Cowboys vs. 49ers Odds, Predictions: Dak Prescott and Co. Are Favored In Wild Card Round of 2022 NFL Playoffs
Getty Images. Pictured: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and 49ers TE George Kittle
Cowboys vs. 49ers Odds
The 3-seeded Cowboys are set to take on the 6-seeded 49ers on Wild Card Weekend of the 2022 NFL Playoffs. Find one of our expert’s projected odds, another’s early bet on the spread, and a recap of each team’s seasons below.
Cowboys vs. 49ers Schedule
Cowboys vs. 49ers Projections
Our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, reveals his initial projections for the spread and over/under based on his model. These are subject to change before kickoff, though, so be sure to check out our NFL PRO Projections — i.e. real-time consensus projections based on models of six experts (including Sean).
- Spread: Cowboys -5.5
- Total: 47
Cowboys vs. 49ers Predictions
Pick: 49ers +3.5 or Better
Brandon Anderson: This has the the feel of the marquee game of the Wild Card Round — the one that will have the biggest impact on the playoffs going forward. The Cowboys were my sleeper Super Bowl pick before the season at +3500 and I just bet the 49ers as my sleeper heading into the playoffs.
This is a big-time matchup between big-time teams each capable of making a deep postseason run.
No one expected the Cowboys defense to be this good. It’s the clear strength of the team, particularly up front. Micah Parsons has been a revelation — the rookie, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory can take over a game. They’re the reason the Cowboys have the No. 1 pass defense in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
That defensive line is good enough to make a Super Bowl run. Are the rest of the Cowboys, though?
Dallas ran up the score on Philadelphia and Washington in primetime late, but against mostly backups. The offense has otherwise sputtered over the second half of the season. Dak Prescott hasn’t totally looked himself after that calf injury, and the run game is now MIA. The run defense is also a real problem — they rank in the bottom-half of the NFL at both running and stopping the run.
That could be a serious problem against the 49ers.
The Niners offense is really good, and unlike the Cowboys, they’re peaking over the second half of the season. San Francisco entered Week 18 top-five in passing and rushing DVOA, then put up huge yards on a terrific Rams defense, even without stud LT Trent Williams. He, George Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk open huge lanes in this attack while Deebo Samuel is a yards-after-catch monster with the ball.
The 49ers’ dynamic rushing attack makes them a unique threat in the NFC. They’re also one of the league’s best run defenses. Their pass defense is beatable, but the Cowboys haven’t shown they can consistently pass the ball down the stretch — they can win this game in the air, but not if they can’t tackle or get off the field defensively.
We back Kyle Shanahan as an underdog. He’s 25-17 against the spread (ATS) in the regular season as a dog, covering 60% of the time, per our Action Labs data. I give the Niners a decisive coaching advantage with Mike McCarthy on the other sideline. And in a close game, that edge matters.
Also, Prescott is 1-2 straight up and 0-3 ATS in the postseason while Jimmy Garoppolo is surprisingly 2–1 ATS.
Garoppolo’s injury is a concern, but he looked pretty good leading the 49ers back against the Rams on Sunday with the season on the line. I’m actually more concerned about Williams — he and Kittle are the most important players on this team.
With a healthy Williams, I like the 49ers to cover and win as underdogs. With he and Garoppolo uncertain, though, I would only bet the Niners now if you can get them at +3.5 or better (check real-time NFL odds here). Otherwise this is only a “lean” until we receive news about their statuses.
How Cowboys Reached 2022 NFL Playoffs
Micah Parsons will definitely win Defensive Rookie of the Year and is putting in a season comparable to Lawrence Taylor’s rookie campaign — often regarded as the best pass rusher in history. Trevon Diggs is among the best cornerbacks in the game for the No. 1 defense in the NFL.
And Dak Prescott has returned from a devastating ankle injury with no issues. The Cowboys rank in the top five in the NFL at every major offensive metric. They have weapons at every skill position and while their offensive line has regressed, it hasn’t been by a dangerous degree.
The Cowboys will host a home playoff game and are certainly Super Bowl contenders — to the eye test and according to analytics.
How 49ers Reached 2022 NFL Playoffs
Chase Howell: The 49ers had an up-and-down season but were able to sneak into the playoffs in the NFC. It’s clear the Niners have the firepower to be one of the top teams in the NFL, but it was rare that they performed like it throughout the regular season.
Deebo Samuel has emerged as one of the best offensive weapons in the league and Elijah Mitchell has shown he can be a reliable starter at running back. They may have a quarterback controversy on their hands heading into the postseason with Jimmy Garoppolo returning from a thumb injury and No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance looking more than serviceable in relief.
On the defensive side, they ranked eighth in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ total DVOA on defense and are one of the better units in the NFL with elite pass rushing.