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The Vikings Playoff Probability Meter: Week 1


The Vikings Playoff Probability Meter: Week 1
Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Each week, VikingsTerritory tracks the Minnesota Vikings odds of reaching the postseason, starting with pre-Week 1 all the way to Week 18.

Various probability sources are tracked and centralized in one spot for reference.

This is the Vikings probability meter before Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers.

Image Courtesy of FootballOutsiders

The most generous of them all, Football Outsiders actually predicts Minnesota to oust Green Bay from its three-year-long NFC North stranglehold. The Vikings are evidently on deck for a 10-7 record with a division crown to boot. The bigger story here is FO‘s lack of enthusiasm for the Packers.

FiveThirtyEight = 54%

Image Courtesy of FiveThirtyEight.com

Unlike Football Outsiders, FiveThirtyEight is still all-in on the Packers, leaving the wildcard crumbs for the Vikings. Still, a 54% probability of reaching the postseason is noteworthy for the Vikings, a team that has missed the playoffs two years consecutively.

Interestingly, FiveThirtyEight is unusually high on the Miami Dolphins, so jot that down for good measure.

Sportsbooks = 53.5%

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Jun 11, 2019; Eagan, MN, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits on the field at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Most credible sportsbooks settle around a -115 moneyline for Minnesota to visit the postseason, which translates to 53.5%. That percentage and moneyline have climbed in recent months as bettors have flocked to wager on the Vikings “over” win total.

PlayoffStatus.com = 43%

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Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; A detailed view of the reflection of M&T Bank Stadium off the visor of Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

This site takes a more rudimentary approach to the calculation, not necessarily factoring in predictive performance. But in the interest of fairness and sheer math, PlayoffStatus.com was included for a broader view.

The Vikings play the Packers on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Minnesota, like most teams, historically has a much better chance of reaching the playoffs when it wins the first game of 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).

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


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