A day after the big news of Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension – pending appeal, of course – America’s Team takes the field for the second time this preseason as part of tonight’s three-game NFL slate. Covers checks in on the action with Tony Miller, sportsbook director at the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams – Open: +2.5; Move: +3; Move: +2.5
It’s not as if Elliott was going to be in the backfield a lot tonight, but Dallas does plan to give its starters a little time in this contest, including breakout quarterback Dak Prescott. It was last year in the preseason, against this same Rams team, that Prescott made his first start and completed an impressive 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
He went on to lead the Pokes to a 13-3 SU regular-season record (10-6 ATS) before Dallas bowed out in the divisional round of the playoffs in a 34-31 home loss to Green Bay as a 5.5-point favorite.
For Los Angeles, starting QB Jared Goff and other first-teamers will also see some early action in this 9 p.m. ET kickoff.
“Right now, we’ve got a little more money on the Cowboys, and the ticket count is a little higher,” Miller said around noon PT. “But it’s good two-way action. There’s more on the Cowboys, but not enough to push me to Cowboys -2.5 (-120) or back to 3.”
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals – Open: -3; Move: None
Oakland went 12-4 SU and 10-6 ATS last season, but star QB Derek Carr suffered a broken leg late in the season, and the Raiders fell to Houston in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Carr might return tonight, but likely only for a series or two. Arizona intends to send out Carson Palmer and the first team for a little action in this 10 p.m. ET contest.
The line hasn’t moved at the Golden Nugget, but that could change today.
“I’ve got more on the Raiders right now,” Miller said. “The ticket count is probably triple on the Raiders. Oakland is a team that gets a lot of support at the Nugget, from tourists and locals. There’s a good chance I might go to 2.5.”
The Raiders were also seeing moneyline action, and Miller said the total has gone from 39.5 to 40.5, and could be heading to 41.
“I’ve got one ticket on the under,” he said.
Tennessee Titans at New York Jets – Open: +3; Move: None
Like Derek Carr, Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota is returning from a late-season broken leg last year. Mariota is expected to get a series or two with the starters. New York hasn’t named a starter for tonight’s 7:30 ET kickoff, though Christian Hackenberg is expected to get first-team reps in competition with Josh McCown and Bryce Petty.
“There is no support for the Jets,” Miller said. “I opened 3, I’m still at 3, but I think I’m gonna go to 3.5. The money is not much bigger on the Titans, but the ticket count is.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.