The San Francisco 49ers (14-4) will host the Dallas Cowboys (13-5) in the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. ET. The 49ers beat the Cowboys during Wild Card Weekend last season, 23-17.
Dallas has won five of eight postseason matchups between the teams, but before last season, the Cowboys and 49ers last met in the playoffs in 1995. San Francisco had lost three consecutive overall meetings with Dallas prior to its playoff win last January.
The No. 2 seed 49ers have won 11 consecutive games, including their 41-23 romp over the Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card Round. San Francisco has won three of its last four playoff games and it has won both previous NFC Divisional Round Games under Kyle Shanahan.
The fifth-seeded Cowboys have won seven of their last nine games, and easily took out the Buccaneers 31-14 in the wild-card round. Dallas has lost its last five Divisional Round games and has not advanced to the NFC Championship Game since 1997.
The 49ers have won all seven games in which rookie Brock Purdy has started or played the majority of the snaps at QB. Dak Prescott won his second career playoff game during Wild Card Weekend and he is looking to avoid a fourth postseason defeat.
Cowboys vs 49ers Odds
The 49ers were 4.5-point favorites as of Tuesday, Jan. 17 at noon ET. Considering San Francisco has won five of its past seven games overall by 13-plus points, the oddsmakers are showing Dallas the proper respect after it dominated Tampa Bay.
Prescott had 15 interceptions in 12 regular season games, but he was not picked off by the Buccaneers and the Cowboys will be a difficult out if they continue to limit turnovers (none vs Tampa Bay). Purdy had his best game yet against Seattle, passing for 332 yards and three TDs while rushing for another TD.
This will be a tight matchup that may come down to which QB plays the cleaner game.
Take a look at the best Cowboys odds and 49ers odds for the 2023 NFL season.
Cowboys vs 49ers Implied Totals
49ers 25, Cowboys 21
At 46.5 total points, oddsmakers expect San Francisco to win a closely contested matchup. The Cowboys are projected to score three TDs, but the 49ers are picked to ultimately prevail while holding Dallas under its regular season average of 27.5 points per game.
Cowboys vs 49ers Pick of the Day
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Cowboys vs 49ers Prediction
Cowboys 26, 49ers 23
The 49ers allowed an NFL-low 16.3 points per game during the regular season, and the stance usually is that a strong defense will stifle a good offense. But the 49ers showed in the first half of the wild-card game with Seattle that their defense can be exposed, and the Cowboys have a respectable defense, too.
Seattle was actually able to move out to a halftime lead with two TDs before collapsing. The Raiders also dropped 34 points on the 49ers in Week 15, so the Dallas coaching staff has enough film to watch on how to find the vulnerability in the opposing defense.
San Francisco’s pass defense ranked 20th during the regular season, and Dallas has enough firepower behind Prescott to challenge the 49ers’ secondary. Prescott was sacked once by Tampa Bay, and while he will get dropped more than that by San Francisco, if he continues to get ample protection on key downs, the Cowboys passing game will strike at the right times.
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The Dallas offense has scored 27-plus points in 10 of its last 11 games. This is the best offense that San Francisco will have faced since its last loss, a 44-23 defeat by Kansas City in Week 7.
The Cowboys also led the NFL with 33 total takeaways during the regular season, while San Francisco was second with 30. Seattle was the only top 10 team Purdy has faced in takeaways this season and while he might make more quality plays again, he faces a daunting task against a Cowboys team that was also third in the NFL with 54 sacks.
Cowboys vs 49ers Betting Tips
Here are a few Cowboys vs 49ers betting trends to consider before making your bets:
- The 49ers are 4-0 ATS in their last four playoff games.
- The 49ers are 4-1 ATS in their last five postseason home games.
- The Cowboys are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 away games.
- The Under is 5-1 in Dallas’ last four January games.
Cowboys vs 49ers Best Bets
Cowboys Moneyline (+170) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
Prescott confirmed after the win at Tampa Bay that he does not care about past playoff history for the Cowboys, and neither do I when wagering on this game. He played the best game of his career in the wild-card round and Prescott will be the key to Dallas advancing to its first NFC Championship Game in 26 years.
The Purdy story has been the most inspirational tale of the season, but he will flame out at some point, and I think it happens this week. The Dallas defense knows how to make difference-making stops and plays, and this will turn out to be Purdy’s toughest matchup yet.
Before the playoffs started, I believed there was a path to the NFC title game for the Cowboys if they avoided the Eagles in the second round, and I am sticking to that prediction. One of the two QBs will make a turnover or not finish out a key drive when it matters most, and Purdy will be the guy to fizzle at crunch time despite all he has accomplished so far.
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Over 46.5 Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 Unit
These teams allowed a combined 36.4 points per game during the regular season, but we saw all but one of the first-round games go Over 45 points and four of them went Over 55. This season’s playoffs are featuring more higher-scoring affairs.
I don’t think San Francisco has a complete shutdown defense, and the 49ers have a host of playmakers that will do their part in pushing this game Over the total. Both defenses also have standout performers that could engineer scoring opportunities and provide prime field position for the offenses at any time.