Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
The Cowboys are pretty banged up coming into this one. Not only is top receiver Dez Bryant likely out in this one, they’re also expected to be without left tackle Tyron Smith and left guard La’El Collins. They are expected to get cornerback top Orlando Scandrick back from a 1 week absence on defense, but they remain without 3 projected defensive starters, DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, and Rolando McClain with suspension. Lawrence will return next week, but Gregory and McClain are serving long-term suspensions and their future with the team is in doubt.
Fortunately, they get a very easy opponent this week. The 49ers crushed a weak Rams team week 1, but have been dealt equally big losses in the past two weeks by both the Panthers and the Seahawks. Now they’re without top cornerback Jimmie Ward. The 49ers might not be the worst team in the league (despite two close wins, the Rams actually remain in dead last in rate of moving the chains differential), but they’re up there and the Cowboys only need to win by a field goal or more here to cover as 2.5 point favorites. The 49ers are also in a tough spot because they have to turn around and play Arizona on Thursday Night next week. Teams are 51-93 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 4+, which the 49ers definitely will be next week.
This game is in San Francisco, but the Cowboys’ fanbase tends to travel well so going on the road hasn’t been much of a problem for them in recent years. Since 2010, they’ve outscored opponents by 0.61 points per game at home and been outscored by 0.72 points per game on the road, meaning their homefield advantage hasn’t even been worth a point over that time period. Last week was their first road win since week 1 of 2015, but they won on the road in their last road game week 2 against Washington. I like their chances to go to 2-0 on the road here and I have no problem putting money on Dallas as long as this line stays on the right side of the field goal.
Dallas Cowboys 24 San Francisco 49ers 17
Pick against the spread: Dallas -2.5