With the 2018 NFL Draft now in the rearview mirror, I thought it’d be fun to see how the addition of all that fresh meat impacted the way people are either setting betting lines or actually betting in Las Vegas. Before the draft, the Vikings trailed a handful of teams (in terms of having the best odds to win Super Bowl LIII) in the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles and were tied with teams like the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers. Now, I know that odds don’t actually mean anything, but in bringing content to the masses I do think there is value in finding what people outside of the/this Purple Bubble think about our precious, precious Vikings and looking at betting lines is really one of the more objective ways to do that. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these teams will perform the way the lines/odds are being set up, but it does show you what the people behind the scenes at different betting sites/bookies think will happen (and considering how much money they make doing just that, it’s safe to say that they more often than not are right). So, let’s take a gander at the Vikings’ odds!
I hopped on OnlineCasinoBluebook.com (and after actually winning some real money on one of their top-ranked online casinos (Finally! Sustenance!)), and found that the Vikings’ odds have gotten worse or stayed the same since the draft (depending on which site you checked as OnlineCasinoBluebook.com links to multiple sites) while teams like the Green Bay Packers, have improved (WHAT?!). Now, I write these articles fairly regularly so you might not be surprised that I’m a bit irate about that fact as the Packers have so many holes to plug, especially on defense, and somehow they’re still considered some elite threat despite only picking up multiple receivers and a kicker in last weekends draft (which isn’t really going to help them defensively, obviously). Sure, having the “best” quarterback in the league makes you a contender year in and year out, but there’s a reason why the Packers have only won one Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers and considering all the drama that’s leaking out of Green Bay this off-season, it doesn’t really feel like this is the season that the Packers figure stuff out, again. Especially considering the competition in the NFC (North, especially).
The Vikings, on the other hand, were able to draft for depth, mostly, and that’s a great position to be in as they ended up taking the best player available (on their board) with their first overall pick in Mike Hughes. I know a lot of people that I’ve talked to were surprised by that pick, and are confused as to what he’s actually going to do for the Vikings (Play outside? The Slot? Return Punts? All three?), but this is most definitely Mike Zimmers team and we all knew he was going to get a corner at some point in the draft, the only real surprise was the when, not the how, why or what (or who?). With Billy Price being taken relatively high (at least compared to a lot of the mocks I’d read or that were conducted on VikingsTerritory.com and/or purplePTSD.com), the Vikings felt that they could wait until the second round to find help for their offensive line and so that’s exactly what they did… And then there was a run on offensive lineman before their second pick so they ended up taking Brian O’Neill, who some say could be the long-term answer at Left Tackle and others say is just T.J. Clemmings 2.0) . Sigh.
It’s also surprising to see the Rams, another team that’s had an amazing(ly expensive) off-season, like the Vikings, end up tied with the Vikings in terms of their odds (which means they’re also trailing the Packers). Perhaps there are concerns about how that team is going to actually work on the field, or maybe people didn’t like the Tavon Austin trade, either way the Rams might need a few weeks to work out the kinks and so it makes sense that they’re not as high as other teams like the Steelers, Eagles or Patriots. Which… Wait a minute, I believe I solved this mystery (that I also created)!
The reason that the Steelers, Packers, Patriots, and Eagles are rated higher than the Vikings and Rams is that while the latter has added a ton of talent and are primed for a championship run, they haven’t done it yet. When it comes to betting, the house will always lean towards bets that have proven their worth in the past and those four teams have all won Super Bowls in the past ten years and still have most of the same parts that got them to that point, whereas the Vikings and Rams are probably great Madden teams but are still unknown, at least to the meticulously observant people behind the scenes in Las Vegas. The Vikings and Rams could very well be the most top-to-bottom talented teams in the NFC or NFL, but until they actually show that on the field they’ll be handicapped by bookies. So, really, the conclusion is that if you’re like me and you really believe that Kirk Cousins is the franchise quarterback this team has been searching for since Fran Tarkenton, then get your wallets out because the odds could end up making you a lot of money (and/or losing a lot of money for that guy in your office who is a big Packers fan, which is almost as gratifying). Either way, this isn’t the last time you’ll hear me complain about the Packers being ranked as high or higher than the Vikings, just wait until the first power rankings come out.