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Top-Seeded 49ers Open as 7.5-Point Favorites vs Vikings in NFC Divisional Round

San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are big favorites against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Divisional Round, but the line is moving in Minnesota's favor. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire.
  • The San Francisco 49ers opened as 7.5-point favorites over the Minnesota Vikings in Saturday’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game
  • The line quickly shortened to San Francisco -6.5
  • The Vikings won at New Orleans in the Wild Card round as 7.5-point underdogs – read below for a prediction on how the line will move before kickoff

As they head to San Francisco to face the 49ers on Saturday in the NFC Divisional Round playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings best hope is that history repeats itself.

In 1987, the Vikings visited New Orleans for an NFC Wild Card playoff contest. Minnesota won 44-10 as 6.5-point underdogs.

The following week, the Vikes traveled to San Fran to face the Niners in the Divisional Round. As 11-point underdogs, they won 36-24.

In five Divisional Round playoff meetings with the Niners, that’s the only time the Vikes have emerged victorious.

Minnesota arrives in San Francisco this time fresh off a 26-20 overtime win in a Wild Card game at New Orleans in which the Vikings were 7.5-point underdogs.  The 49ers are currently listed as 6.5-point favorites to take out Minnesota but there are indications that the betting public is leaning toward Minny.

Minnesota Vikings vs San Francisco 49ers Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Minnesota Vikings +240 +6.5 (-109) Over 45.5 (-110)
San Francisco 49ers -300 -6.5 (-111) Under 45.5 (-110)

Odds taken Jan. 5.

The line opened at San Francisco -7.5. Minnesota is 4-4 against the spread on the road this season.

One Meets Six Again

For the second straight season, the Divisional Round of the NFL postseason will feature a 1 vs 6 matchup in both the AFC and NFC. The #6 Vikings get #1 San Francisco. In the AFC, the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens face the Tennessee Titans.

You don’t need a sixth sense to know that these games haven’t gone well for the six seed.

Last year, both one seeds won. In fact, there’s been eight 1 vs 6 contests in the NFL Divisional Round since 2013 and and all eight were won by the top-seeded squad. But those #1 seeds are just 3-4-1 against the spread.

There were also two 1 vs 6 showdowns in 2010 and in each case, the six seed won. The New York Jets upset the New England Patriots 28-21, while the Green Bay Packers hammered the Atlanta Falcons 48-21.

The Packers are the most recent six seed to win the Super Bowl.

Vikings Are Road Warriors

Straight up, Minnesota is 2-3 in its last five road playoff games. Sunday’s victory at New Orleans was the first postseason triumph by the Vikings on the road since winning 31-17 at Green Bay in a Jan. 9, 2005 NFC Wild Card game.

Against the spread, though, the Vikes are playoff road warriors. They won that game at Green Bay as 6-point underdogs. In those last five postseason road contests, Minnesota is 4-1 ATS.

Vikings-49ers Head To Head Considerations

Minnesota has won four of its last five games against the 49ers. Things tend to trend much differently when the two teams meet at San Francisco, however. The Vikings have dropped nine of their last 10 games in San Fran. They’ve won there once since 1988.

Against the spread they are 2-7-1 in their last 10 road trips to face the Niners.

In playoff games at San Francisco, Minnesota is 1-3 both SU and ATS.

Line Likes Vikes

That early one-point shift should be definitely looked upon as a sign of things to come. Minnesota has more playoff experience than the 49ers. The Vikings just took out a playoff-hardened Saints team for the second time in three years.

Their defense gave fits to New Orleans QB Drew Brees, a Super Bowl winner. Imagine the problems they’ll present to San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo, a postseason newbie.

Look for the line to continue to shorten as the game nears.

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