For 1 Analyst and Vikings, It’s ‘the Over’

Vikings Fans
Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Fans of the Minnesota Vikings cheer in the first quarter of the NFC Divisional Playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have been a lightning rod for attention this offseason as pundits and fans wrestle with the club’s ‘competitive rebuild’ strategy while deciding if Minnesota can replicate last year’s success.

Most end up with a ‘no’ answer after contemplating the Vikings hopes of finishing in the ballpark of 13-4 once again.

For 1 Analyst and Vikings, It’s ‘the Over’

But for CBS Sports, Minnesota actually received a rare endorsement this week, instructing readers to pound ‘the over’ for the team’s win forecast.

Analyst and Vikings,
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell looks on before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani recommended the best bets for overs and unders regarding five teams’ odds, and the Vikings made the cut as an ‘over’ candidate.

Minnesota is predicted to win just 8.5 games by most sportsbooks in 2023.

Dajani examined “five teams that could end up having large discrepancies with their win totals” and stated, “This article is not five best bets to make, but more about examining potentially volatile teams that are boom-or-bust candidates.”

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Dec 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) yells out before the snap during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

Along with suggesting the over for the Carolina Panthers (+7.5 wins) and Seattle Seahawks (+9 wins), Dajani advocated over 8.5 wins for Minnesota and explained, “Out of all the win totals, this line probably surprised me the most. Kevin O’Connell went 13-4 in his first season as head coach, but the Vikings did set an NFL record with 11 one-score wins. I think everyone is expecting the Vikings to take a step backwards record-wise, but why is Vegas expecting them to go from 13-4 to 8-9 or worse with Aaron Rodgers out of the division?”

The Vikings will also encounter a trickier schedule this autumn, consisting of eight home games instead of last year’s nine.

Week 16 vs
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) celebrates his touchdown against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

“Losing Dalvin Cook hurts, but look at the division. The Detroit Lions are favorites to win the NFC North for the first time since 1993, but that’s clearly no guarantee; the Green Bay Packers are working in a new quarterback; and then Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears have plenty to prove after being the worst team in the league last year. Bottom line, the Vikings could fly over this win total in 2023,” Dajani concluded.

Optimistic steam is fairly rare for the 2023 Vikings, as most folks portray the franchise as middling, in general, or meandering through a confusing rebuild without Super Bowl aspirations. Last month, in a video featured on, Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema said nope to Minnesota in the playoffs back-to-back years and noted, “I mentioned that I think Detroit — they’re the favorites in that division. When you look at Minnesota, I just don’t know if they have the offensive power this year, with this roster, to make up for a struggling secondary.”

Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

Sikkema mentioned the Vikings new defense, led by Brian Flores, “I’ve got concerns with that cornerback room. Sure, I know Akayleb Evans and Andrew Booth Jr. — those are guys that you like. They brought in Byron Murphy, but is it enough? The Vikings are going to get in a lot of shootouts this upcoming year. No Za’Darius Smith. No Eric Kendricks as well. I just don’t know if they have the firepower to keep up with what their defense might be allowing this year,”

CBS Sports’ Will Brinson also predicted the Vikings for a playoffs-less season in 2023. So did Fox Sports’ Carmen Vitali.

The Vikings faced the same court of opinion last year, with oddsmakers slating Minnesota for 8.5 wins for most of the spring and summer. But once the regular season approached, the over-under climbed to 9.5 wins.

Minnesota kicks off training camp in about five weeks.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by