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49ers open up as 3-point favorites for their Week 12 matchup against the Vikings

The implications for this game will mean a lot when it’s all said and done

NFL: JAN 11 NFC Divisional Playoff - Vikings at 49ers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 49ers have won and covered with ease during the past two matchups against the Rams and the Jaguars. Kyle Shanahan’s offense has been humming as of late, and they’ll need to continue their streak of scoring 30 points against a potent Minnesota Vikings offense.

San Francisco heads into Week 12 as 3-point favorites over the Vikings at DraftKings SportsBook. The total on the game isn’t as high as you’d expect. It’s set at 48.5, which means Vegas is expecting a score in the ballpark of 26-23, Niners.

Both offenses have leaned on the big play but haven’t been efficient on a down-to-down basis since Week 5. Minnesota has an EPA per play of 0.062 (10th) during that time, while San Francisco’s is 0.045 (13th). The 49ers' success rate is 1.5% higher than the Vikings at 43.5% (20th for the Niners and 26th for the Vikes).

Which defense can slow down the other team? The playmakers in this game will rival anything we’ve seen all year. We know who the home team has. Minnesota has Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and one of — if not the — best running back in the game in Dalvin Cook.

Unsurprisingly, per Sharp Football Stats, Kirk Cousins and company have the seventh-most passing plays for 20 yards or more and the 10th-most explosive running game since Week 5. Conversely, the 49ers have the 16-most passing plays and 9th-most running plays to go over 15 yards during that same stretch.

Which quarterback will make the critical turnover? Which tandem of cornerbacks will hold up? Both factors, along with open-field tackling, will be the story Sunday.