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|8:15pm||SF -3.5||46.5||SF -3.5|
(5) Dallas Cowboys @ (2) San Francisco 49ers
The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs caps off with a quarterback matchup between young Kurt Warner (Brock Purdy) and a slightly less uncomfortable interview guest than Andrew Luck (Dak Prescott). If you’re tired of sites forcing bad jokes like the above before getting to their picks, we won’t put you through that nonsense besides this first paragraph…purdy good right?
Let’s start with the game total of 46.5. Both teams finished Top 5 in points allowed throughout the regular season, SF allowed just 16.3 (1st) with DAL at 20.1 (5th). The Cowboys’ defense carried Dak’s mediocre play which was well documented throughout the season as the 8th highest paid QB in the league ($40M avg). He silenced critics last week with a near perfect performance (143.3) against Tampa Bay but this San Fran defense led by Nick Bosa is so much stronger.
These teams met in the NFC Wild Card round last season with the total finishing at 40 points. The 49ers took a 23-7 lead heading into the 4th quarter but 10 late points by the Cowboys wasn’t enough to pull off the comeback. Both teams look very similar since then besides Purdy at QB and of course the regular season addition of Christian McCaffrey. Of course a matchup from last playoffs is a minor data point but it’s good context for the line as it sits now — this is still playoff football, and if these teams play near the defensive ability they displayed throughout the regular season, this SHOULD be an easy under.
As for the spread (SF -3.5) I’m not buying into the one playoff game hype for Dallas. Yeah great they beat Tom Brady on the road last week but anyone that’s watched football all season knows how awful Tampa Bay has been. This 49ers team is an entirely different animal — and likely the best team in the playoffs. I’m fine with the -3.5 but feel free to buy 1/2 point to protect the push in a win by a FG.
PICKS: SF -3.5 & Under 46.5