The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers once enjoyed a championship rivalry, studded with stars like “Neon” Deion Sanders. These days, the Cowboys are a pretty good team hoping to get better, and the 2017 49ers are…well, the 2017 49ers.
But something seems amiss with the point spread for Sunday afternoon’s match-up between the 2 old foes. The Cowboys are only (-6) despite San Francisco having won nary a football game all season.
Maybe it’s because the Silver Star is riding a 2-game losing streak. The ‘Boys lost to the Rams at home by a slim margin in Week 4, followed by another difficult-to-swallow home loss to the Packers the following week.
But should that be enough to give them less than a touchdown’s favor over a winless, clearly inferior team? Let’s look at some of the potential reasons why the spread is where it is. If we can’t back up the bookies’ supposition with facts, then the Cowboys are clearly the better bet ATS.
Who: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
When: Sunday, October 22nd, 4:05 PM EST
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Lines: DAL (-6) at SF (+6) / O/U Total: (49)
Perhaps the casinos think that the uncertainly surrounding RB Ezekiel Elliott will cause internal issues for the ‘Boys. But Elliott has had a potential suspension hanging over his head all season. Though the 2nd-year star had a bad start, he’s starting to round into his 2016 form and is good to go for at least this Sunday.
Are the 49ers improving? San Francisco has lost its last 5 games by a field goal or less, an amazing run of consistency mixed with frustration. But a closer look shows a distinct lack of game-control and clutch play-making. Against Washington last week, the ‘9ers stormed back to tie the game 17-17 after 3 quarters, but couldn’t pull off a road win as both QBs struggled to connect on throws. The defense sagged in the previous week’s loss to a below-average Colts team as San Francisco gave up almost 500 yards of offense to a pedestrian attack.
Finally, do bookies think the home crowd will help the 49ers’ pass rush land hits on Dak Prescott? The front-7 sacked Carson Palmer 6 times in Week 4. But Palmer has become one of the most sack-able QBs in the league. Cam Newton, an athlete more comparable to Prescott’s quickness and size, avoided going down altogether in the Panthers’ 23-3 win over the 49ers in Week 1.
We’re going with the Cowboys. None of the potential reasons to think San Francisco could win or stalemate this contest are very valid, and instead this is just another example of book-makers being led by the scoreboard and close results. Dallas has the better team and should be able to win by at least a touchdown.