The San Francisco 49ers will travel to AT&T Stadium to face off against the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs at 4:30 PM EST on Sunday.
The 49ers vs Cowboys is a rivalry for the ages, as these two stored franchises have battled in the postseason dating back to 1972. Now, they will meet again on Sunday afternoon in another win-or-go-home matchup.
Read on for our 49ers vs Cowboys predictions and best bets to get you primed for this crucial NFC clash.
All NFL Wild Card odds and lines are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and current as of 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday, January 14.
49ers vs Cowboys Prediction NFC Wild Card Playoffs
This game is poised to be a slugfest. While both clubs have potent offenses that ranked in the top three for yards per play, they also feature strong defenses that each ranked in the top 10 for fewest points allowed.
While Dallas finished first in scoring this year, their offense has been boom-or-bust. San Francisco, on the other hand, was more consistent but has a lower ceiling than the Cowboys’ explosive offense, which eclipsed 40 points five times this season.
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Given how evenly matched these teams are, the difference in this game will likely come down to ball security.
The Cowboys’ defense ranked No. 1 in takeaways (34) this season, while the 49ers ranked 21st in giveaways (24). Dallas’ (+14) turnover differential was also tops in the league, while San Francisco’s (-4) was 10th-worst.
If Dak Prescott can get his offense going, the Cowboys will be hard to stop. While the 49ers’ defense has played well, we have also seen them get gashed through the air. It will still be important for Dallas to establish the run, however, to keep San Francisco’s defense honest.
For the 49ers, it comes down to Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo isn’t the most talented or mobile quarterback in the world. If the Cowboys’ fierce pass rush gets in his face all day, Garoppolo will struggle with his accuracy and make costly mistakes.
I have more trust in the Dallas defense than I do in their offense right now, but defense wins football games in the postseason, especially if it helps the Cowboys win the all-important turnover battle.
Prediction: Cowboys 30, 49ers 24
49ers vs Cowboys Best Bets
*Anthony Cervino is 33-25 on his NFL Best Bets for 2021 for The Game Day.
Best Bet: Cowboys Moneyline (-160) at Caesars
Wager: 2 Units
This will be a close game and San Francisco will stay in it. However, I do expect Dallas to come out victorious in the end for our NFL bet of the day.
The Cowboys’ defense will be too much for Garoppolo to handle, and he’ll likely turn the ball over at least once as a result. Mistakes like that will end up costing the Niners the game.
- Read our full NFL Wild Card Best Bets
Look for big performances on the defensive end from Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs. They carried Dallas to the playoffs and will shine when it matters most.
Also of note:
- The Cowboys are 5-1 in their last six meetings with the 49ers, including a 41-33 victory last season sans Dak Prescott at home.
- The 49ers are 7-2 straight up in their past nine games and 4-1 over their past five, including two straight.
- The Cowboys are 5-1 in their last six games.
Check out more of our 49ers vs Cowboys Predictions
Best Bet: Over 51 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
This game can really go either way with the total on our NFL gameday odds. With my projected 30-24 final score, however, I’m betting on the Over.
While the betting trends suggest this game will go Under, I’m fading the trend. Both teams feature high-powered offenses, and the Cowboys in particular are capable of scoring off turnovers. Accordingly, we should see plenty of points on the scoreboard in this one.
Also of note:
- The Over is 2-4 in the Cowboys’ past six games.
- The Over is 1-4 in the 49ers’ past five games.
- The Over is 4-2 in the past six meetings between the 49ers and Cowboys, hitting in two straight.
Best Bet: Cowboys -3 (-115) at Caesars
Wager: 2 Units
Vegas seems to be favoring the 49ers on the road here. However, I am sticking to my guns and rolling with the Cowboys to cover again. Dallas was a league-best 13-4 against the spread this season, so expect that trend to continue on Sunday.
Looking at it another way, Dallas won 12 games this season, 11 of which were by at least four points.
If the Cowboys win, expect them to do so by at least a field goal.