Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Predictions & Analysis

January 22, 6:30 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Dal +4/SF -4

The Cowboys and 49ers met for a whole bunch of big games back in the latter part of the last century; since then, not so much. But they’ll meet for another big one Sunday night in an NFC divisional-round playoff bout in Santa Clara.

Dallas just rolled Tom Brady and Tampa Bay in a wild-card game last week, while San Francisco extended its winning streak to 11 with a wild-card win over Seattle.

Who do we like here for our free NFL playoffs betting pick?

NFL Playoffs Betting Lines

The NFL playoffs betting odds opened San Francisco at -3.5 for Sunday, with an over/under of right around 46.5. Early betting action then edged the Niners to -4.

According to Sagarin's NFL ratings at USAToday.com, the 49ers should be favored by four points for this match-up.

Cowboys-49ers NFL Betting Preview

Dallas reached this NFC divisional round by trouncing Tampa Bay in a wild-card game Monday night, 31-14. The Cowboys took the lead for good midway through the first quarter and, with help from a pick of Brady in the end zone, led 18-0 at the half. Dallas then scored the first six points of the second half and rolled home from there for the victory and the cover at -2.5.

The Cowboys out-gained the Buccaneers 425-386, and almost 2/3 of the yardage the Dallas defense gave up came in garbage time. The Pokes also out-rushed Tampa 128-52, won the time of possession by a 35:25 split, and did not commit a turnover.

That performance came as a welcome bounce-back after Dallas laid an egg in the regular-season finale at Washington, a 26-6 defeat.

But going back into November, the Cowboys are 7-2 SU, 4-4-1 ATS over their last nine games, and one of those losses was that game they blew at Jacksonville. Dallas also averaged 32 points per game over that span, while the defense limited opponents to 20 points or less five times.

During the regular season, the Cowboys out-gained 11 of their 17 opponents and out-rushed nine of 17 foes.

San Francisco reached this NFC divisional round by beating Seattle in a wild-card game last Saturday 41-23. The 49ers scored the first 10 points of the game but seemed to ease up a bit and trailed 17-16 at the half. San Francisco then awoke, scored touchdowns on its first three possessions of the second half, and cruised from there for the win and the money at -10.

The Niners out-gained the Seahawks 505-332, out-rushed Seattle 181-104, held a 33:27 time of possession advantage, and won the turnover battle 2-0. creating a +13 points differential.

During its 11-game winning streak, San Francisco is 9-2 ATS, covering three double-digit spreads along the way.

During the regular season, the 49ers out-gained 15 of their 17 opponents and out-rushed 14 of 17 foes. They're also +18 on the turnover margin just over their last nine games!

Cowboys-49ers Recent History

These teams have met in the playoffs eight times before, Dallas winning five of those games. But most recently, San Francisco “upset” the Cowboys in a wild-card game last January in Arlington 23-17. The 49ers, with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB, led that game 13-0 early and 23-7 late, then got the clock to run out on Dallas' last-gasp drive.

San Francisco out-rushed the Cowboys that day 169-77.

Also, that game played way under a total of 51.

NFL Playoffs Betting Trends

  • Over the last five NFL playoff divisional rounds home teams are 14-6 SU and 12-8 ATS.
  • Over the last five divisional rounds, favorites are 15-5 SU and 13-7 ATS.
  • With last week's wild-card win, the Cowboys are now 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS against teams that made the playoffs this season.
  • With last week's wild-card win, the 49ers are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS against playoff qualifiers.
  • The Cowboys would have played 13-4 ATS at +4 all season.
  • The 49ers would have played 12-5 ATS at -4 all season.

Totals Report

The Totals split 8-8-1 in Cowboys games this season, which averaged 48 total points. Then last week's wild-card game against Tampa played under a total of 45.5 thanks to all those missed extra points.

The Overs played 9-8 in 49ers games this season, which averaged 43 points. Then last week's game against Seattle played over a total of 43.

The Overs played 4-2 in the wild-card round last week.

Cowboys at 49ers Pick ATS - NFC Divisional Round

Dallas rebounded nicely last week, but that might just make them candidates for a regression this week. Also, Tampa isn’t very good. And now the Cowboys gotta worry about their kicker; what the hell’s he thinking going into this game? San Francisco, meanwhile, had to slog it through three quarters against Seattle last week, but that might be good for them. The 49ers are starting a rookie at QB, but a QB’s best friends are a running game and a great defense, and they’ve got both. Also, for what it’s worth, the Cowboys played on the East Coast on Monday night, and now they’re playing on the West Coast on Sunday night. Might the travel and shorter rest take a toll? We’re giving the points here with the Niners.

Free Pick: 
Take San Francisco -4