49ers-Vikings Betting Preview: Is the Market Overvaluing Minnesota?

49ers-Vikings Betting Preview: Is the Market Overvaluing Minnesota? article feature image

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Zimmer

Betting odds: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

  • Spread: Vikings -6.5
  • Over/Under: 46
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

>> All odds as Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets.

Betting market: Despite Jimmy Garoppolo’s impressive showing with San Francisco to end the 2017 season, only 35% of bettors are taking him and the 49ers plus the points as of writing (see live data here).

Over the past two weeks, the line has gone from +5.5 to +6.5, but I imagine it would take another wave of sharp action on the Vikings to bump them up to the key number of -7.Mark Gallant

Injury watch: The 49ers are without stud linebacker Reuben Foster for the first two games of the season due to suspension, and starting running back Jerick McKinnon (torn ACL) will miss the entire season.

The rest of the 49ers offense is at least healthy, with tight end George Kittle (shoulder) and running back Matt Breida (shoulder) good to go following preseason injuries.

The Niners’ defense, however, could be without starting linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and versatile defensive back Jimmie Ward (quad).

The Vikings are down two starting linemen in left guard Nick Easton (neck, IR) and center Pat Elflein (shoulder/ankle, doubtful). But the likes of cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hamstring), wide receiver Adam Thielen (leg) and left tackle Riley Reiff (ankle/shoulder) are all expected to suit up Sunday.

Zimmer also confirmed that running back Dalvin Cook (ACL) is back to 100% and ready to roll. Ian Hartitz

Trends to know: In Week 1, casual bettors are influenced by last season’s results. The public overvalues playoff teams and often ignores teams that missed the postseason the year before.

There has been contrarian value betting non-playoff teams against a playoff opponent from the year before in Week 1: 55-38-2 against-the-spread (59%) since 2003. John Ewing

Did you know? No coach covers the spread quite like Mike Zimmer.

Since becoming the Vikings’ coach in 2014, Minnesota is 43-21 ATS (+19.4 units) under Zimmer, making him the most profitable coach in the NFL over that span.

Under Zimmer, the Vikings are 23-9 ATS (+12.6 units) at home. And when the Vikings have time to prepare at home, they are virtually unbeatable.

Including the playoffs and Week 1s, Minnesota is 7-0 straight-up and 5-2 ATS since 2015 with more than a week to prepare. Evan Abrams

Metrics that matter: Kirk Cousins is 0-3 with a 71.7 passer rating and two touchdowns to five interceptions in Week 1. Only Jets backup Josh McCown (0-8) has a worse rating in season-openers among active quarterbacks (minimum 100 attempts).

Cousins does have better weapons now, but maybe there’s something to a slow Kirk start. — Stuckey

DFS edge: San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is an excellent tournament option on DraftKings for $4,600 against an elite Vikings defense. He averaged 8.2 targets per game with Garoppolo under center last season.

Goodwin’s role in this offense and lid-lifting speed puts him in consideration on a weekly basis. His +2.73 Projected Plus/Minus is also a top-six mark on DraftKings’ main slate.

The 49ers struggled to defend the pass last season, ranking 28th in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA metric and surrendering the eighth-most passing touchdowns.

Cousins is projected for only 2-4% ownership according to FantasyLabs’ ownership projections for large-field tournaments as of writing.

That helps give him a leverage score in the 90th percentile. This is our proprietary metric that weighs a player’s projected ownership and ceiling. Justin Bailey

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.