For sports odds, the 2022 Minnesota Vikings odds to reach the postseason for the first time since 2019 are about as even-steven as it gets.
Minnesota finished 15-18 (.454) amid the last two seasons, prompting the team’s ownership to fire general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer. The franchise caved to mediocrity in 2020 and 2021, opting for a youthful forecast of analytics and promise with the hires of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as general manager and Kevin O’Connell as head coach.
In adding new leadership, the Vikings had a license to rebuild the roster, perhaps trading Kirk Cousins or Danielle Hunter for draft capital and a fresh foundational start. But after Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell evaluated the roster, salary cap, and current standing around the league, Minnesota re-upped with Cousins and Hunter — and surrounded the two with new free agents Za’Darius Smith, Harrison Phillips, and Jordan Hicks.
For the sixth season in a row, the Vikings are “all-in” for playoff and Super Bowl contendership, adhering to a philosophy promoted by Adofo-Mensah called “living in the past and the present.” He believes the Vikings can compete now while preparing for later.
Accordingly, oddsmakers are ho-hum on the plan, evidenced by current playoff moneylines.
Down the line, odds are seemingly split on Minnesota’s chance to reach the playoffs. Via most sportsbooks, a person can plop down $110 or so for the Vikings to make the postseason — or not make the postseason — and the payout would be $100 if the bettor is correct.
Overall, Vegas chooses Minnesota to win between eight or nine games, a dire prediction for a team that already won eight games in 2021, causing the seeds of change. Vikings fans are fed up with “in the middle” seasons, preferring either to be great or flat-out bad to kickstart a full rebuild.
The Vikings could, of course, buck all Vegas theories and win north of nine games, proving pundits and fans wrong along the way. The current depth chart suggests the franchise is capable of a credible playoff push. But a lot will have to go right out of the gate for the new leadership group, including a) New skipper Kevin O’Connell is ready for the bright HC lights right away b) The 3-4 defense, which the Vikings haven’t used in 40 years, clicks c) Kirk Cousins shows the world that he’s more than a “.500 quarterback.”
If those items are answered affirmatively, Minnesota can contend for the NFC North and beyond, especially against a Green Bay Packers team that lost its top weapon, Davante Adams, to the Las Vegas Raiders in March.
The regular season begins in 81 days.
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).