After shocking the NFL world in more ways than one last season, the Vikings come into this season ready for another run at the playoffs. They have restocked well through the draft, and if their offense can gain some effectiveness through the air and their defense stay healthy, this could be another great season for the Vikings. However, surprisingly, LVH Sportsbook in Las Vegas has the Vikings at 7.5 wins this offseason, with the ‘Over’ and ‘Under’ priced the same at -110.
Looking for more NFC North team season wins info? Read our division breakdown!
First, we have to examine the fact that the Vikings, much like every team in this division, are faced with a very tough schedule this season. The Vikings are ranked 10th in the NFL in strength of schedule, and they won’t have the benefit of coming out of nowhere this season. Last year they were +3000 to win the division, and they came within one Week 17 win of doing so. They are down to +500 this year.
This season however, the Vikings face a brutal schedule after their early Week 5 bye, and it could derail everything they started to build last season. Looking at their schedule from Weeks 6-17, there aren’t that many games you can point to and say they are a win; in fact, there might only be two or three of those. The Vikings play six 2012 playoff teams in the final 12 weeks of the season, and in those 12 weeks they also have to play nine teams that had a .500 or better record in 2012. The teams that don’t fall into that category, the Panthers, Eagles and Lions are really the only games in which the Vikings will be favored in this stretch.
How does the Vikings' season wins total compare to the rest of the NFC North?
The Vikings are +3 underdogs in Week 1 of the season, as they travel the short distance to Detroit to play their divisional rival, the Lions. The total in the NFL odds for this game is set at 47 points. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the spread bet down before the season starts, but either way, I do think the Vikings are a little better than +3 underdogs. If this line starts to go up even, I would be willing to take the points with the Vikings this summer. The Lions won’t be able to stop AP, and Calvin Johnson can’t make huge plays from the sidelines. If the Vikings play it smart on offense in this game, they have enough to cover and/or escape with a road win.
The Sharp Pick
All in all however, I think we have to go ‘Under’ on the Vikings season win totals for my NFL picks. I know how good they were last season, and I know they have improved some this offseason, but in the end their final 12 weeks of schedule is too rough. Even if they start the season 3-1 SU against the Lions and Bears on the road and the Browns and Steelers at home, they will be hard pressed to find five more wins in those final 12 weeks. 7-9 SU is the best this team will do in 2013, and the under looks like the play.
My Pick: ‘Under’ 7.5 -110
Week 1 Lean: Vikings +3 at Bet365