 SU and 6-10 ATS during a down year in 2016, have also confirmed that no starters will play, while Carson Palmer‘s understudy at quarterback, Drew Stanton, will also sit this one out. Blaine Gabbert, a former starter in Jacksonville and San Francisco, is due to play the first half. Gabbert, going off the fact his career-high average per attempt in preseason is 7.3 yards (set in 2015 with the 49ers), might not go downfield often.

Trevor Knight is expected to quarterback the Cardinals in the second half. While it’s difficult to know whether regular-season trends can be applied to preseason games – especially the first one – the Cardinals are 9-1 SU and 9-0-1 ATS over their last 10 games against NFC East teams.

The total went over in all four of the Cowboys’ preseason games in 2016. The total has gone over in seven of the Cardinals’ last eight preseason games, as well as their last seven games overall. Ten of the last 16 Hall of Fame games have had a total of fewer than 35 points. That’s dating back to 2000, since last year’s game was cancelled due to poor field conditions.

FAKE FIELD GOAL ALERT! FAKE FIELD GOAL ALERT! (VIDEO)

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See Colts, that’s how you pull off a fake on special teams.

The Saints just pulled off a beauty of a fake field goal, with the holder, backup quarterback Luke McCown, taking the snap and rolling to his left. Tight end Benjamin Watson split off the formation and ran 20 yards downfield, uncovered. McCown hit him in stride for a 25-yard gain and the Saints scored on the next play for a 7-0 lead.

I hope Griff Whalen wasn’t watching.

Watch Live, Stream: Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints

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Drew Brees will be in uniform when the New Orleans Saints play for their season against the Dallas Cowboys at 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday Night Football.

Brees sat out last week with a bruised rotator cuff as the Saints lost their third straight game and fell to 0-3 on the season. The Saints got solid play from backup Luke McCown, but multiple dropped passes and New Orleans’ bad defense cost the Saints against the Carolina Panthers.

The Dallas Cowboys will have to turn to their own backup quarterback, with Brandon Weeden getting the start again for an injured Tony Romo. Romo will miss his second straight game with a fractured clavicle. Weeden managed a conservative Cowboys attack in a 39-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3.

For kickoff time and tune-in information, check below or follow @SNFonNBC and @NBCSports on Twitter.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: Live Extra

Cowboys vs. Saints

Start time: 8 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: Live Extra