San Francisco 49ers (1-1; 1-1 ATS: 2-0 O/U) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-1; 1-1 ATS: 0-2 O/U)
NFL: Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 8:00pm EST
Line: Minnesota -4.5
The Minnesota Vikings will host the San Francisco 49ers in an NFC preseason matchup Sunday night from U.S. Bank Stadium. The 49ers struggled in a 33-13 loss to the Broncos last week, and the Vikings came up short in a 20-13 road loss to the Seahawks in their previous action.
49ers Defense Falters in Blowout Loss to Broncos
The San Francisco 49ers had trouble stopping the run in their 33-14 home loss to the Broncos last week. Brian Hoyer completed 8 of his 11 passes for 89 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. The 31-year old quarterback is taking over as the new starter after accumulating 1445 passing yards with a 6:0 TD to INT ratio in six games with the Bears last season. Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard was solid, throwing for 112 yards with one touchdown. The 23-year old quarterback was taken in the third round of last year’s draft, and although unlikely, there is a chance he could win the backup job over Matt Barkley. Carlos Hyde saw a good chunk of playing time and tallied 26 rushing yards off eight carries. The 26-year old running back had a strong 2016 season, recording 988 rushing yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Marquise Goodwin led all receivers with three catches for 44 yards in the loss. The 5-foot-9 receiver came over as a free-agent after collecting a career-high 431 receiving yards with the Bills last season. Goodwin will slot as the number two receiver with Pierre Garcon leading the way.
The 49ers scored an average of 19.3 points per game last year, ranking them down at 27th overall. The San Francisco defense was awful last season, allowing an average of 30 points per game, placing them last in the NFL.
Rookie RB Cook Excels in Vikings Loss
The Minnesota Vikings dropped their second preseason matchup 20-13 to the Seahawks, however their were some positives to take away. Sam Bradford was solid, connecting on 7 of 11 passes for 95 yards, however he did not reach the end zone. The 29-year old quarterback has now completed 12 of his 18 passes for 130 yards with no TD’s through two preseason games. Vikings backup QB Case Keenum was decent, throwing for 70 yards on 12 completions but did not lead his team to a touchdown. Keenum was signed to backup Sam Bradford until Teddy Bridgewater returns. Dalvin Cook was outstanding last week, recording 40 rushing yards off seven carries, good for an average of 5.7 yards per carry. The 22-year old running back rushed for 1765 yards with Florida State last season, and all signs point to him starting the season as the Vikings’ primary back. Cook has impressed throughout training camp. Stefon Diggs also came through with a strong performance, making four catches for 65 yards. The 23-year old wide receiver had an outstanding sophomore season last year, accumulating 903 receiving yards in 13 games, and is the Vikings number one receiver.
Last season the Vikings scored an average of 20.4 points per game, ranking them down at 23rd in the NFL. The Minnesota defense was outstanding in 2016, conceding an average of 19.2 points per game, good for sixth overall.
The San Francisco 49ers are:
- 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games overall.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on field turf.
- 5-12-1 ATS in their last 18 road games.
The Minnesota Vikings are:
- 22-7 ATS in their last 29 home games.
- 20-6 ATS in their last 26 games on turf.
- 38-17 ATS in their last 55 games overall.
I am siding with the Vikings in this matchup. The Vikings quarterbacks have looked sharp through their first two preseason games, with Bradford and Keenum showing strong accuracy and even Taylor Heinicke has tossed two touchdowns already. The 49ers defense had no answer for the Broncos last week and I think they will have trouble with the Vikings offense as well. Hoyer has not thrown a touchdown along with one interception, and Barkley has also not found the end zone, and the Vikings feature great depth defensively. Viking head coach Mike Zimmer plays to win in the preseason, posting a 13-2 preseason record with the Vikings.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are not a high scoring team and they have not scored many points in their first two preseason contests. Minnesota should move the ball well but I can’t see them scoring big points and the under is 10-4 in their last 14 games against the NFC. The 49ers will likely have a tough time generating sustained offense against this defense, and the under is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these two teams.