Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3147 San Francisco 49ers vs.
#3148 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, January 16, 2022 at 4:30pm EST
AT&T Stadium, Arlington
Written by Blake V.

San Francisco and Dallas took different paths to the playoffs, but that will not matter when the 49ers and Cowboys square off at AT&T Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The 49ers booked their spot in the playoffs with a comeback win over the Rams last week, picking up a 27-24 win in overtime. Dallas had already clinched its spot heading into Week 18, but it added a 51-26 win at Philadelphia for good measure.

Niners erase 17-point deficit in clutch win over Rams

San Francisco got off to a slow start this season, winning just two of its first six games. The 49ers did not lose consecutive games the rest of the way, putting themselves in position to clinch a playoff spot in Week 18. They appeared to be on their way out of the postseason early in the game, as the Rams raced out to a 17-0 lead. However, San Francisco responded with 17 consecutive points to tie the game heading to the fourth quarter. The teams traded touchdowns in the final three minutes, capped off by a Jauan Jennings touchdown reception with less than 30 seconds remaining. San Francisco would eventually pick up the win on a game-winning field goal from Robbie Gould near the end of overtime.

The 49ers are known for their defense that ranks third in the NFL, but their offense has been solid this year as well. They come into the playoffs at No. 7 offensively, averaging 375.7 yards per game. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 68.3% of his passes for 3,810 yards and 20 touchdowns. There was some quarterback controversy between Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance early in the season, but Garoppolo is the team’s starter going into the playoffs. He completed 23 of 32 passes for 316 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions against the Rams last week. Running back Elijah Mitchell has rushed for 963 yards and five touchdowns. He has been dealing with a knee injury, but he is probable for Sunday’s game.

Cowboys led by red-hot offense

Dallas comes into the playoffs with high expectations, especially after finishing as the top offense in the NFL. The Cowboys went over 50 points in two of their final three games, including a 51-26 win over Philadelphia in Week 18. They went on a six-game winning streak following their season-opening loss at Tampa Bay, setting themselves up for success the rest of the way. Dallas averages 407.0 yards per game, led by quarterback Dak Prescott. He has completed 68.8% of his passes for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns. Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb caught 79 passes for 1,102 yards and six scores.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper and tight end Dalton Schultz both went over 800 receiving yards as well. Running back Ezekiel Elliott had another strong season, rushing for 1,002 yards and 10 touchdowns on 237 carries, averaging 4.2 yards per touch. Backup Tony Pollard added 130 attempts for 719 yards—he is probable for Sunday’s game with a foot injury. Dallas was one of the most profitable teams in the NFL so far this season, covering the spread in 13 of its 17 games. The Cowboys were improved on the defensive side of the ball as well, but they still finished at No. 19, allowing 351.0 yards per game.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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This line surprised me when it opened and I have been even more surprised that it has not moved off of -3. Dallas has been one of the most profitable teams in the NFL this season, covering in five of its final six games. San Francisco put together a nice comeback effort last week, but I feel better about the Cowboys from an emotional standpoint entering the playoffs. Not only did the 49ers have to erase a 17-point deficit, but now they have to go on the road. Their offense does not have enough firepower to keep pace with Prescott and co. San Fransisco is 1-6 in its last seven games against Dallas.

Prediction: Dallas -3

Full-Game Total Pick

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I have no interest in fading a Dallas offense that put up 50 points in two of its final three games during the regular season. The Cowboys might be facing one of the top defenses in the NFL, but they have rarely been slowed down. They are going to be comfortable playing in front of their fans at AT&T Stadium, where they have gone over the total in eight of their last 11 games. However, Dallas has some weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball, so San Francisco should do enough to get this one over the total. Both teams are dealing with some injuries to their running backs, which will force more passing—this is an excellent sign for the over.

Prediction: Over 51
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
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