NFL Football is back this week as the preseason schedule kicks off, and it will give football fans a chance to win some money on the games. The San Francisco 49ers will host the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night in a matchup of longtime NFC rivals. Both of these teams have dreams of making the playoffs in 2019, but neither team feels like a real Super Bowl contender this season.
Dallas was a playoff team in the 2018 season, but they took advantage of a weak schedule and some struggling teams. The Cowboys do have a trio of talented offensive weapons, but there is plenty of off-field drama surrounding Dallas this preseason. San Francisco has had a few seasons in a row derailed by injuries, but this feels like a solid 49ers team. The 49ers could be one of the biggest surprise teams in the league this season. San Francisco is a 4.5-point favorite over Dallas in this game.
Cowboys Offense Missing Some Weapons
The Dallas Cowboys were not likely to play their offensive starters in this game, but they might be shorthanded when the season begins. Running back Ezekiel Elliot has yet to show up to training camp as he is demanding more money and a contract extension. Wide receiver Amari Cooper is currently injured but should return soon if there are no setbacks. Dallas managed just 21 points per game a season ago and will need to score more consistently this season.
The one thing that the Cowboys did well a season ago was play defense, and that won’t change in 2019. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch racked up a team-high 140 tackles during the 2018 regular season and was the anchor of the defense. DeMarcus Lawrence led the team with 10.5 sacks last year, but he didn’t get a lot of support from his teammates. The Cowboys must pressure opposing quarterbacks to win ball games.
Healthy 49ers Team Could Be Explosive
The San Francisco 49ers were missing several of their key players on offense a season ago, but they head into the 2019 season relatively healthy. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be a star in this league and should give the Niners a terrific passing attack. Running back Jerick McKinnon was just recently activated from the PUP list after suffering a torn ACL a season ago. Sleeping on the 49ers offense could be a big mistake this season.
The 49ers selected defensive end Nick Bosa with their first pick in the NFL Draft, but the former Ohio State product won’t be suiting up in this game. Bosa suffered an ankle sprain this week in practice, but it does not appear to be serious. San Francisco gave up a whopping 27.2 points per game during the 2018 regular season, and the defense must take a big step forward if they plan on competing in 2019.
49ers Defeat Banged-Up Cowboys Team
Dallas will likely finish ahead of the 49ers in the regular-season standings, but that doesn’t matter much in this game. San Francisco has more players competing for starting jobs, and that should give their team an edge in this game. The Cowboys just have too much off-field drama to be focused for the preseason opener. Bet the San Francisco 49ers -4.5 over the Dallas Cowboys in this game.