No team in NFL history has played in a Super Bowl in its own stadium. Only one club has that chance this year: the Minnesota Vikings. Let’s break down the Vikings’ 2017 schedule and their current NFL futures odds.
The Minnesota Vikings’ NFC North Division will go head-to-head against the NFC South and the AFC North this season. The Vikings finished third in 2016 in their division at 8-8 and thus also play the other two third-place teams in the NFC outside of the the South (Redskins and Rams).
Minnesota’s strength of schedule is ranked as tied for the fifth-easiest in the NFL in 2017 as the Vikings’ opponents had a combined 2016 winning percentage of .453 (115-139-2). A total of four playoff clubs are on the schedule, including division rivals Green Bay and Detroit twice. The Vikings were 9-7 ATS last season, 6-2 ATS at home and 3-5 on the road.
The second season at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis will feature two 2016 playoff teams, the Packers and Lions. Teams visiting the host of Super Bowl LII finished with a combined 56-71-1 (.441) record in 2016. New Orleans visits in Week 1 for the first Monday night game of the year. The Vikings are -3.5. No club, by the way, has ever played in a Super Bowl in its own stadium.
Opponents the Vikings will face on the road finished the 2016 regular season a combined 59-68-1 (.465). The toughest trips outside the division should be to playoff teams Pittsburgh and Atlanta. The Vikes also play a “road” game against Cleveland at Twickenham Stadium in London. The last time the Vikings played in London was four years ago when they defeated the Steelers 34-27 at Wembley Stadium.
It's likely that Minnesota will again be QB Sam Bradford’s team this season because Teddy Bridgewater is still recovering from a potential career-ending knee injury suffered last summer. It’s not clear yet if Bridgewater will be able to play at all in 2017.
Could the Vikings face the former greatest running back in franchise history in Adrian Peterson this season? Minnesota declined his $18 million option and won’t be re-signing Peterson after adding former Raiders tailback Latavius Murray in free agency. Of the teams on Minnesota’s schedule, it’s possible that Peterson could sign with the division-rival Lions or Packers as well as New Orleans, Tampa Bay or Washington. Those are the likely only options on that schedule. On BookMaker’s most recent NFL prop on Peterson, the Saints were +360 second-favorites to sign him with the Bucs at +500 and Packers at +900. The Lions and Redskins were part of the field at +300.
Minnesota is +1350 on 5Dimes NFL odds to win the conference title and +3000 to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl.