Welcome to the NFC Divisional Round betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming NFC Divisional Round game utilizing moneyline, points spread, and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those two sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick.” A lean is a wager that we have a determined degree of certainty. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries, the past track records for certain conditions and bet types, and team performances leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup, including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Vikings vs. 49ers Divisional Round Betting Preview over at TheLines.
Vikings at 49ers moneyline
The Vikings used a balanced offense to escape with an overtime victory Sunday against the Saints. In this divisional-round matchup, Minnesota faces many of the same challenges they did against New Orleans — a hostile road setting and a formidable defense. However, as tough as the Saints’ unit was, the 49ers’ defense has played on an entirely different level at home this season. That makes the road to a second consecutive postseason road upset a very thorny one.
As clutch as Kirk Cousins was in leading that overtime victory against New Orleans, he’ll now draw the toughest matchup possible — at least on paper — in which to try and replicate his effort. No team was more difficult to pass against on its home field than the 49ers. The Niners surrendered just 157.9 passing yards per game at Levi’s Stadium. Granted, there were better ball-hawking squads than San Francisco, which picked off a solid-but-not-spectacular 12 passes. But few teams made sure the quarterback never got the ball out of his hands better.
The Niners finished with 48 sacks (tying them with the Vikings), including an NFC-high 3.6 sacks per home game. Minnesota did a reasonably good job of protecting Cousins during the regular season (28 sacks allowed). Yet the Vikings offense does suffer from a narrow selection of viable playmakers. Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook account for a significant chunk of their squad’s offensive production when they’re at full health. While each is undeniably talented, the ability of a quality defense to hone in on such a small group of players can make for a long day.
The outlook is much brighter for Jimmy Garoppolo and company. The Vikings surrender 252.4 passing yards per road game. Then, the 49ers averaged the most points per game of any team on its home field (32.4 PPG). What was once a pedestrian group of No. 2 and No. 3 receivers for San Francisco got a major boost when Emmanuel Sanders joined the team in October. The ongoing development of rookie Deebo Samuel also was a major factor in helping to take defensive attention off All-World tight end George Kittle.
One of the main ways the San Francisco offense is more diversified than that of Minnesota’s is San Fran’s backfield. It features three viable options in Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. However, it’s worth noting the Vikings have managed to limit opponents to just 104.8 rushing yards per road game, a figure that factors in the 97 yards they allowed to the Saints on Sunday.
Vikings at 49ers point spread
The oddsmakers and public are showing plenty of faith in the 49ers despite the Vikings’ impressive Wild Card win and San Fran’s losing record versus the number as a home team this season. However, the fact they have a key one-week rest advantage on their opponent, which will actually be playing on slightly short week as well, is a factor.
The Vikings are 10-7 (58.8 percent) against the spread this regular season and postseason, including 5-4 (55.6 percent) as an away team.
The 49ers were 9-6-1 (60.0 percent) against the spread during the regular season, including 3-4-1 (42.9 percent) as a home team.
Minnesota demonstrated last Sunday it won’t be intimidated by a hostile road environment. However, the 49ers’ home defense is especially elite and the Vikings heavily rely on three playmakers overall. As such, as I see a tight game but lean toward the Niners doing enough to pull away by more than TD.
The Lean: 49ers -7 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Vikings at 49ers over/under (total)
Both defenses are certainly capable of shutting down opposing offenses. San Francisco’s pass defense metrics at home are especially eye-opening, as cited earlier. And each squad can certainly get after the quarterback enough to disrupt a passing game consistently.
The Over is 9-8 (52.9 percent) in the Vikings’ games this season and postseason, including 5-4 (55.6 percent) in their away games.
Then, the Over was 8-7-1 (53.3 percent) in the 49ers’ games this season, including 5-3 (62.5 percent) in their home games.
I don’t see either offense getting completely shut down here, but the mid-40s total is enough to account for both teams to get their fair share of scoring in while still allowing the Under to prevail. With intensity ratcheting up a notch in the postseason, I see the final total falling just short of the projected 45-point number.
The Pick: Under 45 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Best prop bet for Vikings vs. 49ers
49ers moneyline and Under 45.5 points parlay: (+150 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
In conjunction with my belief the 49ers will prevail in this matchup and scoring will be relatively limited, I suggest this prop for consideration. San Francisco’s outstanding numbers versus the pass at home were detailed earlier. The Niners also held opponents to just 19.6 points per game at home. Minnesota wasn’t very far behind in surrendering a respectable 21.6 points per road contest. The Vikings did an excellent job against a comparable offense in that of the Saints. Therefore, a 23-20-type of game here wouldn’t surprise.
This article was originally published Tuesday. Odds subject to change.