49ers vs. Cowboys Against the Spread Pick
San Francisco 49ers (5-8 SU, 5-8 ATS) vs. Dallas Cowboys (4-9 SU, 3-10 ATS)
Week 15 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 1PM EST
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Point Spread: SF -3/DAL +3 (BetOnline - Awesome live betting options! 35% crypto reloads!)
Over/Under Total: 45
The San Francisco 49ers take on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in an NFC battle in week 15. A big-time rivalry, this game was pegged by many as a huge game, and it just hasn’t worked out. Both teams have been devastated by injuries, now fielding teams that bear no resemblance to what they pictured in the preseason. For San Francisco, the injuries haven’t stopped. For Dallas, they were stinking it up even before the injury big came biting. They did manage a nice showing for a change on Sunday, scoring a 30-7 win over the Bengals for their fourth win and only their third cover of the season. San Francisco, meanwhile, fell to Washington on Sunday, 23-15, for their fifth loss in six games. Who can get the job done in Texas on Sunday?
Looking For Signs of Life From the Niners
Certain harsh realities are crashing down for the defending conference champion. All in all, I’m not sure you can even really take the Niners to task for what has transpired this season. They really can’t catch a break. Their injury list looks more like the Niners than their actual active roster. And they still hung in there, even going on a mini-surge in mid-season to give their season some life before this latest swoon. All told, they held it together admirably for as long as they could. They even beat the Rams a few weeks ago. But their last two efforts show them sagging a bit, and I’m not sure it’s going to get better this week.
With virus restrictions in the Bay, the Niners now find themselves a casualty of the anomaly that is this season. Their game against Dallas will be their fifth consecutive game away from home, unheard-of at this level. For a team that is battered by injuries and not doing well at all, it’s just another element to drag them down. It’s just important to remember that they have a lot of pride, but the realities of the season and all the adversity, with this being in effect their fifth straight road game, have started crashing down on this team.
What Can Dallas Do About It?
It’s not easy to sugar-coat a season where a preseason conference favorite falls as flat as Dallas has. And their injury excuses carry less weight than San Francisco, as they were fouling up this season even before Dak went down for the year. But the injuries started adding up, robbing the Cowboys of most of their upside. The QB going down, along with a big chunk of the offensive line, and the defense was too much to overcome.
Still, with a team that has seen nothing go their way in a division that is a laughingstock, Dallas has seen some things go differently recently. It’s all relative. But Sunday’s win over a dilapidated Cincinnati team was their second win in four games. And while they’re in last place, they’re still technically in it, as far as winning the NFC East, though a lot would need to go their way. Still, there is something to play for, and at times in the last several weeks, it has shown. The only three times they covered the spread this season has come in the last five weeks.
Obviously, when a team underperforms as drastically as Dallas has this season, things don’t always come off well. What they have and what they can do simply doesn’t always manifest as it should. They still maintain a large chunk of their offensive firepower, though it’s different when it’s Andy Dalton commandeering the show. But with guys like Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and role guys like Dalton Schultz, Tony Pollard, and others, they do still maintain some firepower. Seeing it take hold consistently is another matter. And the one aspect of the Frisco team that has stayed marginally-intact is their defense, still solid despite all the losses.
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Challenges for Dallas
On Sunday, we saw a good Dallas defense. For a team that has allowed more points than any other team in the NFL, that was a positive development, to be sure. But the Cincy offense has really ground to a halt in the last several weeks. Granted, the San Fran offense isn’t what it wants to be, but Nick Mullens can still air it out a little. With Brandon Aiyuk, Raheem Mostert (questionable), Deebo Samuel (questionable), and others, they can still make some noise, especially in this context.
In addition, Dallas won’t be going against a flat-on-their-backs defense this week as they were last Sunday. Sure, the Niners have faltered on this side of the ball too this season, but for an offense to thrive even against this version of the Niners, they need to be on-point, and the Dallas offense is not that. For Dallas to thrive in this spot offensively, they’re going to have to be a lot better than they’ve generally been. To their credit, there has been more energy the past month or so on this team, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t the biggest disappointment of the year. And with that line faltering worse with seemingly every passing week, it could feed right into the 49ers’ hands.
Take the Road Favorite
There isn’t much about this San Fran team that we’ve seen recently that makes one inclined to lay points on them on the road. I think that what they still have is going to be tough on a Dallas team that really stinks, despite some recent mild signs of life. I see this game being a grinding affair, where the San Francisco defense makes a few big plays and allows the Niners to cross the finish line first for the win and cover in Arlington.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the San Francisco 49ers minus 3 points. Editor’s note: Our office is split on this game. That usually means beware lol. The next couple weeks of NFL betting are going to be tough in many games. If you’re a pro bettor who does this for a living, stick to your guns and pick your spots. If you’re a recreational gambler looking to have some fun, maybe consider inserting this game into a massive 20 point football teaser at BetAnySports and make the Pokes +23.
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