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Jaguars vs Cowboys Predictions & Odds

Last Updated: Aug 10, 2023

The Jacksonville Jaguars will head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys on Saturday evening in each team’s first game action of the 2023 NFL preseason. The Jags are coming off an impressive end to the 2022 season in which they rattled off five straight wins to claim the AFC South division.

Second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence led Jacksonville to a comeback win over the LA Chargers in the Wild Card round before dropping a hard-fought game to the Chiefs to end their season.

Meanwhile, Dallas capped off a promising season by knocking off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Wild Card rout before bowing out in the Divisional round with a low-scoring loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

With young, talented QBs at the helm for each franchise and two head coaches seemingly heading in opposite directions, there are plenty of headlines to look out for at AT&T Stadium on Saturday night.

Jaguars vs Cowboys Odds

NFL odds used for this Away City vs Home City preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Wednesday, August 9, at 12:00 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Jaguars (-180) • Cowboys (+150)
  • Spread: Jaguars -4 (-110) • Cowboys +4 (-110)
  • Total Points: Over 37.5 (-108) • Under 37.5 (-112)
  • Implied Score: Jaguars 20.75 - Cowboys 16.75

Jaguars vs Cowboys Predictions

Score Pick: Jaguars 27, Cowboys 13

Predicting results in the first week of the NFL preseason always presents plenty of variables, but sometimes a slight edge can provide betting value, even in a game in which the outcome means very little to all involved.

According to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, Jaguars’ head coach Doug Pederson plans to play Lawrence and other starters for a drive or two. While last year’s 0-4 exhibition record doesn’t promise the Jags to be a preseason powerhouse in 2023, we can look back to the Eagles’ success in 2021 for some potential insight.

Under Pederson, many Philly starters played multiple drives in the first preseason game, illuminating a possible path to meaningful starter snaps for Jacksonville this coming Saturday.

Meanwhile, recent history suggests very little exposure to preseason action for Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott and other Dallas starters under head coach Mike McCarthy. While the 59-year-old shot caller’s presence on the NFL hot seat may change his approach a bit, it’s safe to assume that McCarthy won’t be throwing out the injury-prone likes of Prescott, Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz, and others in game one.

Minimal first-quarter action for the starters doesn’t tell the whole story for NFL preseason games, but pairing the Jags’ advantage in that area with a historically more aggressive coach in Pederson is a reasonable edge to consider here. Factor in the typical lower-scoring output from back-ups in the second half, and that can give us some confidence that Jacksonville can win by at least one score in this one so long as their second and third units take care of the ball on offense.

Jaguars vs Cowboys Best Bets & Props

Over 37.5 (-108)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Both teams came out very slow in their first preseason action of 2022, losing by at least 10 points and scoring a combined 18 points. Pederson is the type of coach that cares about typically trivial things like going winless last preseason, which shows from his comments linked above. Pederson will want to score early and often in Big D as an offensive-minded, aggressive coach.

On the other side of the field, McCarthy is certainly hearing the swirling rumors about his presence on the proverbial hot seat. Even if he doesn’t use his starters as Pederson might, I anticipate a bit more offensive urgency in this one compared to last season. Add in what should be a great atmosphere and fast track in AT&T Stadium, and we should see plenty of points scored, at least in the first half, allowing these teams to coast to an Over in the second 30 minutes.

With all factors pointing towards some fireworks, this angle comes in as our NFL bet of the day for Saturday evening’s contest in Dallas.

Jaguars -2.5 1H (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

It’s not often we get word directly from the head coach that “starters” will play a prominent role in the first preseason game. Rookies who have just been drafted? Sure, that happens all the time. But for a third-year franchise QB to definitely get snaps here is a big deal relative to how most teams deploy their depth chart in the first week of the preseason.

Calvin Ridley will be itching to get back on the field for some meaningful snaps, so it’ll be interesting to see if Pederson allows him to play despite recent ankle concerns. Evan Engram and Tank Bigsby are the only other two starters that may be held out, which still leaves plenty of potential for this Jags offense in the first quarter.

Assuming the Jags can take an early lead, we’re asking the likes of Cooper Rush and Will Grier to lead a second-quarter comeback against a veteran, trustworthy backup in C.J. Beathard for Jacksonville. With help from serviceable skill players like Jamal Agnew, JaMycal Hasty, and D’Ernest Johnson, I expect the Jaguars to keep pressing on offense to keep a field goal lead for the majority of the first half and get Pederson well on his way to his first exhibition victory as a Jag.

Jaguars (HT) / Cowboys (FT) (+850)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 0.25 units

The most likely outcome, in my opinion (and the rest of the world’s opinion), is a Jaguars (HT) / Jaguars (FT) result. However, there’s absolutely no value in betting that at +100, and the lines have been moving toward that result more and more. The first time I saw this Jags/Cowboys option, the line was at +1100. It has since dropped to +850, but I still believe there’s strong value here.

The first part of this wager should be locked in. Sure, a late field goal or turnover in the second quarter could result in a tie, but if Lawrence plays a couple of drives, the Jags should find their way to a lead at halftime. So we’re getting 8/1 odds on the possibility that Beathard and Nathan Rourke get a little too aggressive on offense and turn the ball over a couple of times, leading to easy Dallas scores. Is it the most likely scenario? Probably not. Is it worth a quarter-unit flier to win over two units? Absolutely!

Jaguars vs Cowboys Same Game Parlay

Jaguars vs Cowboys SGP (+196)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

  • Jaguars ML (-185)
  • Over 37.5 (-108)

Covering spreads is rarely important for NFL teams and is even less important in the preseason. As such, the best way to attack this game from a parlay standpoint is to look for points early and often and for the Jags to win. Unfortunately, DraftKings won’t let us parlay the 1H Over with the Jaguars 1H ML. Otherwise, that’s where my money would go. However, if you’d still like to get a plus-money wager on this one, I’d recommend going with the simple Jaguars ML parlayed with the game to hit at least 38 points when the final whistle blows.

Based on my analysis above, it’s easy to see why I fall on those two wagers as my favorite, so we’ll be looking for fireworks early and often inside AT&T Stadium on Saturday evening.

Author

Tommy Bell

Tommy Bell is a long-time season-long and daily fantasy sports analyst who has recently shifted gears to the sports betting world. He's spent many years writing for RotoBaller, SB Nation, and even a stint with USA Today Sports. During graduate school he spent time creating and publishing video content and podcasts for RotoBaller and RosterCoach. When Tommy's not teaching, coaching, or changing his daughter's diapers near Raleigh, NC, he's watching and analyzing sports. He dabbles in many areas but specializes in NFL, MLB, and PGA while really starting to expand his horizons to CFB and CBB. Tommy has also become a diehard Newcastle United supporter since the Premier League returned from its Covid pause. Howay the lads!

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