NFL Betting Preview:‌ Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers -  NFC Divisional Playoffs

Minnesota Vikings (10-6) vs. San Francisco 49ers (13-3)
Saturday, January 11th - 4:35PM ET - Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Betting Line: San Francisco -7, Total 44.5

The Vikings went 3-3 on the road during the regular season. They lost to every above-.500 team they faced outside of Minnesota. The Vikings lost at Green Bay, CHicago, Kansas City, and Seattle.

Last week, they traveled to New Orleans for their wild card matchup. The Vikings were 7.5-point underdogs against New Orleans. Not only did Minnesota cover the spread, they took the Saints to overtime and marched away with a 26-20 win. It was Minnesota's biggest win of the season of course, but there are more reasons than the obvious win-or-go-home aspect.

The Vikings did exactly what they needed to in order to stand a chance in New Orleans. They got off to an early lead and held it. Minnesota played good, effective football on both sides of the ball.

Kirk Cousins, who has been criticized for putting up "empty calorie stats", played well when it mattered most. Cousins completed 19 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown. He commited no turnovers and gave up two sacks.

Dalvin Cook rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 36 yards.

Adam Thielen helped Minnesota move the chains and get into scoring position. He caught seven passes for a game-high 129 yards.

It was Kyle Rudolph who caught the game-winning touchdown in OT to send the Vikings to an AFC Divisional Playoff game.

Defensivel, the Vikings held New Orleans to just 20 points. Drew Brees passed for 208 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Alvin Kamara was contained to just 21 rushing yards as was Latavius Murray. Even superstar receiver Michael Thomas was held to 70 receiving yards and no touchdowns.

The Niners are no pushovers. They may not have the talent at quarterback that New Orleans does, but they play team football arguably better than anyone in the NFL.

San Francisco's +169 point differental was the best in the NFC. They were +52 points better than the next NFC team: New Orleans.

The Niners have the top-ranked rushing attack in the NFC. They employ a triple threat of Raheem Mostert (772 yards, eight touchdowns, 5.6 yards per carry), Matt Breida (623 yards, one touchdown, 5.1 yards per carry), and Tevin Coleman (544 yards, six touchdowns, 4.0 yards per carry).

Jimmy Garoppolo isn't a superstar, but he's done enough to lead the Niners to a 13-3 regular season finish.

San Fran has a knack for forcing turnovers. They've intercepted 12 passes and recovered 15 fumbles, good for 6th in the NFL. This may pose a problem for Kirk Cousins, who has had a problem with interceptions in the past.

The Saints didn't play up to expectations last week. I don't expect the Niners to suffer the same fate. San Fran will show up and ball out. I'm taking the Niners to win and this week, but fall short to Seattle in the NFC Conference Championship.