Both of these teams lost their preseason openers, but one will pick up a win on Sunday in San Francisco. What kind of NFL odds are on offer?
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers didn't do much well in their preseason opener, as they fell 23-10 to Houston. San Francisco couldn't even muster up 200 total yards of offense, and on the other side they allowed 400 yards to the Texans. It was a rough first taste of live game action for the 49ers, who had the football half as much of the time as Houston.
Colin Kaepernick only played brielfy and finished 1-of-3 with a 14-yard completion to Anquan Boldin, with all of the offensive starters seeing very limited reps. Backup Blaine Gabbert got most of the work under center and ended up completing 8-of-11 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown strike to Garrett Celek.
As the regular season gets nearer, we can expect to see the likes of Kaepernick, Boldin, Torrey Smith and starting running back Carlos Hyde seeing more of the field, starting with this home showdown with Dallas. There have been a lot of changes to this franchise recently, however, so it may be taking longer than normal for San Francisco to find a good level of chemistry before Week 1. There's a new head coach in town and we've seen numerous key defensive pieces move on (and even retire), so we're very skeptical about the 49ers this coming season overall.
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Like the 49ers in their opener, the Cowboys were disappointing in their first preseason action, falling 17-7 to San Diego on the road. With Tony Romo not risked, the quarterback repetitions went to Brandon Weeden, Dustin Vaughan and Jameill Showers. Vaughan saw most of the action and finished 12-of-18 for 106 yards, but the lone touchdown came from running back Gus Johnson, who ran 11 times for 35 yards and a score.
With health issues getting in the way in the past and some apparent turf issues in San Francisco, we can safely assume Romo won't be playing again this weekend, but owner Jerry Jones has said that he expects all three of the team's top running backs (Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar) to be available. Whether star wideout Dez Bryant is risked remains unclear.
All in all though, we're liking the look of Dallas heading into the season, with the running back situation probably the most concerning. That Romo/Bryant duo will be doing big things like always, but unfortunately we're unlikely to see that tandem in action on Sunday.
Even though Romo is unlikely to play, it's not like he was going to play all that much regardless, so we're not overly concerned there.
In short, we don't see why the 49ers are favored by this kind of number, not after the dud they laid in the preseason opener and with all of the question marks and happenings that have taken place over the offseason. San Francisco's defensive unit has lost some a huge amount of talent from last season, so that's certainly worrying too.
And, while it's not like the Cowboys have started off the preseason positively, we do have more confidence in their overall makeup at this juncture. This is probably more of a fade of San Francisco at this seemingly elevated number than it is anything else, but either way we're taking the points and backing Dallas with our NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Dallas Cowboys +4.5 (-110) at BetOnline