Minnesota has a new quarterback in Kirk Cousins, a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo, and a challenging schedule. Here are some betting angles to target.
Minnesota has the talent to notch double-digit victories for the third time in the last four years, but staying healthy is a key.
Below you will find the Vikings’ straight-up and against-the-spread records from last year’s NFL regular season, including average margin of victory, 2017 average odds, 2017 win totals and 2018 pre-scheduled figures), and projected strength of schedule using opponents’ combined record from 2017.
2017 SU Record: 13-3 (8.1 avg. margin)
2017 ATS Record: 11-3-2 (4.8 avg. margin)
2017 Average Line: -3.3
2017 Win Total: 8.5 (-130)
2018 Win Total 5Dimes (pre-schedule): 9.5 (-110)
2018 Strength of Schedule: T-8, opponents were 133-123 (.520)
Three Games to Back ATS
Bills, Week 3; Cardinals, Week 6; Dolphins, Week 16
Fact: The Vikings are 20-3 SU and 17-4-2 ATS as betting favorites at U.S. Bank Stadium behind head coach Mike Zimmer. The defensive guru is a mastermind at slowing offenses and playing a controlled game that allows his squad’s strengths to shine. Minnesota yields 16.3 points per game in this situation. They cover a -4.8 average line with ease, winning outright by 9.8 per contest.
The one area that gives the Vikes issues is offenses that excel at finding the end zone through the air. They are 4-4 ATS hosting squads that average 2.0 passing touchdowns or more per game in this scenario. Minny is 15-0 SU and 13-0-2 ATS against all others. The Bills, Cardinals, and Dolphins are expected to have subpar passing attack, and each will catch points in advanced lines. We’ve circled these dates as a reminder. So should you.
Three Games to Fade ATS
@Rams, Week 4; @Eagles, Week 5; @Patriots, Week 13
Where Zimmer’s scheme comes up short is in road games against defenses that rival its ability. Since 2014, Minny is 2-7 SU away from home against units that surrendered fewer than 22 points the prior season. It is losing by 8.1 points per game, going 4-5 ATS overall. Where the Vikes slip up against the handicap is when their foe also posted greater than 22.0 points per game on offense in the previous year. In a small sample, they are 1-4 ATS, outscored 26.4 to 14.4. Trips to the Rams, Eagles, Patriots, and Seahawks all trigger this angle in 2018. Bet accordingly.
Trap Game Potential
@Bears, Week 11
The Bears also surrendered fewer than 22.0 points per tilt last season. Expected improvements offensively could make this a dangerous spot for the Vikes. In four trips to Soldier Field, Zimmer is 2-2 SU and ATS. Both wins came by a field goal only.