The Vikings Are Underdogs — Again

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are 6-4 as of November 13th, and the Denver Broncos are 3-5, pending the result of Monday Night Football at the Buffalo Bills.

One might think the 6-4 team would be favored in a matchup between the clubs, right?

Nope.

The Vikings Are Underdogs — Again

Unless the Broncos utterly lay an egg on MNF or lose Russell Wilson to injury, Denver will waltz home for a Week 11 date with the Vikings as 2.5-point favorites.

Are Underdogs
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports.

Heading into its matchup with the Bills, Denver is considered the NFL’s 26th-best team per Fantasy FTN’s all-encompassing DVOA metric. And 26th-best is seventh-worst. Meanwhile, after Minnesota downed the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Kevin O’Connell’s team climbed the DVOA chart to No. 14.

So, yes, oddsmakers believe the seventh-worst team will beat the 14th-best by a field goal or so.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings defense has swarmed as of late, ranking fourth-best leaguewide per EPA/Play from Weeks 4 to 10. Brian Flores’ unit has transformed on the fly from bad to good, and there’s no other way to dice it. In theory, unless the Broncos suddenly hit their groove in Buffalo, Flores’ men shouldn’t have a terribly daunting task in taming Denver’s offense. We shall see. The Vikings were 2.5-point underdogs versus the Saints, too.

O’Connell said about his team’s defense after Sunday’s win, “I thought our staff did a hell of a job today, especially Flo [Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores] and his guys. For our defense to keep them out and let us hold on to that victory, I was really proud of those guys.”

Vikings to Showcase
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.

Perhaps sportsbooks are skittish about the Vikings offense and its ability to continue prosperity under newcomer quarterback Josh Dobbs. The journeyman quarterback certainly hasn’t struggled during his first two games in purple, but maybe Vegas doesn’t believe his performance is sustainable.

Something’s gotta give to explain the point spread.

Because it’s a road game for Minnesota and O’Connell’s club seems to relish close games, it’s probably on deck for another squeaker. The Vikings haven’t defeated an opponent by 17+ points in four years, and oddsmakers don’t believe that will change in Week 11.

Unveils Latest Danielle Hunter
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

Outside linebacker Danielle Hunter said about his team’s ability to win close games on Sunday, “I mean, at this point, we’re used to it. We like being in situations like that. It’s fun being uncomfortable out there. And everybody’s trying to embrace that. So from here on, for the rest of the year, that is something that we’re looking forward to.”

The Vikings haven’t won in Denver since 1999.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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