Sunday Night Football Week 5: Cowboys-49ers betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

2RYWET6 Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) is seen during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. Dallas won 38-3. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

• Bet the Dallas Cowboys +3.5 versus the San Francisco 49ers: Dallas is getting healthier along the offensive line and can also exploit weaknesses in the 49ers' secondary.

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Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Dallas Cowboys versus the San Francisco 49ers is set to be one of the best regular-season island games of the year. Two of the best teams in the league right now face off, including two of the three highest-graded coverage units, two of the three highest-graded pass-rush units and two offenses that rank in the top 10 in expected points added per play.

Cornerback Trevon Diggs is done for the year with a torn ACL and tight end Peyton Hendershot is missing with an ankle injury for the Cowboys, and 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell was ruled out with a knee injury. Aside from those ailments, these are two healthy teams after Micah Parsons, Tyron Smith and four 49ers players all avoided injury designations with full practices Friday.

Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) @ San Francisco 49ers (-110 generally available)

I am not in love with this matchup for the Cowboys, especially on the road, but getting the full value of the three on our side here is enough to take this bet. Trevon Diggs is obviously a big loss, but DaRon Bland has been excellent as a second-season cornerback, sitting with an 84.7 PFF coverage grade through four weeks. Opposite him is the still very good Stephon Gilmore.

But while their grades have been good and their stats stand up against the best in the league, Dallas' schedule of passing offenses has been incredibly weak so far. This will be a different test altogether. Strength of schedule is an issue for both teams, though.

We can upgrade Dallas’ offense coming into this game, as it is getting healthier along the offensive line. Left guard Tyler Smith missed the first two weeks of the season and left tackle Tyron Smith missed Weeks 3 and 4, so this will be the first time this season that Dak Prescott has had a full starting offensive line, with right guard Zack Martin also in the fold after missing Week 3.

The Cowboys can attack weaknesses in the 49ers' secondary. Deommodore Lenoir has never posted a PFF coverage grade in the 60s for a full season, currently operating at a 55.5 mark through four weeks. He has given up 217 yards for 1.26 yards per coverage snap this season. Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup will both spend time lined up against Lenoir and are good enough to take advantage of the matchup, as is CeeDee Lamb who is expected to face off against Isaiah Oliver.

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Oliver is excelling so far this season as the 49ers' slot cornerback, but he has not faced any real tests yet. The one notably strong passing offense he faced last year was the Chargers, and they were without star slot receiver Keenan Allen. Lamb will be the best receiver Oliver has lined up against in at least a year. Dallas has its work cut out trying to stop multiple weapons in an extremely well-coached offense, but there are exploitable matchups across the field.

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