Minnesota is a big question mark with the banged up roster set to trot without Adrian Peterson for the foreseeable future. So how is the public reacting and the NFL betting market adjusting, if at all?
Vikings Line Moves That Matter
Advanced Westgate Las Vegas Super Book lines opened with the Carolina Panthers as the -5.5 home chalk. Books reopened with the Panthers as the -7.5 home chalk.
Now, point spreads are nothing but an attempt by the market to balance the action coming down the wire. They don't reveal which team will win or by how much. Many factors contribute to changes in the NFL lines from advanced servings to those reopening any given week and, finally, those closing at the sports betting exchange. One of the biggest factors is health which prompts an immediate reaction amongst public bettors and, in turn, force bookies to make adjustments.
Obviously, the commanding 46-27 victory over the Niners, in which the Panthers covered (with plenty to spare) as the -12.5 closing home chalk, played a part in this NFL line moving. Early bettors pounced on the Panthers because they believed -5.5 was, in all likelihood, too short of a spread for a side of their ilk. Consider the Panthers went 8-0 SU at Bank of America last season and 7-1 ATS in the regular season and they looked the real deal in week 2
In Sunday Night Football, the Vikings did throw down the gauntlet in a 17-14 win in Sunday's NFC North showdown with the Green Bay Packers, essentially doing their part to underline their value as road underdogs in week 3 NFL betting markets – it also marked a successful start by Sam Bradford with his new Minnesota teammates. However, the loss of Adrian Peterson forced books to take down the line as last season's rushing title winner is integral to the team's offense and his injury outweighs all the good Minnesota accomplished in week 2.
Books reopened with Panthers hanging on -7.5 but before most people had their morning coffee the Vikings were bet up to +7.5 (-115). Minnesota's ability to serve up wins despite the trials and tribulations of the first couple of weeks is likely responsible for this buyback. Bettors took advantage of that many points and importantly the hook with a side that doesn't know how to quit.
After all, they are 3-0 SU despite losing Teddy Bridgewater, who went down before the first week of the season with a horrendous knee injury, something that had NFL betting analysts foretell doom and gloom on the season.
The organisation didn't sit on its laurels then and quickly signed Sam Bradford, a former No.1 draft pick, and able veteran. Once again, they've been swift in action to sign Ronnie Hillman, a third-round NFL draft pick by the Denver Broncos in 2012. The running back was released by the Broncos earlier this month, following a top season in which he rushed 207 times for 863 yards and seven scores.
In fact, the buyback on the Vikings was quite significant as they represented 59.3% of the tickets taken in week 3 according to SBR consensus polls from contributing sportsbooks and a whopping 73.11 % of the money.
That public betting trend (bettors scooped up the hook at +7.5) moved the line slightly against the Panthers by half a point. Most sportsbooks had this game on -7, which is a key number considering it's the second most common margin of victory in the NFL.
What Does Future Betting On The Vikings imply?
For the time being, Vikings betting is clearly healthy. Healthier than their team is, really. And, to be honest, it's not surprising given the way they are successfully dealing with the adversities. Until proven otherwise, it's likely the Vikings will continue to hold court in NFL betting markets and garner favour from the public.
As it is, they are still in contention for the NFC North title at +180 NFL odds, along with the Green Bay Packers at -175. Granted the Packers have this market cornered but the Vikings aren't written off as the Lions (+1200) and the Bears (+2000) are right now.
If there is a most telling market it's the Super Bowl L1 betting odds where the Vikings still rank amongst the top contenders for the season's honours. They are priced at +2000, which puts them shorter than the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, and Baltimore Ravens to name a few.