Advertising

Expert Picks: What's Expected from the Vikings in 2018's Home Opener 

The Vikings will open the 2018 season in front of the home crowd.

Minnesota will take on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium at noon (CT) on Sunday.

San Francisco finished the 2017 season with a 6-10 record but won the final five games of the season after Garoppolo took over under center.

Former Viking Jerick McKinnon will not play for the 49ers after suffering an ACL injury in practice this week that will sideline him for the entire 2018 season.

Linebacker Reuben Foster also will not play on Sunday because he is serving a two-game suspension.

Experts across the internet submitted their predictions to all NFL games ahead of the much anticipated Week 1 slate.

Let’s see what is expected from the Vikings in their Week 1 matchup:

The Kirk Cousins era begins with a quality home win. Stefon Diggs will have a big game, methinks, as I don't trust the 49ers' secondary yet. Guessing Richard Sherman will see a lot of Adam Thielen. Advantage: Thielen. The real battle to watch will be DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas and that Niners defensive front against a Minnesota O-line that can be had. The outcome can't all be contingent on Jimmy G. Despite all the breathless offseason hype, he's no Steve Young -- at least not yet.

Vikings 28, 49ers 16, Elliot Harrison, NFL.com

Jimmy Garoppolo in his first opening day as the 49ers’ franchise quarterback. Kirk Cousins, same as the Vikings’ franchise quarterback. That’s enough to get the nation to tune in. If that’s not enough, there’s the sight of Richard Sherman in a game that counts in a uniform other than the Seahawks. On the other hand, there’s no Jerick McKinnon, for either side. He left the Vikings to become a valued, versatile feature back in San Francisco, only to tear his ACL before the season. His loss can’t be understated. On the Vikings’ side, Dalvin Cook is back from his own ACL tear.

Vikings, 30, 49ers 28, David Steele, Sporting News

The hype train for the San Francisco 49ers is fully fueled, but our experts don't think that'll be enough for San Francisco to slay the stacked Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis on Sunday.

The Niners certainly look like potential contenders with new franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo coming off his first offseason with the team. After all, they won each of their final five games with Jimmy G under center last season.

_But this might again be a case of wrong place, wrong time, because the Vikings look primed for a huge season with veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins joining the fray. Despite all the buzz, Gagnon doesn't believe San Francisco is in Minnesota's league. __

"The 49ers gained so much momentum with Garoppolo late last season," he said, "but they didn't do enough to bolster his supporting cast this offseason. I like Garoppolo, but he doesn't have enough weapons, and he could be in trouble now that opposing defensive coordinators have taken plenty of time to watch his tape from December."

Throw in that Garoppolo recently lost projected No. 1 running back Jerick McKinnon to a season-ending knee injury, and this one has a chance to be one-sided.

Vikings 27, 49ers 13, Bleacher Report Staff

The 49ers are everyone's darkhorse playoff favorites but this is also the same outfit that went 6-10 in Kyle Shanahan's first season. Of course, the counter-argument is that San Francisco reeled off five straight wins to end the season, which just so happened to coincide with Jimmy Garoppolo taking over the starting job._

The Vikings, who made it to the NFC Championship Game with Case Keenum's MVP-level season, decided to replace him with _Kirk Cousins. The offense is stacked at the skill position though questions about the offensive line remain. This is also one of the league's best defenses, and there's little reason to think Minnesota won't again find themselves in the playoffs in four months' time.

Vikings 28, 49ers 17, Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo will suffer the first loss of his NFL career, but he’ll go down fighting in what should be an excellent Week 1 battle.

No Jerick McKinnon. No Reuben Foster. Dominant Vikings defense. The presumed 49ers resurgence may have to wait a week._

Vikings 30, 49ers 20 Mike Florio Pro Football Talk

The 49ers have a lot of expectations this year, but this is a tough way to open. Jimmy Garoppolo will be facing one of the best defenses in the league without his projected starting running back. The 49ers will be improved on defense, so look for a low-scoring game as they limit Kirk Cousins.

Vikings 21, 49ers 13, Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

FiveThirtyEight’s 2018 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.

Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 76 percent, FiveThirtyEight

Vikings 27, 49ers 20, Paul Kasabian, Bleacher Report

6 of 8 experts picked the Vikings, MMQB Staff, Sports Illustrated

7 of 9 experts picked the Vikings, SB Nation

5 of 5 experts picked the Vikings, USA TODAY Sports

8 of 8 experts picked the Vikings, CBS Sports

Advertising