For most of the spring and summer, the Minnesota Vikings were forecasted by oddsmakers as an 8.5-win team. But over the last two weeks, that total has spiked — without explanation — to 9.5 wins, according to Vegas Insider.
Back in July, BetRivers Sportsbook tweeted that Minnesota was the “most wagered on” team, as bettors evidently flocked to sportsbooks for a Vikings win total above nine wins.
So, either oddsmakers have realized something new about the 2022 Vikings — or they’re raising the win total a smidgen to adjust for the array of bets.
The Vikings haven’t really done anything noteworthy over the last two weeks to account for the win-total enhancement, aside from the start of training camp. But that alone — or any enthusiasm from the event — would not likely cause the increase.
Perhaps pundits and sportsbooks realize the team actually has a decent depth chart worthy of a 10-game season. After all, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Kirk Cousins, Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, Eric Kendricks, and Patrick Peterson are on the roster.
Minnesota also has a reasonable schedule in 2022, outfitted with nine home games, seven true road games, and one neutral-site affair in London versus the New Orleans Saints. Per last year’s wins and losses, the Vikings schedule is the “13th easiest” in the NFL. The quarterbacks Minnesota will face this season aren’t too daunting either. The Athletic ranked each team’s schedule by opposing quarterbacks’ career performance last week, and the Vikings checked in at #25 — or eighth-easiest.
And, as of August 3rd, Minnesota doesn’t have too many injuries, at least of the severe or season-ending variety. Irv Smith, Dalvin Cook, and Kene Nwangwu are all battling minor maladies, but none are expected to miss regular-season time. Good health and a favorable schedule could explain the extra win for the Vikings forecast.
Super Bowl odds for the franchise are unwavering, though. The Vikings are still listed at a +4000 moneyline to win the championship in 2022 — about the same odds held by the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
If none of this is a sensible explanation, someone in Las Vegas had an unceremonious epiphany that Minnesota is better than an 8.5-win team.
The Vikings take on the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium in 38 days to start the season.
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).