The San Francisco 49ers are heading to Minnesota to take on the Vikings for their second consecutive road game. Check out the odds, predictions and best bet (49ers -6.5) ahead of this Monday night matchup.
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Minnesota Vikings Prediction
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Minnesota Vikings Prediction: 49ers -7
The 49ers just had their worst game of the year when they lost to the Cleveland Browns in a 19-17 slugfest. Kyle Shanahan’s offense had few answers for the Jim Schwartz defense after the opening touchdown drive. Brock Purdy had the worst game of his young career as he was consistently under pressure, struggled to get the ball out under slippery conditions and missed throws to his go-to receiver, Brandon Aiyuk. He even threw his first interception of the season.
Yet the wild thing about the game is the 49ers still blew multiple opportunities to win it. Rookie kicker Jake Moody missed multiple field goals, including the game-winner. Additionally, the Browns marched down the field on their game-winning field goal drive in part thanks to a questionable defenseless receiver call. This is all to say that despite the odds going against the 49ers, they were still so close to winning.
This does not bode well for the Vikings, who are the league’s unluckiest team this season. All four of their losses were close one-score games they could have won. Not only have they faced chance fumbles and drops, but they lost their best player for multiple weeks when wide receiver Justin Jefferson went down with a hamstring injury.
Jefferson led the NFL in receiving yards the first three weeks of the season, but now quarterback Kirk Cousins has to spread more of his targets to K.J. Osborn, T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison. In one game without Jefferson, the Vikings got a 19-13 win over the Chicago Bears, but QB Justin Fields left the game early due to injury.
The good news for the Vikings is even though their record has gone downhill, their defense has improved under defensive coordinator Brian Flores. After ranking near the bottom of the NFL in many defensive categories in 2022, this Vikings defense doesn’t allow nearly as many big plays and gets to the passer. The one area they could still improve is their run defense. The Bears had some easy running lanes for and accumulated 162 rushing yards last week. Minnesota cannot afford to allow these kinds of holes to Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers run offense.
The Vikings are not an easy opponent, but I’ll take the 49ers to bounce back and cover. Coach Kyle Shanahan is optimistic that Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey will have a chance at playing. If they’re good to go, the 49ers should be able to win by at least a touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Minnesota Vikings Best Odds
SF @ MIN
Oct. 23, 7:15 PM
Odds updated October 23rd, 2023, at 10:02 pm
The 49ers are favored by -6.5 points over the Vikings. The Vikings’ losses have all been by seven points or less, while the 49ers’ wins have all been by seven points or more. The over/under is set at 44, but expect the odds to shift depending on the 49ers’ injuries.
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Minnesota Vikings Key Injuries
The 49ers came out of Cleveland with multiple critical injuries. RB Christian McCaffrey left the game early with an oblique injury while WR Deebo Samuel sustained a shoulder injury. McCaffrey, Samuel, LT Trent Williams, LB Dre Greenlaw and LG Aaron Banks all didn’t practice for the 49ers Thursday.
On the Vikings side, Justin Jefferson is still out with a hamstring injury. LG Ezra Cleveland didn’t practice Thursday while CB Akayleb Evans and OLB Pat Jones II were both limited participants.
San Francisco 49ers vs Minnesota Vikings Key Matchups
The Vikings best chance at beating the 49ers lies in their ability to pressure Brock Purdy.
49ers Offensive Line Vs. Vikings Defensive Front
One of the key factors that led to the worst game of Brock Purdy’s career was the Browns’ pass rush. Purdy was under duress the entire game and the 49ers offensive line was exposed. The Vikings best shot at disrupting the 49ers offense is to keep their run game from rolling and prevent Purdy from getting into rhythm.
The tricky thing is most pass rushes aren’t the Browns’ pass rush. Though the Browns were able to keep Purdy out of rhythm and contain the run game, the Vikings don’t have a trio on their line like Myles Garrett, Za’Darius Smith and Dalvin Tomlinson. Still, Minnesota has one of the more formidable D-lines. They are tied for the fourth in sacks with 18 on the year. Minnesota got the win in Chicago in large part due to the pressure they created, sacking the Bears’ quarterbacks five times. If they can continue to get pressure, they’ll have a chance at upsetting the 49ers.