San Francisco 49ers (12-4) at Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
|Date & Time||Sunday September 7, 2014, 4:25 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Dallas Cowboys +5 -- Over/Under: 50
The San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys begin their 2014 season with a Sunday matchup at AT&T Stadium.
The San Francisco 49ers once again feel like they’re the team to beat in the NFC and return pretty much the same team from the last couple of years. This time, the 49ers will begin the season with a healthy Michael Crabtree, while quarterback Colin Kaepernick leads the way along with running back Frank Gore. San Fran also drafted running back Carlos Hyde, who has the potential to be a big time player this season and in the future. The 49ers look to become a little more balanced offensively after finishing last year ranked 30th in the league in passing yards. However, defense is where the San Francisco 49ers will continue to butter their bread with guys such as Patrick Willis, Antoine Bethea and Justin Smith leading the way.
The Dallas Cowboys were winless in the preseason but expect better results when the games actually count. The Cowboys offense will live and die by the health of Tony Romo, who has been dealing with a back injury all offseason. Of course, the rest of the pieces are in place on offense with Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray all returning for yet another year. When everybody is healthy, the Dallas Cowboys are one of the best offensive teams in the country, as they finished fifth last year with an average of 27.4 points per game. Defensively is where there are issues with the Cowboys after Sean Lee suffered another torn ACL. Dallas was lost without Lee last season, finishing 30th against the pass and 27th against the run. Defense is a work in progress for the Cowboys.
The 49ers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games overall. The Cowboys are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 home games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 1. The home team is 3-0-2 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
I’ve gone back and forth on this game for a while, but I’m leaning the Cowboys and the points here. Dallas has more than enough offensive firepower to hang around and usually plays to its opponent. Expect a hard fought game and for the home team to cover.