The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers rekindle their NFC rivalry during the Wild Card Round in Arlington, Texas on Sunday afternoon.
The Niners snuck into the playoffs with a thrilling win over the LA Rams in Week 18 and enter the NFL playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, having won seven of their last nine contests. Despite that momentum, San Francisco is an underdog for Dallas, which won the conference’s No. 4 seed on a long stretch.
Here are our free NFL picks and predictions for the 49ers at the Cowboys on January 16.
49ers vs. Cowboys Odds
Odds via the hedges line, an average made up of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Dallas opened between -3 and -4.5 on Sunday night but since Monday the market has stabilized around the Cowboys -3/-3.5. However, those half-point hooks have dried up, and most books treat Dallas as a soft -3 with early play on the underdog 49ers. The total opened as high as 51 points, fell to 49.5 but has since risen to 50.5 points.
Use the live odds widget above to track all future line moves up to kickoff and be sure to check out all NFL odds before placing your bets.
49ers vs Cowboys Predictions
Predictions made on 01/11/2022 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to go to the full analysis.
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49ers vs Cowboys game information
• Site: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
• Dated: Sunday, January 16, 2022
• Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
• TV: SCS
49ers at Cowboys Betting Overview
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49ers: Azeez Al-Shaair LB (Questionable), Marcell Harris LB (Questionable), Mitch Wishnowsky P (Questionable).
Cowboys: Keanu Neal LB (A).
Find our latest NFL injury reports.
Betting trend you need to know
The under is 8-3 in the Cowboys’ last 11 games. Find more NFL betting trends for 49ers vs. Cowboys.
49ers vs Cowboys picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from spread and total analysis and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the game we like the most for this game, which we will actually put some of our bankroll behind.
It’s been a while since the Cowboys posted a quality win. Dallas swallowed a cupcake-laden end to the regular season, with wins over Washington (twice), Giants, Eagles and Saints (with Taysom Hill injured at QB) since a failed Thanksgiving game (36-33 OT loss against Las Vegas).
The telling tilt in that streak was a 25-22 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17, in which the Cowboys struggled to move the chains (3 for 11 in the third try), mustered just over 300 yards of attack and held on. on the ball for just 25:18.
This game against San Francisco will undoubtedly be the toughest defense Dallas has seen since at least the Week 13 win over New Orleans. The Niners’ stopping unit increased the intensity in the second half of the slate, ranking No. 7 in the EPA allowed per game since Week 10 (-0.059) while controlling six of their last nine enemies with 20 points or less in regulation.
Dallas’ offense has definitely favored the home court this season, posting 5.1 yards per point inside AT&T Stadium (fourth highest) — compared to just 1.7 on the road. But with the way San Francisco runs the ball and takes its time (29.52 seconds per game – fourth-slowest), the Cowboys’ star-studded offense won’t see the number of touches it would like.
The Cowboys rank 16th in Run Defense DVOA at Football Outsiders and move 4.5 yards allowed per carry. Opposing rushing games have posted rushing totals of 190, 126, 143 and 127 yards in Dallas’ last four losses. San Francisco is averaging over 127 rushing yards per game, bringing that average to 131 over the past three games.
While we missed the few Niners +3.5 spreads that were there, we’re catching +3 (-110) as many stores trade the field goal underdog down to -115 Tuesday morning, indicating potential movement towards +2.5.
Prediction: 49ers +3 (-110)
Covers NFL betting analysis
San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was fantastic in the second half of Sunday’s win, especially on that final drive of the fourth quarter to force the extra period. However, the 49ers don’t want to pass 33 times — especially against a ball-peddling Dallas secondary that’s creating a lot of chaos.
The Cowboys finished the season leading with 34 points, including 26 steals. That could keep Garoppolo on a short leash on Sunday as the Niners passer has struggled with INTs this season, throwing two in the win over LA to put him at 20 on the year. Dallas’ defense has boosted its profile all season with these takeaways, but is struggling not to create game-changing plays.
With that in mind, expect the San Francisco offense to stick to the classics and keep everything simple and between the hash marks. The Niners’ passing game relies heavily on short strikes and yards after the catch and Dallas allowed the league’s fourth-highest YAC (2,262 YAC).
As for the Cowboys offense, it faces a Niners defense that is among the best to stuff the run (No. 2 in DVOA) and a pass rush from San Fran that went crazy last month. The 49ers have 20 total sacks in their last five games, including five against the Rams last weekend.
The Cowboys offensive line is still among the best in the business, sitting ninth in adjusted sack rate heading into the playoffs and allowed 33 total sacks in 17 games. But that pressure will force Dak Prescott to get rid of the ball faster and won’t allow bigger plays to develop.
That total opened up to 51 points and briefly dipped below 50 before rising to 50.5. We’ll be happy to take on the Under in what will be a very physical Wild Card contest on Sunday afternoon.
Prediction: Less than 50.5 (-110)
The Cowboys’ recent production skews that total, having had 56 points against the Eagles last week and snagged 51 at Washington in Week 16. Dallas was able to top a COVID-decimated Philadelphia team by playing an unnecessary game and rolled on a road-weary WFT playing its second away game in five days.
Beyond those blowouts, Dallas had 22 points against Arizona, had just 21 against the lowly Giants, had 21 points on offense against the WFT in Week 14 and just 20 at NOLA in Week 14. week 15. The Cowboys were 6 for 15 in the red zone in those games, leaving plenty of points on the table.
Dallas’ team total for Sunday is set at 27.5 points. Removing those asymmetric squashes from Washington and Philadelphia, the Cowboys haven’t topped that production since scoring 33 points against the Raiders on Thanksgiving. San Francisco has only given up more than 27 points once in its last nine outings.
Take: Dallas Team Total Under 27.5 (-124)