NFL Betting Preview Week #4: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
Levis Stadium – Santa Clara, California
Sunday, October 2, 2016, 4:25 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Dallas -3
Current Line: Dallas -1 (-115)
Opening Total: 46
Current Total: 44 1/2
Opening Money Line: Cowboys -145 / 49ers +125
Current Money Line: Cowboys -120 / 49ers +100

The Cowboys are a slight road favorite at the 49ers Sunday.
The Cowboys are a slight road favorite at the 49ers Sunday.

The 2-1 Dallas Cowboys and 1-2 San Francisco 49ers renew their rivalry Sunday in Santa Clara. San Francisco leads the series 17-16-1. The 49ers won the last meeting 28-17 in Dallas in 2014 to snap a 3 game losing streak against the Cowboys. This game is being played in the Bay Area for the first time since 2011.

Dallas is coached by Jason Garrett. The Cowboys lost their season opener 20-19 against the New York Giants. The Cowboys have won two straight games with a road win at the Washington Redskins 27-23 and last week at home 31-17 over the Chicago Bears. Dallas jumped out to a 17-0 last Sunday night against Chicago and never trailed. The Cowboys were 6.5 point favorites against the Bears and the total was 44.5. Dallas is 2-1 ATS and the total is 2-1 as well.

San Francisco is coached by Chip Kelly. The 49ers opened the season with a home win over the Los Angeles Rams 28-0. Since then, they have lost two straight road games at the Carolina Panthers 46-27 and last week at the Seattle Seahawks 37-18. Seattle led 37-3 in the fourth before San Francisco scored two garbage touchdowns to make the score slightly closer. The Seahawks were 10.5 point favorites and the total was 42. San Francisco is 1-2 ATS and the total is 2-1.

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Dallas is outscoring teams 26-20 this season. The Cowboys are #11 in scoring and #10 in points allowed. Dallas averages 385 yards per game on offense including 251 passing and 134 rushing yards. The Cowboys are in the top 10 in total offense and rushing. On defense, Dallas is allowing 379 total yards including 288 passing and 91 rushing yards. Dallas is 23/42 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 13/33. Dallas has forced 4 sacks and allowed 5 this season. Dallas is +2 in turnovers.

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has been impressive in relief of an injured Tony Romo. He has completed 66.7% of his passes for 767 yards with one touchdown, and has yet to throw an interception. He also has 7 carries for 54 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Romo is out until early November with a back injury.

Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott has 71 catches for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 5 catches for 25 yards. Alfred Morris has 17 carries for 61 yards and 2 touchdowns. Lance Dunbar will also get some carries. He has 3 catches for 42 yards.

Receiver Dez Bryant is out with a hairline fracture in his knee. He has 11 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. Cole Beasley has become Prescott’s favorite target. He has 20 catches for 213 yards. Tight end Jason Witten has 14 catches for 142 yards. Terrance Williams has 7 catches for 122 yards. Brice Butler will move into the starting line-up to replace Bryant. Ten defensive players are injured or suspended as are three offensive linemen.

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San Francisco is being outscored 28-24 this season. The 49ers average 292 yards per game on offense including 175 passing and 117 rushing. The 49ers are #29 in total offense and #30 in passing. On defense, San Francisco is allowing 377 total yards, including 255 passing and 123 rushing yards. The 49ers are 18/50 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 20/46. The 49ers have allowed 2 sacks and forced 5 this season. San Francisco is +3 in turnovers.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has completed 55.2% of his passes for 532 yards and 3 touchdowns with 3 interceptions, and has 17 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. There have been calls to bench him in favor of Colin Kaepernick who is in the news for different reasons than football.

Running back Carlos Hyde has 58 carries for 225 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 6 catches for 25 yards. Shaun Draughn has 21 carries for 49 yards and a touchdown, plus 3 catches for 20 yards.

Receiver Jeremy Kerley has 12 catches for 114 yards. Torrey Smith has 8 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with an ankle injury. Tight end Vance McDonald has 5 catches for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hip injury. Quinton Patton has 9 catches for 93 yards. Tight end Garrett Celek has 5 catches for 52 yards. He is also questionable with a back injury. Six defensive players are listed on the injury report.

Dallas is 10-2 ATS on grass, 4-1 against teams with losing records, 13-5 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 5-11-1 overall, 4-9 against NFC teams, 2-5-1 after rushing for 150 yards or more, 1-3-1 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 1-6 in week four,  after a cover, and after allowing more than 250 passing yards, and 0-4 in October. The over is 6-1 in the last 7 games in this series.

San Francisco is 6-1 ATS in week four, 4-1 at home, 15-5 in October, 2-5 overall, 2-7-1 against teams with winning records, 1-5 after allowing more than 30 points and passing for less than 150 yards, and 1-7-1 after allowing 350 total yards or more. The home team is 3-1-2 ATS in this series recently.

Without Bryant, the Cowboy offense might struggle. The San Francisco defense hasn’t been terrible but with Kelly’s hurry up offense, they are getting exhausted in the second half. The Seahawks and Panthers torched them and the Cowboys could also take advantage of the fatigue. I like Dallas to win a close game on the road.

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