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2023 NFL Week 7 Betting Preview: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) applies pressure to Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the fourth quarter in a NFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers (5-1) at Vikings (2-4)

Spread: Vikings +7

Total: 44

Weather: Indoor game

The Line Report

The spread for this contest opened as Minnesota Vikings +6.5 but quickly moved to Vikings +7. The total has decreased from 45 points to its current mark of 44.

Vikings Offense vs. 49ers Defense

The strength of the Vikings is Kirk Cousins and the passing attack. Without Justin Jefferson, that’s no longer a genuine strength. That’s not a knock on Cousins, who has been great this year, but this offense isn’t the same without Jefferson.

In Minnesota’s first full game without Jefferson, TE T.J. Hockenson unsurprisingly led the team with eight targets. Wide receivers K.J. Osborn and Jordan Addison each had five targets. The Vikings’ running game was ineffective against Chicago’s middle-of-the-pack run defense.

The San Francisco 49ers’ defense doesn’t have any real weaknesses. Few teams have any real success on the ground against San Francisco. The 49ers’ already elite pass rush is better and deeper this year. 

If you’re going to beat San Francisco’s secondary, it probably will be on the perimeter. With Jefferson, Minnesota could create some margin in that area. Without him, Osborn and Addison aren't an overly dangerous group.

49ers Offense vs. Vikings Defense

San Francisco is an elite, versatile offense coming off a down game against one of the league’s best defenses. There’s no reason to be concerned about any offense's performance against the Cleveland Browns’ defense. 

The one issue San Francisco’s offense has in this matchup is a few key players are on the injury report.

Christian McCaffrey could miss this contest because of an oblique injury. Minnesota has been average against the run but has allowed the second-fewest receiving yards to running backs this season. 

If McCaffrey plays, he’ll be a unique problem for the Vikings in the passing game. If McCaffrey misses, expect Jordan Mason and Elijah Mitchell to play a notable role on the ground.

Deebo Samuel is also in danger of missing this contest. If he does, expect a usage uptick for Brandon Aiyuk. The Vikings have allowed the third-most receiving yards to wide receivers, giving Aiyuk a massive ceiling in this matchup. 

Minnesota has been much better against tight ends than wide receivers. That said, if Samuel is absent Monday night, expect George Kittle to see a few purposeful targets in this matchup.

What You’re Betting On

If you are betting on the Vikings, you don’t have a lot of pro-Minnesota angles. You need the defense to step up against one of the best teams in the league coming off a loss. You also need Cousins to carry the Vikings offense against a premium defense without his best weapon. That means a Vikings bet is more a bet against San Francisco than a wager on Minnesota.

If you’re betting on the 49ers, you are betting on a contender coming off a loss. You’re also betting on the team with a much better roster. The 49ers have a mismatch problem at virtually every position group. They could be without McCaffrey, Samuel and LT Trent Williams

Even without those players, San Francisco would still have the most talented roster in this matchup.

Score Prediction: 49ers 27, Vikings 17

Ryan’s Recent Betting Record

ATS 2021: 49-31

ATS 2022: 48-32

ATS 2023: 15-15

Props 2022: 60-40

Props 2023: 14-9

Ryan is the associate director of fantasy and betting at The 33rd Team. Ryan has been covering NFL betting markets for five years. Follow Ryan @RyanReynoldsNFL on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.