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If You Believe the Vikings Will Win the Division, Now Is the Time to Bet

Strike while the iron is hot — should be the mentality for Minnesota Vikings enthusiasts, gamblers, or both — who believe Mike Zimmer’s team is capable of winning the NFC North in 2021.

Currently, the Vikings have +250 to +300 odds to when the NFC North division, dwarfed by the front-running Green Bay Packers who are about -125 favorites. These odds are good through May 10th, 2021, and are provided at OddsChecker.com. This means that a bettor would place a $100 bet and receive either $250 or $300 if Minnesota wins the North.

Were the Vikings better than the Packers in 2020? Absolutely not. Will the Vikings finish with a better record than Green Bay in 2021? Well, that depends on Aaron Rodgers. The 37-year-old green and gold signal-caller is now firmly embroiled in controversy with the Packers front office. The story broke on draft day about a week and a half ago. Ever since, the Rodgers saga has been raucous.

The Packers will end up choosing one of these four outcomes for their 16-year veteran quarterback. 1) Rodgers and the Packers brass find a kumbaya and get back to business after mended fences. 2) General Manager Brian Gutekunst stubbornly disallows a Rodgers trade, causing the reigning MVP to sit out the 2021 season. 3) Green Bay actually trades Rodgers — probably to the Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, or New England Patriots. 4) Rodgers retires.

The sportsbooks are presently assuming that Rodgers returns to Green Bay — as evidenced by the aforementioned frontrunner odds. But look around at this Rodgers-infused media atmosphere. Does it really feel like Rodgers will return to Wisconsin to play football again? It’s hard to imagine with the current standstill.

And that’s why wagers should be slid in the Vikings direction. From top to bottom on the depth chart, Minnesota has the most solid bunch after the Packers — and an argument can be offered that Rodgers merely holds the franchise together in house-of-cards fashion. The Vikings may be better fitted with the talent than the Packers if Rodgers is jettisoned.

Chicago’s success will be contingent on the play of Andy Dalton. The Bears leadership has spent months proclaiming Mr. Dalton as the starter in 2021, never mind the existence of Justin Fields in the quarterback room. Truth be told, Fields will probably get QB1 snaps when the Bears encounter a 3-5 record or so in 2021. Too, there is always the Bears defense — remember that. It would not be foreign to see the team thrive due to defense — we’ve seen that too many times. On the whole, however, the Bears are presumably an 8-8 or 9-7 team at best, unless Fields is Mahomesian out of the gate — a tall order.

Then, the Detroit Lions are a question mark. A new coaching staff, general management regime, quarterback, and wide receiver batch will reside at Ford Field in September. Detroit’s prosperity predominantly depends on Dan Campbell and his wherewithal as a head coach. He’s already proven that he’s rather bombastic.

Campbell will need the 2018 version of Jared Goff to grace the Motor City while the 2021 defense immediately bounces back from a dead-last ranking in points allowed during the pandemic season. And that type of defensive turnaround doesn’t usually occur in nine months. In fact, a climb to 16th or so best in the league via points allowed would generate massive excitement in Lions World.

So, that’s the deal. If one is of the mindset that Rodgers will likely play elsewhere or nowhere at all, now is the best time to bet on the Vikings to win the NFC North. It just might be Zimmer versus Jordan Love, Jared Goff, and Andy Dalton six times in 2021.

Too, the odds are assured to instantly morph if Rodgers is traded — and that could conceivably happen at any moment.

Dustin Baker

Writer. Host of Bleav in Vikings Podcast w/B-Mac & Baker.

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