San Francisco 49ers (0-0) at Minnesota Vikings (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm (U.S. Bank Stadium)
The Line: Minnesota Vikings -6.5 -- Over/Under: 46.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The San Francisco Giants and the Minnesota Vikings meet in week 1 NFL action from US Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The San Francisco 49ers will look to pick up where they left off last season after finishing 6-10 and in the NFC West basement for the 3rd straight season. It doesn’t sound like that’s somewhere you’d want to pick up, but after starting 0-9, the 49ers inserted Jimmy Garoppolo into the lineup and won 6 of their last 7 games down the stretch, including their last 5 games to give fans some hope heading into this season. Garoppolo is back under centre after throwing for 1,560 yards, 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on 67.4% passing last season. The Niners lost the services of top rusher Carlos Hyde, but brought in Alfred Morris to back up Matt Breida who takes the reins after rushing for 465 yards last season. Marquise Goodwin is back to lead San Fran’s receiving corps after leading the 49ers with 56 catches for 962 yards last season and will be hoping to get more out of Pierre Garcon who caught 43 balls for 515 yards last year. Defensively, the 49ers will be looking to improve on a defence that finished in the bottom-10 in terms of total defense, and bottom-10 against the pass, leading San Francisco to bring in Richard Sherman from Seattle to bolster the secondary.
The Minnesota Vikings will hope to build off of one of their most successful seasons in recent memory after finishing last year with a 13-3 record and reaching the NFC title game before falling to the eventual champion Eagles by a final score of 38-7. The Vikes cut ties with Case Keenum and brought in Kirk Cousins who threw for 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season. Dalvin Cook will hope to stay healthy after tearing his ACL in week 4 last season, but just in case, Latavius Murray is back to back Cook up after leading Minny with 842 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns last season. The Vikings bring back their receiving corps from last year, with Adam Thielen who led the Vikings with 91 catches for 1,276 yards and Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph who each caught a team-high 8 touchdowns. The Vikings defense, which was already intimidating as it is, only got better with the addition of Sheldon Richardson on the front line along with the likes of Danielle Hunter, Linval Joseph and Everton Griffen up front.
San Francisco is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 week 1 matchups. Minnesota is 42-19 ATS in their last 61 games overall and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in September while the under is 5-2 in their last 7 home games. The home team is 7-2 ATS in the last 9 meetings between these two teams.
I’ve gone back and forth on this game, as Jimmy G is still undefeated as a starter in the NFL, but the Niners lost their top running back from last season and have some question marks on defense. Minnesota looks to be as good as last year, and if Cousins can keep the turnovers down, the Vikings may be Super Bowl bound this season. All in all, I think the Vikings have the edge and at home I think they take San Francisco down by at least a touchdown so I’ll lay the points with Minnesota here.