Dallas at San Francisco Expert Pick & Betting Spread
Are the Dallas Cowboys more talented than the San Francisco 49ers? No question. But Sunday’s matchup on the West Coast seems like a potential trap game for Dallas as rookie QB Dak Prescott makes only his second road start and likely will be without top receiver Dez Bryant. The Cowboys are slight favorites on NFL odds.
Here’s a Look at the Dallas at San Francisco Expert Pick, Betting Spread & TV Info
When: Sunday, Oct. 2, 4:25 PM ET
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
Radio: Dallas / San Francisco
Opening NFL Lines: Dallas -2.5 (46)
Why Bet on Dallas?
The Cowboys (2-1) beat Chicago 31-17 last Sunday night. Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass in the fourth, while fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott had his first 100-yard game. Prescott’s first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he’s up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas’ first home win since last year’s opener. Elliott finished with 140 yards on 30 carries. At Ohio State, Elliott had only two 30-carry games, including the national championship game at AT&T Stadium against Oregon when he ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries. In 1990, Cowboys rookie Emmitt Smith never had more than 24 carries in a game. In 1977, rookie Tony Dorsett never had more than 23 in a game.
Through three weeks, Prescott has thrown to Cole Beasley more than Bryant, while targeting Jason Witten nearly as much. Bryant has caught less than half the targets his way, compared to Beasley’s 80 percent. But Bryant is clearly the top receiver on the team. Bryant, who avoided having an MRI early this week initially because he was fearful the results would reveal bad news about his right leg injury, is not expected to play Sunday. Bryant didn’t undergo the MRI until Wednesday, and he was diagnosed with a hairline fracture of his tibial plateau in his right leg near the knee. Bryant suffered the injury Sunday when his knee and ankle got caught under Bears linebacker Christian Jones during a tackle on the second play of the game.
Bryant has been in the lineup with Prescott in every game the rookie has started, including the Aug. 13 preseason opener when several veteran starters were rested. It’s no secret the offense needs their most dynamic wideout on the field whenever possible. Brice Butler, who has one catch for 16 yards in three games, would move into the starting lineup. In the first three games, Prescott completed passes to 10 different receivers. Three have double-digit catches: Beasley (20), tight end Jason Witten (14) and Bryant (11).
Why Bet on San Francisco?
The 49ers (1-2) were blown out the second straight week last Sunday, 37-18 at Seattle. Carlos Hyde two TD runs in the fourth quarter for San Francisco, but the 49ers had just five first downs entering the fourth quarter and missed on their first 10 third-down attempts. Blaine Gabbert’s streak of 12 straight games with a touchdown pass ended as he was 14 of 25 for 119 yards and an interception. Hyde was the first runner to reach 100-or- more rushing yards in a single game at Seattle since RB DeMarco Murray rushed for 115 yards on 10/12/14 as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. With 11 points off of two takeaways at Seattle, the 49ers have now scored points off of all 8 of their takeaways this season, totaling 45 points.
With Gabbert struggling so far, there was talk that Coach Chip Kelly might replace him with Colin Kaepernick but that’s not in the plans right now. Kelly said he remains “real confident” in Gabbert as the starter. Gabbert is completing just 55.2 percent of his passes at 5.5 yards per attempt with a 3:3 TD:INT ratio. Kelly has maintained that Kaepernick has been building his strength and adding weight after a trio of offseason surgeries put him behind in the team’s quarterback competition.
The 49ers rank 30th in passing yards (175.3 per game), 11th in rushing yards (116.7 per game) and 14th in points per game (24.3). After facing two consecutive defenses (Carolina and Seattle) who rank third and first in total defense, respectively, Gabbert and San Francisco’s offense catches a break against Dallas’ 22nd-ranked defensive unit.
My Expert Pick
Over is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings.
Home team is 3-1- 2 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
Trap game! Take San Francisco on NFL odds and the under.