National experts predict the outcome of Vikings-49ers

Kirk Neven

On Sunday, two 5-5 teams will compete in Santa Clara, looking for a more advantageous play-off place.

The Minnesota Vikings are currently the sixth seed in the NFC, scheduled for a date with the Tampa Bay Buccanneers or Dallas Cowboys when the playoffs begin this week. On the San Francisco 49ers, they are teetering on the brink of the seventh heat, locked in battle with New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers.

The Week 12 winner of Vikings at 49ers gives one team a fast track to the wildcard round of the playoffs. And if you recognize national opinion as a barometer of future events, most analysts believe the 49ers will prevail.

According to NFLPickWatch.com, a website that hosts weekly live selections of all NFL games for experts, 59% of experts predict the 49ers will beat the Vikings.

January 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) meets Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55). Mandatory credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco is also favored with three points, which is the default betting allotment for a team with home advantage. Both teams are similar and are experiencing ups and downs in 2021. The Vikings narrowly defeated the Detroit Lions and stifled certain wins. The 49ers lost eight consecutive home games dating back to 2020 before stepping off the schneid against the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks ago.

Plus, San Francisco does well what Minnesota struggles against: play soccer. The 49ers are the eighth best rushing offense in the league and this week they will take on the NFL’s sixth worst rush defense per yard allowed. To make matters worse (or injury to injury), the Vikings will be without their entire defensive starting line. Injuries, COVID and other issues have sidelined the Minnesota starting foursome defensively this weekend.

The Vikings haven’t won against the 49ers in 14 years. The last time they won, Tarvaris Jackson was quarterback and Trent Dilfer played his last professional game. Then the 49ers choked the Vikings in the 2015 season opener thanks to a lifeless Vikings effort. And, even more infamously, San Francisco ended Minnesota’s 2019 season — the game after Kirk Cousins ​​and Kyle Rudolph ran away from the New Orleans Saints. As a rule of thumb, the Vikings don’t perform well in the 49ers’ home, evidenced by an 8-15-1 (.354) all-time road record against the 49ers.

Minnesota has been charged with stopping wide receiver Deebo Samuel, whose breakout season is something to behold. In many ways, Samuel is a modern day Percy Harvin in a way used by the 49ers attack. Then San Francisco, under Kyle Shanahan, always seems to have three or four running backs cutting and dicing the opposition.

Somehow the Vikings will have to be creative in defense and correct the sins of not stopping the run in the first 10 games of the season. Injury reports be damned.

Notable personalities predicting the Vikings will win? Maurice Jones-Drew, Domonique Foxworth, Kevin Seifert, Mike Clay, Jason La Canfora and Adam Rank.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007 host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawho and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (the band).

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