Sportsbooks Hate the Vikings

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The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a seven-win season, and they overturned a key part of their roster this offseason. Now employing a pair of new quarterbacks, Kevin O’Connell is tasked with getting his roster to perform above expectations.

Sportsbooks Hate the Vikings

Of course, one of the greatest industries surrounding sports is the gambling industry. Placing odds on each team, player, and everything in between, teams are tasked with immediate outsider expectations. Unsurprisingly, so much turnover for the Vikings has them seen in a less-than-ideal light. Projected to be among the worst teams in the sport, and with odds of being the final winless team, the hype train is certainly not full.

Sam darnold
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Darnold addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center during OTAs. Darnold joined the Vikings’ roster in March 2024 during free agency, on deck as a Kirk Cousins replacement and sharing the QB room later with rookie passer J.J. McCarthy of Michigan.

Projections currently cannot account for whatever version of Sam Darnold the Vikings are able to extract. As has been discussed multiple times since his acquisition, the former first-round pick is definitely in the greatest situation of his career. It may wind up that he is still incapable of capitalizing on that, but the assumption is one he will need to change on the field.

There are plenty of unknowns when it comes to Minnesota, but they almost all start with the quarterback position. Everything about the offense is bolstered by some of the most talented skill-position players in the game. The offensive line is solid and should be expected to perform well. Even without T.J. Hockenson at the tight end position, Minnesota brought in Robert Tonyan to lessen the burden.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

If Darnold or J.J. McCarthy, after eventually taking over, can settle in, then the Vikings will have a pretty straightforward path to making experts look silly. It’s fair to realize that both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers are better than Minnesota as things stand currently, but the Lions haven’t shown a history of this level of play. Green Bay is still developing Jordan Love, and there should be bumps in the road for a guy who isn’t assumed to be a superstar.

When considering truly terrible teams over the past handful of seasons, it’s difficult to see this collection in that light. O’Connell is among the better coaches across the league, and paired with defensive coordinator Brian Flores, it wouldn’t be at all shocking if the franchise found a way to make some noise.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

A .500 record in 2024 would be acceptable, but there should be much less eyebrow-raising about a ten-win season coming to fruition than one with 13 or 14 losses.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.