Cowboys vs 49ers Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFC Divisional Round Preview

Cowboys vs 49ers Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFC Divisional Round Preview article feature image
  • The 49ers are 3.5-point favorites against the Cowboys at FanDuel.
  • The winner will face the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday.
  • Anthony Dabbundo delivers his Cowboys vs 49ers pick and preview below.

The fourth and final spot for Conference Championship weekend in the NFL is on the line on Sunday as we make our Cowboys vs. 49ers pick in a rematch of last season's opening round playoff game.

Betting markets have widely considered the Cowboys and 49ers as two of the three best teams in the NFC this season — along with the Eagles — and both overcame quarterback injuries to get to this point.

San Francisco dominated the second half against Seattle in the Wild Card Round and comes in with two days of extra rest, while Dak Prescott is fresh off one of the best passing games by EPA per drop back in modern NFL history.

The 49ers opened this Divisional Round game as a four-point home favorite and the line has bounced back and forth between -3.5 and -4 all week. San Francisco benefitted from a friendly schedule of opponents this season, and there are reasons to wonder if it's really as good as the market rating says with rookie Brock Purdy at quarterback.

Cowboys vs 49ers Odds

Sunday, Jan. 22
6:30 p.m. ET
Cowboys Odds
-105o / -115u
49ers Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.
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Cowboys vs. 49ers Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Cowboys and 49ers match up statistically:

Cowboys vs. 49ers DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA151
Pass DVOA135
Rush DVOA102
Overall DVOA62
Pass DVOA33
Rush DVOA135

Dallas Offense vs. San Francisco Defense

Much has been written about Prescott's turnover problems, but the Cowboys are still one of the most efficient and successful offenses on a play-to-play basis.

It's true Prescott made more mistakes this year — his turnover-worthy play rate is double his career average — but Dallas' offense is second in success rate when he's on the field.

Prescott's precision passing was on full display Monday night against an above-average — and healthy — Tampa Bay secondary. He had one of the 10 best playoff performances ever by EPA per drop back.

While the final box score from last week flatters San Francisco overall, it's important to note how much that game was a toss-up until Geno Smith's red zone fumble. The Seahawks have a barely above-average pass offense this season. They had 14 sets of downs that began with a pass and converted a first down on 13 of those. Smith completed 73.5% of his passes and it wasn't all underneath throws — his average depth of target was 9.5 yards.

The Seahawks had plenty of receivers open down the field after the film rewatch, too. The 49ers' defensive backfield is ripe to get exposed by a capable quarterback. It was less than a month ago that Jarrett Stidham diced up San Francisco for a 61% success rate and 0.26 EPA per pass.

The 49ers only faced two offenses that rank in the top 10 in EPA per drop back — Kansas City and Miami. As good as they were stopping the Dolphins, the Chiefs moved through them easily and scored 41 points. The 49ers faced the easiest schedule of opposing pass offenses this season and now they'll see one of the league's best units.

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San Francisco Offense vs. Dallas Defense

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn have plenty of history coaching together and facing off against one another.

This will be a fascinating matchup as Dallas looks to apply pressure and collapse the pocket on Purdy before he can escape and expose Dallas with his medley of overpowering offensive weapons.

Purdy finished with an incredible stat line for a rookie playoff quarterback, but it wasn't without inaccuracies, questionable decisions and turnover worthy plays. For what Purdy adds over Jimmy Garappolo in the off-script stuff, there are plenty of flaws and rookie moments in his decision making.

San Francisco's offense should have plenty of success running the ball against Dallas' defensive front. The Cowboys struggled to stop Philadelphia on the ground in both meetings and couldn't really contain Green Bay either.

However, Purdy hasn't seen a pass rush as good as Dallas', or an overall defense of this quality. He's only faced one top-10 defense in his short career (Commanders). The 49ers scored 37 points and moved the ball at will in that game, but it should be noted they had four scoring drives — 20 points worth — of fewer than 35 yards.

We're going to see what Purdy looks like against the top pressure rate defense and it's likely he'll be forced into a mistake.

Betting Picks

NFL side markets are pretty efficient at this point in the year and we know what to expect from the Cowboys. Prescott turnovers could doom them, but the 49ers are the team whose market rating may be overvalued because of their secondary.

In a year where scoring was down, in addition to a decline in quarterback play across the league, perhaps no defense benefitted more than San Francisco. The 49ers didn't play the Eagles, Cowboys, Lions or Vikings in the NFC. Their top expected division rivals — the Rams and Cardinals — had quarterback injuries and terrible offensive seasons.

In the AFC, the 49ers even got to face the Chargers without any of Justin Herbert's receivers. San Francisco's defense is clearly good, but the market is overrating it in my view. And if Purdy has to play from behind, the Cowboys are the first defense that can truly challenge Shanahan's juggernaut.

This is a field goal game and I like Dallas +3.5 or better. Get the latest NFL odds here with the line at +4 at some sportsbooks.

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