Rivalries are one of the best parts of the NFL, and we are being given a chance to watch one of the most historic rivalries in the history of the game on Sunday night. The Dallas Cowboys will head to Santa Clara to tangle with the juggernaut San Francisco 49ers. It is the kind of NFL matchup that even casual fans will have to tune into.
Bet on Cowboys vs. 49ers
Before the opening kickoff on Sunday night, there is a lot of ground to cover. In this preview, we will look at the different odds, learn how both teams arrived at this point, get informed about relevant injuries, and learn about the various betting trends that could impact your decisions.
Cowboys vs. 49ers Odds
|Cowboys Moneyline Odds||+155|
|49ers Moneyline Odds||-175|
|Spread odds||Cowboys +3.5 (-120), 49ers -3.5 (-110)|
|Over/Under||45.0 points (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Oct. 8, 8:20 p.m. ET|
About the Dallas Cowboys (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS, 2-2 o/u)
For the most part, the Cowboys have lived up to the world of hype that had been heaped on them prior to this year. Granted, their schedule hasn’t been the hardest so far, but a 3-1 record is a 3-1 record. The one major blemish on the schedule comes in the form of a 28-16 loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals, who ran all over what is thought to be one of the best defences in football.
Aside from that, the Cowboys have looked dominant. Not counting that Week 3 loss to the Cardinals, the Cowboys’ defence has allowed just 13 points in three games. They absolutely destroyed their division rivals, the New York Giants, in Week 1 to the tune of 40-0, setting the tone right from the start.
The Cowboys have also dominated a pair of AFC East teams through four weeks. In Week 2, they dominated the Aaron Rodgers-less Jets 30-10, making the offence look completely inept. Their 38-3 whooping of the Patriots last week got quarterback Mac Jones benched and put everyone back in the corner of the Cowboys.
These Cowboys have all the pieces necessary to be a Super Bowl contender. The defence taking a step forward to become one of the most dominant outfits in the league and their recent performances have only fanned those flames. This game against the 49ers will be the true test as to whether the Cowboys are for real or if they have merely been beating up on bad teams early in the season.
About the San Francisco 49ers (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS, 2-2 o/u)
A quick comment about the 49ers against the spread record. They are 3-1 on the season and would be 4-0 if not for a completely meaningless field goal by the Rams in Week 2. The 49ers won by 7, coming just shy of the 7.5-point spread.
The 49ers have been the most dominant team in the NFL so far this season. Like the Cowboys, the 49ers really haven’t played any of the top contenders, either. They have wins over the Steelers, Rams, Giants, and Cardinals, all of whom are near the bottom of the league in terms of record, points for, and points against.
Despite the lack of quality opponents, there is very little that critics can point to when talking about the 49ers. The defence is allowing just 14.5 points per game while scoring nearly 39 points per game. The offence might be the most talented in the league with weapons at every position. That’s not even mentioning the fact that they have one of the best offensive lines in the league.
The focus continues to be on quarterback Brock Purdy. Many wondered if his hot run in 2022 was legitimate and he has been even better than advertised so far this season. He is completing more than 72 percent of his passes for just over 1,000 yards, throwing for five touchdowns and zero interceptions. He looks confident and comfortable (and the elite running game provided by Christian McCaffrey doesn’t hurt).
In a game like this, there aren’t really “mismatches,” so to speak. Both teams are talented and deep, especially on the defensive side of the ball. So, the focus in this game will be on the offensive tackles on each side. Their ability to give their respective quarterbacks an extra second could potentially dictate how effective the offence can be.
For the Cowboys, Tyron Smith is going to be tasked with handling DE Nick Bosa. An early contender for the Defensive Player of the Year Award, Bosa is as disruptive a defensive end as you are going to find in the league. He moves around a lot, so both tackle spots will be tested, but Smith will have the tougher assignment between the two.
The case is the same for the 49ers. Cowboys pass rusher Micah Parsons is a game-changer and moves around as well. Trent Williams is one of the best offensive linemen in the game and can typically be left alone with anyone. The test will come when the Cowboys move Parsons around to get him away from Williams so that he can successfully pressure Purdy.
Christian McCaffrey over 78.5 passing yards
The good news for the 49ers is that no one is substantially banged up. Key players are dealing with nagging issues but that is life in the NFL these days. Deebo Samuel is dealing with a few injuries that have kept him limited in practice. McCaffrey and Williams have gotten rest this week to keep them fresh for the big showdown on Sunday night.
The same goes for the Cowboys. Smith is dealing with a knee injury but practiced on Thursday. The same goes for Parsons, who has been limited all week. CeeDee Lamb has a knee injury that kept him out on Wednesday, but he was a full participant on Thursday. At this point, it is about performing maintenance on nagging injuries.
Despite having largely warm weather, it is going to be a bit chilly when Sunday Night Football kicks off. There is no chance of rain and the wind will be light. It will be quite humid (85%) and the temperature will hover right around the 12-13 degree mark.
- The 49ers have been not only dominant in terms of win-loss record, but when it comes to covering the spread. They are 3-1 this year (and really should be 4-0 if not for a questionable decision by Rams coach Sean McVey) and were 11-6 last year. The 49ers are not just covering this year but covering comfortably.
- Though the Cowboys are not quite as dominant going back to the start of 2022 ATS (they were 9-7-1 last year), they are also 3-1 ATS in 2023. And like the 49ers, the Cowboys don’t keep it close when the cover. They are blowing out teams and covering by a wide margin, though that isn’t as likely to happen here.
- The over/under (45 points) is an interesting one to watch. Both teams are just 2-2 on the over this year, with the Cowboys being just 4-6 over their last 10 (the 49ers are 6-4). Both offences have been prolific this year, but this feels like it is going to be a defensive battle given the limited opportunities that the defences allow.
Player prop trends
- Christian McCaffrey has a relatively high rushing yardage prop (78.5 yards) but that’s what happens when you’re the most dominant back in the game. He has bested that mark in all four games this year and really only came close when he picked up 85 yards against the Giants. He has three 100-yard rushing games so far this year, easily passing that mark.
- Dak Prescott’s passing yardage prop is set at 241.5 yards for this one. Despite the feeling that he really hasn’t let loose, he has bested that number in all but the first game (where he didn’t even have to try). Dak finds a way to produce, though the 49ers will be his biggest challenge yet.
- All eyes continue to be on Brock Purdy. His passing yardage prop is slightly higher than Dak (245.5 yards), a mark he has hit the last two weeks. This will be the biggest litmus test in his young career.
Wagers to consider
- Despite both offences being capable of putting up points, these are two of the three best defences in terms of points allowed per game. This is going to be a slugfest, so take the under (45, -110).
- The Cowboys can be run on, ranking 17th in the NFL at 111.8 rushing yards allowed per game. McCaffrey is a beast in every way and is going to break off a big run or two. Hammer his rushing yardage over (78.5, -110).
- Dak hasn’t quite looked himself this year and the 49ers are going to be his biggest test. Look for frustration and go with the under on his passing touchdowns (1.5, -140) as he likely throws one or more interceptions.