San Francisco 49ers (0-0, 0-0 ATS) @ Dallas Cowboys (0-0, 0-0 ATS)

*ATS= against the spread

BETDAQ Line: San Francisco -4.5, -3.5 (both markets offered) (51.5)

Significant Injuries

San Francisco: RB LaMichael James (questionable– elbow), OT Anthony Davis (out– hamstring), LB Aldon Smith (out– suspension), LB NaVorro Bowman (out– knee)

Dallas: WR Terrance Williams (questionable– back), G Zack Martin (questionable– foot), DT Terrell McClain (questionable– ankle), CB Orlando Scandrick (out– suspension)

Recent Trends

San Francisco is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games

Dallas is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 Week 1 games

Dallas is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall

The OVER is 3-0-1 in San Francisco’s last 4 Week 1 games

The OVER is 8-3 in Dallas’ last 11 Week 1 games

The OVER is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings between these 2 teams

Three reasons to back San Francisco

1. The Niners were indisputably better the the Cowboys last season and Dallas hasn’t undergone a major roster overhaul, so… where’s the logical pro-Dallas argument here? If you’re relying on home-field advantage, you may want to re-think your strategy: the Cowboys have struggled at home in recent years while the 49ers are one of the NFL’s best road teams, covering in 8 of their last 10 opportunities.

2. Dallas had the NFL’s worst defense in 2013 and they head into this season without two of last year’s top linemen (DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher) and their top defensive player, middle linebacker Sean Lee. They’ll be pushed around by San Francisco’s exceptional offensive line.

3. The 49ers have one of the league’s best defenses and the Dallas offense is ailing a bit, as Tony Romo is trying to return to form after offseason back surgery and starting wideout Terrance Williams is dealing with a back injury of his own, one that may force him to miss Sunday’s game. The Cowboys need their “A” game to have success against the San Francisco defense, and even then, could their defense hold up their end of the bargain? Doubtful.

Three reasons to back Dallas

1. The Cowboys have an explosive offense and they’ll be facing a San Francisco defense that will be without two of its best players, Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman. Throw in some new faces in the secondary and you have legitimate ‘concerns’ for the San Fran defense for the first time in awhile.

2. The chance to back Dallas as a Week 1 home underdog could be too good to pass up– home underdogs have covered roughly 58% of the time since 1980, and the Cowboys have covered in 6 of their last 7 season-opening games.

3. This is a good matchup for the Cowboys defense, as San Francisco isn’t well-equipped to exploit the vulnerable Dallas secondary. Colin Kaepernick is inconsistent as a pocket passer, which is why the Niners ranked 30th in passing offense last season. If this game turns into a shootout the team with the better quarterback has a significant advantage, and in this case that’s Dallas.


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