Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers (1/22 @ 6:30 PM EST)
Spread: 49ers -3.5
Money Line: Cowboys +170 / 49ers -193
Overview and Betting Info
The Dallas Cowboys (12-5) will head to the bay area to take on the San Francisco 49ers (13-4) for the final game of the NFL Divisional Round. These teams did not play each other during the regular season. The Cowboys came into the playoffs as the top Wild Card, while the Niners won the NFC West.
The Cowboys are 11-7 against the spread this season, covering five of their nine road games. They have gone over the total nine times but have been under in their last three games.
The Niners are 12-6 versus the spread and have covered eight of their last nine games. They’ve gone over the total ten times, including in six of their last seven.
The Cowboys’ offense averaged 354.9 yards and 27.5 points per game this season. They are led by Dak Prescott, who threw 2,860 yards and 23 touchdowns in just 12 games. He was incredible last week, completing 75% of his passes for 305 yards and five combined touchdowns. Last week’s performance broke a seven-game interception streak, keeping his total at 15. The turnovers have been an enormous concern, and he will need to avoid them again this week if they want a shot to beat the Niners.
The Dallas receiving corps has been led by Ceedee Lamb, who has 1,359 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. He finished the season strong, going for over 100 yards in three of his final four regular-season games. While he managed just four catches for 68 yards last week, he did find the end zone. Lamb is joined by Dalton Schultz (577 yards, 5 TD), Noah Brown (555 yards, 5 TD), and Michael Gallup (424 yards, 4 TD). Schultz led the group last week with 95 yards and two touchdowns, by far his best game of the season. Gallup also found the end zone, while Brown had a quiet game.
Tony Pollard (1,007 yards, 9 TD) and Ezekiel Elliott (876 yards, 5 TD) lead the Dallas backfield, with the two splitting snaps all season. Pollard has been the better playmaker (5.2 YPC), while Elliot has been better at wearing down defensive lines. Pollard has been the better receiving back, with 371 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He looked great last week, but Elliot averaged just 2.1 YPC for 27 yards. They will need both to be on their game on Sunday as they face one of the league’s elite defenses.
The Cowboys’ defense allowed 330.2 yards and 20.1 points per game this season. While they played well last week against Tampa, they allowed 27.2 points per game over their final five to finish the regular season. Their front is led by Micah Parsons (13.5 sacks, 13 TFL, 3 FF, 3 FR, 1 TD) and Dorance Armstrong (8.5 sacks, 10 TFLs). Parsons is one of the league’s elite defenders and registered a sack last week while breaking up two passes. Strong was less effective, but they have depth with Dante Fowler Jr and DeMarcus Lawrence, which helped them accumulate the third-highest sack total in the NFL (54). The Dallas secondary has been led by DaRon Bland (7 PD, 5 INT) and Trevon Diggs (14 PD, 3 INT). Bland’s rookie season has been a blessing for this team, as he has been fantastic all year. We will also be keeping on safety Donovan Wilson as he leads the team with 101 tackles to go with five sacks and seven TFLs.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners’ offense has been excellent this season despite losing Garoppolo, averaging 365.6 yards (5th in NFL) and 26.5 points (6th) per game. They have been on fire over their last four games, averaging 38.3 points. They’ve been led by Brock Purdy over their previous nine games, with the rookie throwing for 1,374 yards and 13 touchdowns. The former ” Mr. Irrelevant” went for 332 yards and three touchdowns through the air, with another touchdown on the ground. It was equally impressive that he did not turn the ball over, even in a first half where the Seahawks were at their best. He has ten touchdowns to just two interceptions over his last four games.
The San Francisco receiving corps is solid, led by tight end George Kittle (765 yards, 11 TD). He was surprisingly quiet last week, with just two catches for 37 yards and ending a four-game touchdown streak that saw him score seven times. Kittle is joined by a pair of talented receivers in Deebo Samuel (632 yards, 2 TD) and Brandon Aiyuk (1,015 yards, 8 TD). Both were active last week, with Samuel leading the group with 165 combined yards (32 through the air) and a touchdown. While Deebo is the better playmaker, Aiyuk had the best season of his young career and is turning into one of the more reliable pass catchers in the league.
The Niners sport one of the best backfields in the league, led by Christian McCaffrey (1,139 rush yards, 741 receiving yards, 13 total TD). He’s been incredible with the Niners and combined for 136 yards and a touchdown in their win last week. He averaged an astounding 7.9 YPC, which is why the Niners came back to blow out Seattle. Behind McCaffrey is Elijah Mitchell (279 yards, 2 TD), who only played in five games during the regular season. He caught a touchdown last week but was shut down on the ground. After missing a month, it was his second game back, so we expect him to look sharper this week.
The Niners’ defense is arguably the best in the league, leading in yards (300.6) and points (16.3) per game. While they struggled by giving up 17 points in the second quarter of their Wild Card game, they allowed just six points in the other three. Nick Bosa has led their front (18.5 sacks, 19 TFL) with linebacker Fred Warner (130 tackles, 2 sacks, 10 PD). Bosa led the league in sacks and finished second in TFLs, while Warner leads the team in tackles and has been making plays all over the field. Their secondary is led by safeties Tashaun Gipson Sr (8 PD, 5 INT) and Talanoa Hufanga (9 PD, 4 INT). As good as they’ve been, the secondary has been average for most of the year by allowing 222.9 yards per game.