Monday Night Football: 49ers-Vikings betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

2M7NY7T San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) reacts after catching a TD pass during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Jan.8, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Scot Tucker)

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers — under 47.5 receiving yards: Kittle has elite upside, but he is a somewhat high-variance receiver, and this line is slightly high for his game-to-game production.

• The Vikings are excelling against tight ends: Only Travis Kelce, the league's best tight end by far, has managed to produce against this set of Vikings defenders when he grabbed 10 catches for 67 yards in Week 5.

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

GAME OVERVIEW

This 49ers-Vikings Monday Night Football clash had all the makings of an entertaining Week 7 finale, but then the injuries started to mount.

With Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson already out, it looked as though 49ers ace Christian McCaffrey would be ruled out with the oblique injury he picked up in Week 6.

Fortunately, McCaffrey put in a limited practice to finish the week, and the reports now suggest he will be ready to go. This was a welcomed development for a 49ers team without Deebo Samuel (shoulder) and potentially star left tackle Trent Williams (doubtful, ankle).

Both teams are relatively healthy on defense, but 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (hamstring) and Vikings outside corner Akayleb Evans (oblique) are both questionable. 

The spread for this game has moved around and through a key number all week, and the 49ers have bounced between 6.5 and 7.5 over the last few days. When the positive news about McCaffrey's participation was reported, the line moved back to the full seven, where it currently sits. The total is set at 43.5.

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TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers: Under 47.5 receiving yards (-114 FanDuel

George Kittle has elite upside, but he is a somewhat high-variance receiver, and this line is slightly high for his game-to-game production.

In 14 full games with Brock Purdy at quarterback, Kittle has exceeded this number five times. However, he's cleared 90 yards in four of those games.

This Vikings defense has been a lot steadier than most expected to start the season, and that has been in large part due to the coverage ability of their linebackers and safeties, who will be tasked with covering George Kittle.

Fewest yards allowed per tight end target (Week 1-6)
Team Yards per target
49ers 3.9
Ravens 4.3
Vikings 4.6
Buccaneers 4.9
Commanders 5.4

Jordan Hicks is the highest-graded starting Vikings defender (80.3), but his linebacker partner Ivan Pace Jr. is not far behind (77.2). Safeties Camryn Bynum (77.3) and Harrison Smith (71.3) and slot corner Josh Metellus (73.9) are also doing a good job on the back end.

Only Travis Kelce, the league's best tight end by far, has managed to produce against this set of Vikings defenders when he grabbed 10 catches for 67 yards in Week 5.

With Deebo Samuel out and the potential for Christian McCaffrey to be limited, there is an opportunity for Kittle to put up another vintage performance and hit the heights he has four times with Brock Purdy under center. However, the line is accounting for an uptick in target share.

The range of outcomes for George Kittle would suggest a line of this nature is too high, but if you prefer, you could very well bet some alternate over lines and try to capture his level of variance that way.

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