49ers open up vs. Vikings as home favorites in NFC divisional round

The San Francisco 49ers will face the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, and the Niners have opened up as early home favorites for this bout.

Following their stunning overtime win over the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings will travel to Santa Clara to face the top seed in the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers, in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Early odds have the Niners a touchdown favorite, currently sitting at minus-7, according to the Action Network.

The over/under for the contest is also starting at 46.5.

San Francisco and Minnesota have a 23-23-1 all-time series, with the edge going to the 49ers in the playoffs, going out at 4-1. The last time these two teams faced each other was back in Week 1 of the 2018 regular season, which saw quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo toss one touchdown against three interceptions in what turned into a 24-16 win for Minnesota.

As far as postseason games go, the 49ers pulled off a 38-22 win over the Vikings back on Jan. 3, 1998. Before that, the Niners ended Minnesota’s playoff campaigns in consecutive years, 1989 and 1990.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has faced San Francisco twice in his career, once with the Vikings and the other time with the Washington Redskins, and has won both games. Combined, he has tossed four touchdowns against one interception with a passer rating of 98.8.

Cousins has only started one playoff game, though, which he lost back with the Redskins in 2015.

Garoppolo, meanwhile, faced the Vikings just the one time back in 2018 and has yet to start a postseason game.

Yet the Niners will have to be wary of Minnesota’s running back, Dalvin Cook, who is a major staple of the Vikings offense. In many ways, Cousins’ success is highly reliant upon Cook’s ability to establish the run game early and keep it going over the course of four quarters.

Fortunately for San Francisco, the team anticipates the return of some defensive standouts, particularly EDGE Dee Ford, safety Jaquiski Tartt and linebacker Kwon Alexander, who have all dealt with long-term injuries this season.

That could be crucial, as both teams boasted top-10 offenses and defenses during the regular season.

Next: 5 players who'll thrive during 49ers' run through playoffs

The 49ers and Vikings kick off on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 4:35 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

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