NFL Playoffs 2020: 49ers vs. Vikings odds, picks, optimal bracket predictions from expert who’s 10-1


Teams with strong running games collide on Saturday in the 2020 NFL Playoffs when the San Francisco 49ers square off with the Minnesota Vikings. The 49ers (13-3) have the NFL‘s second-best ground game, averaging 144.1 rushing yards per contest. Meanwhile, the Vikings (11-6) rank sixth in the league in rushing at 133.3 yards a game. Facing New Orleans’ stout run defense last week, Minnesota generated for 136 yards on the ground in a 26-20 overtime win.

The Vikings are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games, and kickoff from Santa Clara is set for 4:35 p.m. ET. San Francisco is a seven-point favorite in the latest 49ers vs. Vikings odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 44.5, down one from the opening line. Before you make any Vikings vs. 49ers picks, make sure you check out the NFL predictions from SportsLine’s resident Niners expert, Tom Fornelli.

The CBS Sports national writer has gone a wallet-fattening 31-21 this season on his NFL best bets. What’s more, he has demonstrated a particularly sharp eye for the tendencies of the 49ers. In fact, Fornelli is 10-1 all-time on his NFL picks against the spread involving San Francisco, and anybody who has been following him is way up.

Now Fornelli has dialed in on 49ers vs. Vikings in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs 2020 and released another confident against-the-spread pick. You can head to SportsLine to see it. Here are the NFL lines and trends for Vikings vs. Niners:

  • 49ers vs. Vikings spread: San Francisco -7
  • 49ers vs. Vikings over-under: 44.5 points
  • 49ers vs. Vikings money line: San Francisco -316, Minnesota +254
  • SF: No. 2 in total defense (281.8 yards per game) during the regular season
  • MIN: No. 5 in sacks (48) during the regular season

Why the 49ers can cover

Fornelli knows that George Kittle is a game-changing tight end. This season, Kittle ranked fourth among tight ends in receptions (85), third in receiving yards (1,053) and seventh in touchdowns (five). In last season’s game against Minnesota, Kittle burned the Vikings for five catches and 90 receiving yards. 

In addition, Fornelli has factored in that Dee Ford is set to return to the defensive line rotation. The former first round pick missed the last three games of the regular season with a hamstring injury, but still finished fourth on the team in sacks (6.5) and sixth in tackles for loss (7.5). If he’s healthy, his availability would only strengthen an already formidable defensive line that already includes Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner

Why the Vikings can cover

Minnesota’s passing game got a huge lift with the return of receiver Adam Thielen. After missing five of the team’s last seven games with a hamstring injury, Thielen returned for the wild card game against New Orleans and made seven catches for 129 yards in the win. His 43-yard catch down to the Saints‘ 2-yard line set up the Vikings’ game-winning touchdown in overtime. He’s been hobbled by an ankle injury this week, but is expected to suit up for Saturday’s game.

In addition, Minnesota safety Anthony Harris has a knack of making interceptions. The fifth-year player from Virginia has nine interceptions in 24 starts since he became a regular starter in Week 8 of 2018. That’s the second best per start interception rate in the NFL. Four of his picks have come against three of the league’s best quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees

How to make 49ers vs. Vikings picks

We can tell you Fornelli is leaning under, but he also says a critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He’s sharing what it is, and which side to back, only at SportsLine.

Who wins Vikings vs. Niners in the NFL Playoffs 2020? And what critical x-factor makes one side a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Vikings vs. 49ers spread you should be all over Saturday, all from the expert who’s 10-1 on picks involving San Francisco.





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