Wild Card weekend has come and gone, and now we move on to the 2020 NFL divisional playoffs with Vikings vs. 49ers predictions ahead of Saturday afternoon's kickoff at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
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Vikings vs. 49ers Predictions: 2020 NFL Playoff Betting Odds, Pick For Divisional Round
The sixth-seeded Minnesota Vikings shook up the NFC playoff picture with a stunning overtime win during the Wild Card round and now travel to San Francisco for a shot at the No. 1 overall seed. Coming off the bye week, the 49ers opened as more than a touchdown favorite at most NJ betting sites, with action helping this spread settle at San Francisco -7 (-110) after a brief spell at -6.5 early on.
Bettors can currently get the over-under at 45.5 if wagering with a SugarHouse Sportsbook promo code, but the total can still be found at 46, so do some line shopping depending on which side of the total you prefer.
This was not the matchup the 49ers expected after their bye, but the Vikings' near-perfect game in New Orleans resulted in the eight-point underdog winning outright in overtime. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins shook off some big-game demons while WR Adam Thielen accounted for more receiving yards (129) than he's had combined since mid-October.
Having Thielen as a legitimate threat once again on the opposite side of Stefon Diggs worked wonders for Cousins, who can help keep this game close on Saturday as long as he limits the mistakes. Minnesota's biggest threat is RB Dalvin Cook, who managed 130 total yards including 94 on the ground.
Prior to Wild Card weekend, one never would have thought of the Vikings and 49ers as comparable teams, but here we are. Granted one group has been more consistent than the other, which is why the Niners earned the bye, but the stats say there isn't much separating these two.
Looking at DVOA metrics from Football Outsiders, both teams rank in the top 10 overall on both sides of the ball, resulting in San Francisco being ranked second and Minnesota seventh during the season.
The 49ers were a respectable 9-6-1 against the spread this season while Minnesota was 9-7, but we did just see the Vikings go beat a playoff-hardened saints team in the Superdome. The result was the initial line dropping a full point toward the Vikings since opening. Now the question becomes: is that just recency bias?
2020 NFL Playoff Predictions: Divisional Round Picks Against The Spread For Vikings vs. Niners
The 49ers are coming off the bye week and are finally at full strength. In case we all forgot, coach Kyle Shanahan is a dynamic play-caller and QB Jimmy Garoppolo is working with weapons like TE George Kittle and the second-best rushing attack in football over the course of the season. If they play up to capability, this game really should be a victory, regardless of spread.
That's also exactly what so many of us said about the Saints, who were forced into playing like a shell of themselves thanks to the Minnesota defense. New Orleans averaged well over 30 points per game in the second half of the season, yet barely made it to 20 at home in a playoff game.
With that kind of effort and Mike Zimmer's creative game-planning, there's very little chance that Minnesota is blown out of the water. In fact, a defense that can make Drew Brees look mortal could have a chance against Garoppolo.
The Vikings only scratched out 3.4 yards per carry on offense, but San Francisco ranked 23rd in this category during the regular season and we can see Cook having more success in this area. The 49ers aren't bad against the run by any stretch, ranking just outside the top 10 in DVOA rush defense. With that said, we just saw the Vikings rack up 138 rushing yards against a top-five run-stuffing unit in New Orleans.
San Francisco advances to the NFC title game, but Minnesota acquits themselves respectfully in a close loss for the first of our NFL divisional round predictions.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings +7 (-110), Under 45.5 (-110) - Bet On Vikings-49ers at SugarHouse NJ
Vikings vs. 49ers Picks: NFL Divisional Round Prop Bets For Saturday
As the playoffs continue, NFL playoff prop bets become increasingly popular. This is mostly due to the fact that there are so many fewer games on that during a normal regular-season slate, which results in sportsbooks adding extra markets for bettors to choose from. Below are a few options for Vikings vs. 49ers props to target this weekend, as offered by SuharHouse Sportsbook:
- Dalvin Cook Over 73.5 Rushing Yards (-118): Cook went for 94 yards on the ground in New Orleans, and that was while only averaging 3.4 yards per carry. Against San Francisco, Cook should the be Vikings' bell-cow running back again and as long as the game remains somewhat close, he should surpass this total.
- Kirk Cousins Over 234.5 Yards Passing (+105): If you're in the camp that San Francisco will take Cook away and force Cousins to beat one of the best pass defenses in the NFL, this wager is for you. Cousins will either rise to the challenge and hit this over, or the Vikings will be behind, giving him a chance at hitting the number late in the game.
- 49ers Win By 7-12 Points (+390): For those thinking the Niners find a way to cover, but not blow out the Vikings, here's a risk that might be worth taking at for the advanced price at. If you think the Vikings lose but manage to cover the +7, you can also take San Francisco from 1-6 points for +325.
- No Team Reaches 30 Points (-159): The choices when it comes to these categories are selecting one of the teams or picking a 'tie', which would mean neither team reaches that number. This bet is predicated on the winning team scoring 29 or less on Saturday.
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2020 NFL Playoff Bracket: Vikings, Titans Shake Up NFL Postseason Picture
Now that the opening round of the postseason is over with, the 2020 NFL playoff bracket has been flipped on its ear a little bit. In both the AFC and NFC, the sixth seed toppled the No. 3 seed, changing around the potential matchups for each of the top seeds.
Let's look at the NFL Divisional Round playoff schedule for the upcoming weekend:
2020 NFL Divisional Round Schedule
- Vikings vs. 49ers (Levi's Stadium) - Saturday, January 11 at 4:35 PM
- Titans vs. Ravens (M&T Bank Stadium) Saturday, January 11 at 8:15 PM
- Texans vs. Chiefs (Arrowhead Stadium) Sunday, January 12 at 3:05 PM
- Seahawks vs. Packers (Lambeau Field) Sunday, January 12 at 6:40 PM
Want to know more about gambling on the football postseason? Check out our NFL playoffs betting guide for tips, strategies, and information about how to win money on the road to Super Bowl 54!