San Francisco is 8-2-1 against the spread in its last 11 season openers, while Dallas is 6-1 ATS in its last seven openers.
However, there is a small matter of on-field talent in 2014, and the Niners seem to take that category handily. They're also riding a dominant trend as a road favorite.
Point Spread: 49ers opened as 2.5-point favorites, and they're favored by up to five points as of Thursday morning. The total was 51.5.
Odds Shark Computer Prediction: 49ers 29.3, Cowboys 22.7
Why the 49ers Can Cover the Spread
The 49ers got within a Richard Sherman deflection of a return trip to the Super Bowl last January and intend on making another run this year.
San Francisco ranked third in the league in rushing last year (138 yards per game), fifth in total defense and fourth against the run (96 rushing yards allowed per game). Out-rushing opponents goes a long way toward covering point spreads in the NFL.
The Niners are 6-1-2 ATS in their last nine games on the road. They're also 10-1 straight up and 9-1-1 ATS the last 11 times they've been chalked on the road.
Why the Cowboys Can Cover the Spread
The Cowboys can engage in shootouts with almost anybody, so they've always got a puncher's chance. They averaged 27 points per game last year, hitting the 30-point mark seven times.
Dallas finished 8-8 SU and 9-7 ATS last year, but don't forget, five of those losses came by a total of eight points. Running back DeMarco Murray averaged 5.2 yards per carry last year, so it would follow that if the Cowboys would just give it to him 20-25 times a game, they'd probably be much better off.
Teams that suffer clusters of close losses tend to turn that around over the course of another season or two, which bodes well for Dallas this season.
This game will probably come down to which team wins the ground battle. In this case, that team will probably be San Francisco.
The Cowboys ranked dead last in the league in defense last year, 27th against the run and don't look like they'll be much better this season. As such, the pick here is to give the points and go with the Niners, who are considered safe enough by Odds Shark to be one of their five LVH SuperContest plays for the week.
- 49ers are 8-2-1 ATS in their past 11 openers.
- Cowboys are 6-1 ATS in their past seven openers.
- 49ers are 6-1-2 ATS in their past nine road games.
- 49ers are 10-1 SU, 9-1-1 ATS in their past 11 games as road favorites.
- Cowboys are 1-7 SU in their past eight games as home underdogs.