San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Preview

Sunday, December 20, 2020, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 1 p.m. ET

49ers at Cowboys Betting Preview: 49ers (-3/-110), Cowboys (+3/-110)

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers (5-8) have lost two in a row to fall to the brink of playoff elimination in the NFC on the eve of their trip to Dallas on Sunday to face the Cowboys (4-9). San Francisco is coming off a 23-15 neutral-site loss to Washington, its second defeat in three outings against NFC East teams this season.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan admitted after the Washington game that he would consider changing quarterbacks this week, but nipped that idea in the bud on Wednesday when he announced that struggling Nick Mullens would remain the starter. Shanahan also considered C.J. Beathard, who has served as the chief backup ever since regular starter Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury in Week 8.

One change Shanahan apparently will be forced into making this week is promoting Jeff Wilson Jr. to the starting running back position in place of Raheem Mostert, who injured his ankle in the Washington game. Wilson shares the team lead in rushing touchdowns this season with five despite having gotten fewer carries (68) than Mostert (90) and Jerick McKinnon (80).

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys (4-9) remain in the thick of the NFC East title chase despite residing in last place in the division with just three games remaining, including this week’s visit from the San Francisco 49ers (5-8). Last week’s 30-7 romp at Cincinnati kept Dallas’ playoff hopes alive, but it likely would need to sweep its last three games, including division matchups with Philadelphia in Week 16 and the New York Giants in Week 17

Ezekiel Elliott continued his late-season funk in the win over the Bengals, rushing for just 48 yards on 12 carries. He has totaled just 157 rushing yards in Dallas’ last three games. Elliott, who has been dealing with a calf issue, ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing this season with 832 yards after finishing fourth last season with 1,357 yards.

Andy Dalton had his first interception-free start of the season against Cincinnati, going 16-for-23 for 185 and two touchdowns. The veteran has settled into his starting role since the gruesome Dak Prescott injury, recording eight touchdown passes and three interceptions in his last four games, after just one TD and three interceptions in his first two starts.

49ers at Cowboys Betting Pick for Week 15

Two things have been disappointing for the 49ers in the last two weeks. First off, they lost a pair of games in which they were favored. Equally important, they’ve continued to lose key players, with wideout Deebo Samuel (hamstring) now out for the season and Mostert (ankle) unlikely to play this week.

The 49ers are favored again this week, which is just an indication those who set the line believe fans haven’t been paying attention to the state of their depleted roster. In a battle of backup quarterbacks, big edge to Dalton.

49ers at Cowboys Betting Pick:

Cowboys 29, 49ers 17

49ers at Cowboys Best Bet for Week 15

Some outlets are offering the Cowboys as a +140 proposition to win this game, and that seems more than generous for a matchup that, at worst, is a toss-up. Last week’s mistake-laden loss to Washington demonstrated once again that San Francisco, in its current state, might be the most overrated team in the league. This week’s line provides further proof.

49ers at Cowboys Best Bet: Cowboys to win (+140)

Washington Football Team vs. San Francisco 49ers Betting Preview

Sunday, December 13, 2020, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, 4:25 p.m. ET

Washington Football Team vs. 49ers Betting Preview: Washington (+3/-108), 49ers (-3/-110)

Washington Football Team

Washington (5-7) has built a three-game winning streak on the strength of a stingy defense to move into a tie with the New York Giants atop the NFC East. Washington has allowed an average of 14.0 points and 281.7 yards in wins over Cincinnati, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

Washington likely will go into Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers in Glendale, Ariz., without top back Antonio Gibson, who suffered a toe injury Monday against the Steelers. Peyton Barber stepped in when Gibson got hurt, but managed just 23 yards on 14 carries. He did, however, cash in on a 1-yard rushing score.

Quarterback Alex Smith will be facing the 49ers for just the second time since they dealt him to Kansas City in 2013. Smith had been the No. 1 pick of the 2005 draft, with the 49ers taking him ahead of popular local product Aaron Rodgers of California. The 49ers beat Smith and the Chiefs 22-17 in their lone head-to-head in 2014.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers (5-7) will be looking to beat Washington for the sixth time in their last seven meetings when they square off Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. The clubs met in the rain last season at Washington, with San Francisco escaping with a 9-0 victory.

The 49ers couldn’t get their running game rolling in Monday’s 34-24 loss to Buffalo despite the return of Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, Jr. The 49ers are 2-0 this season when rushing for more than 131 yards, but 3-7 when held to 131 or fewer. They finished at 86, their fourth-lowest total of the season, against the Bills.

The 49ers had Mostert and top wideouts Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk on the field together in the Buffalo game for just the third time all season. Aiyuk finished with five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown, while Samuel had six receptions for 73 yards.

Washington Football Team at 49ers Betting Pick for Week 14

Two coaches who are conservative by nature have even more reason to be so in this one, with Washington missing Gibson and San Francisco still without quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle.

The 49ers have gone just 2-6 when they’ve committed two or more turnovers, while all five of Washington’s wins have come in games in which it gave the ball away no more than once. The team that can run the ball the best should have a huge advantage, and with Gibson out, that likely will be the 49ers.

Washington vs. 49ers Betting Pick:

49ers 27, Washington 15

Washington Football Team vs. 49ers Best Bet for Week 14

For most of the season, the West was considered the best division in the NFC, while the East was clearly the worst. Some recent results have led to a re-evaluation, but let’s not get hasty. The Redskins have faced West teams twice this year and got drubbed both times to the tune of 60-25. And the beat goes on.

Washington vs. 49ers Best Bet: 49ers -3 (-110)