Bettors Aren’t Buying the Vikings; 83% of Money Is on 49ers -7 in Divisional Round

Bettors Aren’t Buying the Vikings; 83% of Money Is on 49ers -7 in Divisional Round

Jimmy Garoppolo celebrating a TD pass

With Jimmy Garoppolo set to make his playoff debut as a starting quarterback, sports bettors have flocked to the San Francisco 49ers as they prepare to host the Minnesota Vikings as 7-point favorites.
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire.

  • The Vikings visit San Francisco as 7-point underdogs following their stunning upset of New Orleans on Wild Card Weekend
  • Sharp bettors are heavily backing the top-seeded 49ers
  • Sharp money is also supporting the UNDER in this clash of stout pass defenses

The Minnesota Vikings are riding high as they prepare to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday afternoon (4:35 PM ET, Jan 11th) as 7-point road underdogs in the NFL odds at Bookmaker.eu.

Minnesota halted a two-game losing streak with an impressive 26-20 upset win over the New Orleans Saints on Wild Card Weekend, but their victory has failed to move the needle at the sportsbooks. According to BookMaker.eu, 83% of the betting handle at their site is on the top-seeded 49ers ahead of Saturday’s matchup at Levi’s Stadium.

NFC Divisional Playoffs: Vikings vs 49ers Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total at Bookmaker.eu
Minnesota Vikings +7 (-108) +263 Ov 44 (-110)
San Francisco 49ers -7 (-112) -325 Un 44 (-110)

Odds taken 01/09/20.

When it comes to sharp action at the sportsbooks, 89% of sharp money is on San Francisco, as well.

The professionals also have a strong lean when it comes to the total: 66% of BookMaker.eu’s handle is on the UNDER, and that jumps to 84% when just considering sharp money.

Bettors Unmoved by Upset Win Over Saints

The Vikings opened as 6.5-point underdogs in the wake of last week’s victory, but have seen the spread tilt toward San Francisco despite a number of positive developments.

Dalvin Cook had an immediate and decisive impact on the Vikings’ fortunes in his return from injury, compiling a game-high 94 rushing yards and two touchdown runs against New Orleans.

Receiver Adam Thielen also returned to form after missing six games in the second half of the season due to injury. The 29-year-old racked up 129 receiving yards, including a spectacular 43-yard catch in overtime that set up the game-winning score against the Saints.

While Thielen has been hobbled in practice this week after suffering a serious cut on his ankle, both he and Cook, along with quarterback Kirk Cousins, are expected to power the offense in Minnesota’s bid to return to the NFC Championship game for the second time in three years.

Cousins Silencing Critics

Cousins silenced the naysayers last weekend by orchestrating the game-winning drive in overtime to earn his first playoff victory. The seven-year veteran’s consistent play has been key to the Vikings’ current 5-2 run on the road.

While he has not racked up gaudy numbers like he did against mismatched competition earlier this season, he has connected on 14 total TD  passes over his past eight games.

Cousins is likely to find himself under constant pressure on Saturday against the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense. The Niners led the NFL this season while limiting opposing passers to just 169.2 yards per game. But that unit has shown cracks in recent weeks, surrendering 274 yards per game and 11 total touchdown passes over the past four contests.

San Francisco should get a lift from the return of defensive end Dee Ford, who is expected to see his first action after missing six games with a hamstring injury. Ford racked up 6.5 sacks before getting sidelined, contributing to the Niners’ league-leading 44 sacks through the first 12 weeks of the campaign.

With Ford out of the lineup, the 49ers mustered just four total sacks over their final four contests.

History on Minnesota’s Side

While the Vikings have a mountain to climb in Saturday’s matchup, they do have history on their side. Minnesota has won six of eight meetings since 1998, and has held the 49ers to 12 points per game in three road dates.

Meanwhile, the UNDER has gone 6-2 over their past eight matchups, a run that sports bettors expect to continue on Saturday.

The bad news for the Vikings is their historical failure to score when facing the 49ers on the road. Minnesota has been held to just three points in two of three visits to San Francisco. And while Minnesota has averaged almost 31 points over its past seven road dates, maintaining that pace against a bolstered Niners defense that is allowing fewer than 20 points per game on home turf will be a massive challenge.

Super Bowl 54 Odds Tracker

Spotlight on Jimmy G

The naysayers’ spotlight will be focused on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in his playoff debut as a starting pivot. Garoppolo has been up-and-down against playoff-quality competition. His worst performance came against Seattle in Week 10 (24-46 for 248 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and a 66.2 passer rating). But Jimmy G was spectacular against the Saints and Packers (combined 40-55 for 602 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs).

As they demonstrated last week, the Vikings pass defense is strong, particularly in the red zone, where they were so effective last weekend in New Orleans. That certainly makes it an easy decision to follow the sharp money supporting the UNDER.

But while 89% of sharp money is backing the Niners against the spread, the Vikings’ stifling defense will complicate San Francisco’s bid to cover while favored by a touchdown or more for the first time since 2013.

Picks: Vikings +7 (-108); UNDER 44 (-110)

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Daniel Coyle

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