Vegas’ Early Opinion of Vikings Is Terrible

Vikings Super Bowl Odds Totally Plunge
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

If the Minnesota Vikings make something of the 2024 season, it’ll shock oddsmakers.

Vegas’ Early Opinion of Vikings Is Terrible

On the whole, sportsbooks don’t believe the 2024 team will be awful by season’s end, forecasting Minnesota to win 6.5 or 7.5 games, depending on the website.

vikings
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However, after the schedule released last week, the Vikings are favored to win just three games when adjudicated on a per-game basis. For starters, here’s Minnesota’s full schedule:

Week 1 — at New York Giants
Week 2 — vs. San Francisco 49ers
Week 3 — vs. Houston Texans
Week 4 — at Green Bay Packers
Week 5 — vs. New York Jets (London)
Week 6 — Bye
Week 7 — vs. Detroit Lions
Week 8 — at Los Angeles Rams (TNF)
Week 9 — vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 10 — at Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 11 — at Tennessee Titans
Week 12 — at Chicago Bears
Week 13 — vs. Arizona Cardinals
Week 14 — vs. Atlanta Falcons
Week 15 — vs. Chicago Bears (MNF)
Week 16 — at Seattle Seahawks
Week 17 — vs. Green Bay Packers
Week 18 — at Detroit Lions

The docket is not easy, especially for a “third-place schedule” the Vikings earned thanks to a 7-10 record in 2023. And per oddsmakers, Minnesota is only favored to win in Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts, Week 11 at the Tennessee Titans, and Week 13 against the Arizona Cardinals. A lousy sentiment, indeed.

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Of course, Minnesota can win a couple of games to start the 2024 campaign, shut everyone up, and flip the odds per game thereafter. But after Week 1, a date at the Giants, the schedule morphs into murderer’s row, with Minnesota taking on six playoff teams in seven games, with the additional insertion of Aaron Rodgers’ squad in London.

Minnesota’s quarterback is also unknown. The club could roll with veteran Sam Darnold out of the gate if rookie passer J.J. McCarthy isn’t ready right away. In fact, most expect Darnold to take the reins in Week 1, serving as a “bridge quarterback” to McCarthy with an unclear transition date.

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The Vikings will hope for continued improvement on defense, too. In one season, Brian Flores fixed his side of the ball from a 24th ranking per DVOA in 2022 under Ed Donatell to 11th-best in 2023. Minnesota added oodles of veteran and rookie talent on defense, and at least for a year or two — while McCarthy ascends — defense could be the franchise’s calling card.

Finally, regarding the three-game favorite situation, it’s worth noting that a schedule never looks the same when the regular season arrives as it did in May. Injuries arise, teams underperform, and some spring out of nowhere.

A New Wrinkle
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Initially, though, Vegas thinks Minnesota is just good enough to win a few games.


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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