It was only two years ago that the NFC East division winner entered the postseason with a 7-9 record. Flash forward to 2022 and three of the last four teams standing on the NFC side reign from the NFC East. That includes the Dallas Cowboys, who will take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.
A spot in the NFC Championship is on the line between two highly-motivated squads. The 49ers are on their third starting quarterback of the season, yet continue to prove the doubters wrong week after week. On the other side, the Cowboys haven't made it past the Divisional round since 1995.
It's been proven with each passing year that no team should be counted out as anything can happen under the bright lights of the playoffs. It makes taking a deep look at the some of the industry's best projection models and NFL experts worth it in order to truly understand which side should be favored.
Cowboys vs 49ers Projections
Projected Winner: 49ers (3), Cowboys (1)
More often than not, the advanced analytics and betting markets line up in agreement in the biggest games. That's not the case here, though. Only three of the four sources favor the 49ers to win and the average chance of a San Francisco victory is 60.1%. That is around three out of every five matchups.
Giving the Cowboys an average chance of 40.7% to come out on top actually makes their side of the moneyline a better bet. Dallas' moneyline odds of +172 mean they only need to win 36.8% of the time to break even. Those that have been banking on analytics all season long may want to take the risk.
If you're more interested in who the experts are selecting, however, we'll take a look at that too.
Cowboys vs 49ers Expert Picks
- Stephania Bell: 49ers
- Matt Bowen: 49ers
- Mike Clay: 49ers
- Jeremy Fowler: Cowboys
- Dan Graziano: Cowboys
- Jason Reid: Cowboys
- Seth Wickersham: 49ers
ESPN Total: 49ers (4), Cowboys (3)
- Albert Breer: 49ers
- Mitch Goldich: 49ers
- Gary Gramling: Cowboys
- Conor Orr: 49ers
- John Pluym: 49ers
Sports Illustrated Total: 49ers (4), Cowboys (1)
- Pete Prisco: Cowboys
- Jason La Canfora: 49ers
- Will Brinson: 49ers
- Jared Dubin: 49ers
- Ryan Wilson: 49ers
- John Breech: Cowboys
- Dave Richard: Cowboys
- Jamey Eisenberg: 49ers
CBS Total: 49ers (5), Cowboys (3)
Expert Totals: 49ers (13), Cowboys (7)
There's a reason this game features the smallest spread of any Divisional Round matchup. Both Dallas and San Francisco possess downright nasty defenses, underrated rushing attacks and playmaking quarterbacks. The experts are only leaning slightly to the side of the home team.
It's interesting to note that the selections listed line up similarly to that of the advanced analytics and betting markets. 13 of the 20 experts opted to side with the 49ers, which presents as a 65% majority. That is in between the average chance (60.1%) and what you'd need for a moneyline bet to break even (67.2%), suggesting that this is a sharp line. This NFC matchup could go either way and has everything needed to be an instant classic.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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