The Denver Broncos open their 2022 NFL preseason schedule with a home tilt on Saturday evening. The Broncos welcome the Dallas Cowboys to Empower Field at Mile High in prime time. It is also the preseason opener for Dallas, and the Cowboys are coming off a division title and a 12-5 record in 2021. Denver was just 7-10, but the Broncos will aim to stop a playoff drought behind newly-acquired signal-caller Russell Wilson.

Caesars Sportsbook lists Denver as a 4.5-point favorite at home for this 9 p.m. ET kickoff. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 33.5 in the latest Cowboys vs. Broncos odds. Before making any Broncos vs. Cowboys picks, be sure to see the NFL predictions from SportsLine expert Larry Hartstein.

A former lead writer for Covers and The Linemakers, Hartstein combines a vast network of Vegas sources with an analytical approach he honed while working for Pro Football Focus. Entering the 2022 NFL season, he is 427-344 all-time on NFL sides (plus $3,764 for $100 players), including 394-330 against the spread. Hartstein went 68-50 ATS (58 percent) and 8-3 on money-line plays last season for a profit of $1,552. Anybody who has been following his NFL picks is way up

Now, Hartstein has zoned in on Cowboys vs. Broncos and just locked in his NFL picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks and analysis. Here are the NFL odds and betting lines for Broncos vs. Cowboys:

  • Cowboys vs. Broncos spread: Broncos -4.5
  • Cowboys vs. Broncos over/under: 33.5 points
  • Cowboys vs. Broncos money line: Broncos -200, Cowboys +170
  • DAL: Aiming to win NFC East for second straight season
  • DEN: Have not made the playoffs since the 2015 season
  • Cowboys vs. Broncos picks: See picks at SportsLine
Featured Game | Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys

Why the Cowboys can cover

Dallas has considerable upheaval at the wide receiver position, which brings intrigue no matter the situation in the preseason. With Michael Gallup (ACL) and James Washington (foot) facing injuries and Amari Cooper leaving Dallas, the Cowboys are looking for production to complement CeeDee Lamb. T.J. Vasher and Jalen Tolbert will have the spotlight in the preseason, with Tolbert particularly drawing attention at this early stage. The former South Alabama star produced nearly 1,500 receiving yards last season and put up back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns in college. 

Tolbert is a talented rookie, and Vasher brings great size at 6-foot-5 and a pedigree from Texas Tech. The Cowboys also project to rotate quarterbacks behind Dak Prescott, and Will Grier brings pedigree after arriving from Carolina in the offseason. He will compete with Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci, both of whom have starting experience for the Cowboys.

Why the Broncos can cover 

Denver suffered a loss with Tim Patrick (ACL) in training camp, and the wide receiver's absence creates a void and a battle for playing time. KJ Hamler is the most prominent option to fill his shoes, and the former second round pick did contribute nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie in 2020. Hamler does not bring the same physical profile as Patrick, however, and Seth Williams and Tyrie Cleveland bring additional options for the Broncos. 

Denver is also in a great spot at backup quarterback, especially through a preseason lens. Josh Johnson is the prominent option behind Wilson, and the 36-year-old has a great deal of experience. Johnson is well-respected for his competence, and he also displayed real upside last season. In a start for the Baltimore Ravens, Johnson threw for more than 300 yards with two touchdowns, and that stability could trump what is available from Dallas behind Dak Prescott.

How to make Broncos vs. Cowboys picks

Hartstein is leaning Over the total, but he also says a critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. You can find out what it is and see all of Hartstein's NFL picks and analysis at SportsLine

Who wins Cowboys vs. Broncos on Saturday? And which critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Broncos vs. Cowboys spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the expert who has consistently crushed his NFL picks, and find out.