Vikings Own Unique Betting Claim to Fame

KIrk Cousins
Dec 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) huddles up with teammates against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ever feel shaky betting on the Minnesota Vikings? The rest of the world does not, at least per 2022 standards.

Most sportsbooks forecast the 2022 Vikings as an eight or nine-win team, venturing into a new season with brand new leadership. Minnesota fired general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer in January, shifting toward a modern regime of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as general manager and Kevin O’Connell as head coach.

But bettors are high on the Vikings, choosing O’Connell’s team to shatter the nine-win projection, according to BetRivers Sportsbook. The Vikings are currently the “most wagered-on” team to defy Vegas odds.

The tweet by BetRivers is interesting as most NFL pundits don’t have big plans for the 2022 Vikings. Various power-ranking outfits surmise Minnesota around the league’s 20th, 21st, or 22nd-best team. Three weeks ago, Pro Football Focus ranked the Vikings as the NFL’s 19th-best team, which felt prestigious compared to other power-ranking editions.

Ranking rosters, though, is a fancier endeavor for Minnesota. CBS Sports compiled roster rankings for all NFL teams earlier in July, and the Vikings were pegged as 13th-best for players-only. The masses must not be sold on a first-year head coach and his staff if they nominate the team as 13th-best for personnel but around 20th for leaguewide power rankings.

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Kevin O’Connell

Moreover, the Vikings aren’t getting much Super Bowl love either. They’re considered the 20th likeliest team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at season’s end — in the ballpark of the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots for Super Bowl odds. Moneylines for the Vikings to win the Super Bowl sit around +4,000 with the NFL season about 6.5 weeks away.

The lesson learned? Fans and gamblers are high on the 2022 Vikings. Pundits and oddsmakers are not. Minnesota has conducted back-to-back mediocre seasons, causing the removal of the team’s leadership. But fans and bettors foresee a “new day,” stuffed with offense-first thinking and better situational defense.

So, if you lay down money on the Vikings to finish at least 10-7, you’re evidently in the majority with wagerers.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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