The Vikings almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the NFL last season, as they came within one game of capturing the NFC North crown. If they would've done so, the eight people who bet the Vikings at 35 to 1 in the off-season to win the division would have been very happy.
This season however, the Vikings are much smaller of an underdog. They are still an underdog though, and they could still be undervalued. LVH Sportsbook in Las Vegas has the Vikings at +500 to win the division, which is behind the +300 Bears betting odds and the -160 for the Packers.
I think the Vikings do have a small amount of value as 5 to 1 underdogs to win the division. Look at it this way, the Packers are one huge injury away from the Vikings leapfrogging the Bears as favorites to win the division, and as we have seen time and again, injuries can make or break a future odds bet. The Vikings have basically gone all in this season. They traded up to get a total of three first-round draft picks this season, all of which will likely have an impact of some kind the season.
On top of their stellar draft they didn’t lose much other than Percy Harvin ,who was destined to be gone anyways. Instead of Harvin they gave big money to Greg Jennings to now be their big receiver, and if Adrian Peterson runs anywhere close to how he did last season, the Vikings could make the Packers a little worried. I would be willing to put a very small value bet on the Vikings to win this division. I actually think they’re a little better than the Bears, and 5 to 1 is too good to pass up seeing as how close it was last season.
On the ATS front, the Vikings were pretty good last season going 8–7–1 against the spread in 2012. Their ATS season last year was a tale of home and away, as well as favorite versus underdog. The Vikings were 5-2-1 ATS at home, while going a miserable 3-6 ATS on the road. They were overvalued as favorites almost every time, going 1-4-1 ATS as the favorite and 0-2 ATS as a road favorite in 2012. However as an underdog, the Vikings were a nice 7-4 ATS, and they were 4-0 ATS as home underdogs a year ago.
I could see similar ATS figures coming out of Minnesota this season. They seem once again to be a little undervalued in their NFL Odds which could lead to them being undervalued in certain situations on the field. We saw a similar path with them a season ago. If their secondary can improve their play from a year ago, I would feel even better about the Vikings as a potential underdog bet to win the NFC North.
All in all though, I think more value is going to come from them in the game odds than any future odds bet could have in expected return. If the Vikings remain undervalued at home in 2013 by the sportsbooks, NFL bettors will once again be able to take advantage for their sports picks.