The Minnesota Vikings were a single win away from their first Super Bowl appearance last season, steamrolled by the eventual Super Bowl winners in the NFC Championship game. Considering their need for a last-minute miracle to proceed past the divisional round, the Vikings weren’t ready to make the leap to elite status.
This changed during the offseason, with the free agent signing of QB Kirk Cousins. Minnesota has a Super Bowl or bust mentality, with an offense which should contribute nearly as much as their elite defense.
After fleecing the Patriots in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade, the San Francisco 49ers won five be in a row to finish the 2017 regular season on a high note. Niners faithful expect a return to the playoffs, despite a deep NFC. Unfortunately, RB Jerick McKinnon, replacement for the departed Carlos Hyde, blew his ACL during training camp. This may disrupt San Francisco’s offensive plans, which already leans on Jimmy G. as the slick saviour of the franchise.
Minny should be considered heavy favorites against San Francisco, who haven’t proved much at all in the larger scheme of things. The Vikings have one of the strongest home field advantages in the league, a battle-tested defense and the potential for a top-five offense. Unless Garoppolo turns into Steve Young, this could offer one of the best ATS opportunities of week one.