Harry Gagnon’s Underdog Best Bet of Divisional Round Weekend
The Minnesota Vikings are coming off of the upset of the weekend as they shocked the Saints in New Orleans in overtime 26-20. As I mentioned in my article last week when I took the Vikings, this team’s offense is extremely potent when running back Dalvin Cook is in the backfield. Cook established a running game early in the game and I believe he can and will do the same this Saturday in Levi Stadium.
The weather for San Francisco looks like some showers, which means the field could be slick and Minnesota. I expect the Vikings to utilize Cook and Alexander Mattison with a bunch of delays, draws, and bubble screens to throw the Niners off their game. Quarterback Kirk Cousins got the monkey off his back with a bigtime win and Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen made an impact and finally looks healthy for the first time since early in the season.
The Vikings Defense vs. the 49ers Offense
On defense the Vikings were tremendous shutting down Drew Brees and holding the Saints to just 20 points. I said last week that Danielle Hunter needed to apply pressure and boy did he. Hunter was the lineman that forced the fumble to stop a potential winning drive late in the 4th quarter but overall the Vikings defense did its job as a unit. Hunter and Everson Griffen each had 1.5 sacks and, in the secondary, Harrison Smith led the Vikings with eleven tackles.
For the 49ers, this is an unfamiliar situation for them and it’s a ton of pressure for an untested quarterback in Jimmy G. Plus, for a team that finished 2nd in rushing, they have not had a running back go over 70 yards since their loss two months ago in Baltimore. Also, they might be frauds; if you look at their last five games, you could easily make the point that the Niners were fortunate not to lose all five games.
This Vikings team and head coach Mike Zimmer are on a mission and I think they control the game like last week. I see them ultimately making more plays and sending San Francisco packing while the Vikings move on to the NFC Championship game. So, in closing with the immortal words of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, “YOU LIKE THAT?!?!”
31 Minnesota Vikings
23 San Francisco 49ers
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Harry Gagnon spent 14 years as a Vegas Sportsbook Supervisor and holds a Communications degree from SUNY-Oswego. You might know him better as part of the Degenerate Trifecta on the award nominated betting podcast “Against All odds with Cousin Sal” on the Ringer Podcast Network. Feel free to find him on Twitter (@AAOHarry) and tweet him a message if you want to talk casinos, sports, or just shoot the breeze about betting in general cause, hey, that’s what Twitter is for, right?