Game time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Venue: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Where to watch: FOX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: 49ers -3
BetMGM: 49ers -3
Caesars: 49ers -3
Vikings: 5-5 (2nd place, NFC North)
49ers: 5-5 (3rd place, NFC North)
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Vikings - 49ers preview and analysis
Vikings: won 34-31 vs. 49ers
49ers: won 30-10 at Jaguars
This was not a matchup to be considered a playoff altering event a few weeks ago, but the Minnesota Vikings have decided to enter the fray.
The Vikings will visit the San Francisco 49ers in a battle of .500 teams with the winner making a major push in the NFC playoff picture.
In a must-win game, Minnesota pulled off a home upset last week against the Green Bay Packers, 34-31, that saw Kirk Cousins outduel Aaron Rodgers in a hell of a game. Cousins threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, a performance worthy of showing why he's capable of big games.
Two of those touchdowns went to emerging star receiver Justin Jefferson, who is 56 yards away from 1,000 for the second straight year. Jefferson had eight receptions for 169 yards and those scores, giving him 11 games of at least 100 yards.
“He’s very confident. I don’t think any of this stuff bothers him. He thinks he’s a great player, and he is a great player,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said of his young wideout. “He really doesn’t have any prima donna in him as far as not working in practice or being late or anything like that. He just goes about his business. I think he just loves to go play and loves to practice, and I think he loves the limelight, too. I think he loves catching the ball and scoring touchdowns. Hopefully he can continue to do that.”
Minnesota has covered in three straight after going 1-3 ATS in the previous four. What's more is the Vikings were underdogs in those three; they've capitalized on close games primarily against the Baltimore Ravens (+7.5) in an overtime loss, and winning outright against the Los Angeles Chargers (+3).
But much like the Vikings, the 49ers' situation was looking bleak a few weeks ago. Since losing by 14 to the Arizona Cardinals sans Kyler Murray, the 49ers have reeled off back-to-back wins against the Los Angeles Rams (+3.5) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5) while covering both.
Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns, while Nick Bosa continued his Defensive Player of the Year case with two sacks in a 20-point win over the Jaguars last week.
“I think these past 14 days have, I don’t want to say changed our team, but we’re moving in the right direction now, I’ll say,” Garoppolo said. “We just got to keep going. There’s a lot of football left to be played.”
There is a three-way tie between Minnesota, San Francisco and the New Orleans Saints. The Niners are on the outside looking in right now due to win percentage in conference games and strength of victory. Road games will not help the cause.
The trend is clear: If Cousins plays well, the Vikings win. If he struggles and doesn't reach 200 yards, Minnesota is in for a dog fight. The 49ers' defense has turned up the heat the last few weeks, but that Rams game was the statement it was looking for. If Bosa continues this pace, he's going to be a terror for Minnesota's offensive line. 49ers by 10
Vikings are 5-1 ATS as an underdog this season.
Over is 9-2 in Vikings’ last 11 November games.
49ers are 1-5 ATS in last six following 17 points or fewer allowed the last game.
Players to watch
Vikings: Running back Dalvin Cook had 115 yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown last week.
49ers: Wide receiver Deebo Samuel had 94 yards from scrimmage and a rushing touchdown last weekend. In addition, George Kittle has a receiving touchdown in three straight games.
Passing: Kirk Cousins -- 2,775 yards, 21 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Dalvin Cook -- 734 yards, 4 TD
Receiving: Justin Jefferson -- 944 yards, 6 TD
Defense: Everson Griffen -- 5 sacks
Passing: Jimmy Garoppolo -- 2,112 yards, 12 TD, 5 INT
Rushing: Elijah Mitchell -- 560 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Deebo Samuel -- 994 yards, 5 TD
Defense: Nick Bosa -- 10 sacks
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