The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers game might be my favorite of Wild Card Weekend. If you play this game 10 times, both teams would probably win five each. It’s a fun matchup, and Dak Prescott, Jimmy Garoppolo, and all of the talent on display will make for must-watch television. Let’s examine the 49ers vs. Cowboys Wild Card matchup, look at the latest NFL odds, and make a pick and prediction.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys odds, prediction
- Spread: Cowboys -3 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Cowboys -165, 49ers +145
- Over/Under: 50.5
The 49ers are no slouch
The 49ers dragged themselves out of a slump and muscled their way into the playoffs. They started the season 2-4, but a grueling schedule played a part in that lack of success. After starting out 2-0, the Niners lost four in a row, falling to the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and the Indianapolis Colts.
They had to face the Rams twice, too. When you consider the fact that there are three playoff teams from the NFC West, it becomes clear that San Francisco has not taken an easy ride to the postseason.
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Garoppolo has produced one of his best seasons in a 49ers uniform, and he gained a lot of respect from many around the league for his crucial Week 18 performance. He’s playing with a thumb injury in his throwing hand, yet still drove a comeback against the Rams to help his team secure a place in the playoffs.
This team has survived the departure of Robert Saleh, who ran one of the league’s most effective defenses. With a rebuilt game plan and a sturdy defense in place (plus the likes of Deebo Samuel and George Kittle on offense), you can win any football game if things go the right way.
Can the Cowboys be contained?
The Cowboys have scored 50+ points twice in the last three games. Those wins came against Washington in Week 16 and the Eagles in Week 18. I know Week 18 was effectively a day off for both sides, but the confidence the offense will take from those two outings is imperative.
Dallas may have won the division, but they haven’t played smooth football offensively this season. It’s been up and down all year, and sometimes they’re just not on the same page as a unit. However, when they are, they’re very difficult to stop.
Dak and his talented unit — including CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Ezekiel Elliott — have enjoyed the benefit of a turnover-heavy defense. Micah Parsons was a home-run draft pick and will almost assuredly be taking home the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He hit the ground running immediately, and he’s been the best player on the Cowboys’ roster this season.
Trevon Diggs ended the season with 11 interceptions and 9 pass breakups, which are crazy numbers. That said, he’s also given up over 1,000 yards in coverage. I like where the young man is headed, but he’s not quite there yet as a fully-versed lockdown cornerback.
49ers vs. Cowboys betting trends
The Cowboys have won five of their last six against the spread, as they went on a hot streak leading up to the playoffs. Dallas was a stunning 13-4 against the spread this season. They made some consistent bettors very happy with those numbers.
Meanwhile, the 49ers have also won four of their last five against the spread, and they cashed four overs in the process. San Francisco started the year 1-5 against the spread, but they’ve turned it around, covering in seven of their last nine.
49ers vs. Cowboys prediction
The 49ers might be entering the playoffs as a lower seed, but they’re by no means going to be an easy out. Their schedule masks how good this team can be. They played nine playoff teams in the regular season. Their record against those teams? 4-5. That’s respectable.
I think the 49ers take down the Cowboys, but it will all come down to their unique offense being able to direct plays away from the dangerous players — Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence — on the Dallas defensive front. The Niners run more motion and misdirection than any other team in the league in order to create mismatches. They’ll need that this weekend.
49ers vs. Cowboys Prediction: 49ers 28, Cowboys 27