The last two years have been two complete opposite seasons for the Vikings. After making the playoffs in 2012, they won only five games in 2013. Their NFL Odds this summer have them as one of the biggest underdogs, but are they actually that bad?
Super Bowl (+10,000)
Only if you’re from Minnesota and you have frozen half of your brain dead during this past long winter, then you might be thinking about wagering on the Vikings to win the Super Bowl. If we could get these same prices for around 2016, then we might be able to talk, but this season the Vikings might be a tough sell in the NFL Future Odds. They have a new head coach in Mike Zimmer, who during his tenure with the Bengals had his defenses in Cincinnati inside the top ten almost every year he was there. Now in Minnesota, he has quickly remade his defense to his liking, and it appears that it might be one of the stronger units in the NFC. However on offense, the questions are more abundant, and will directly affect how the Vikings stand in the NFL Odds this regular season.
The Vikings drafted Teddy Bridgewater at the tail end of the first round in May’s draft, and immediately it is creating a QB controversy in Minnesota. With a new head coach, it’s tough to tell how long of a leash Zimmer and new offensive coordinator, Norv Turner will have on Matt Cassel. The Vikings re-signed him this offseason to a two-year $10 million deal, so I doubt they are expecting him to be a backup. Reports out of Minneapolis see Cassel as the starter in Week 1, but a lot can change between now and the start of the regular season. There are still weeks of training camp and the preseason, and if Bridgewater shows he can play and progress quickly, we could see him starting games at some point this season. While it likely won’t affect their future odds, it could positively affect their NFL Odds value during the season ATS.
NFC North (+1000)
The NFC North is going to be a tough division once again this season, and it might qualify for one of the tougher ones in all of football. After the NFC West, the North looks like the division of interest around football, but not because the Vikings are in it. However even though their quarterback situation is in flux, the rest of their skill players are extremely talented. Adrian Peterson looks set for another year of dominance, while Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson look like a great compliment to one another on opposite sides of the formation. Not only do they have a good core of skill players, but also their defense is going to be where the money is made. Zimmer and crew have completely remade this defense, adding high-priced veterans like Captain Munerlyn, Linval Joseph, and Jasper Brinkley to the starting lineup. This team is better than their future odds will let you on, and at certain home games this season (even though they are playing outside at the University of Minnesota for the next few seasons) they are going to have ATS value.