During the summer, the Minnesota Vikings marinated with +4000 odds from sportsbooks to win Super Bowl LVII. But after one win, the moneyline climbed (or shrunk, depending on interpretation) to +2300.
The Vikings downed the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, kicking off the Kevin O’Connell era with a 23-7 win at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Minnesota defeated a Packers team led by Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre by more than 14 points for the first time in 21 years. The last time such a feat occurred was October 21st, 2001. And accordingly, oddsmakers were impressed, shooting the Vikings Super Bowl stock to its highest heights since the summer of 2018.
The Vikings were the NFL’s 20th-likeliest franchise to win the Super Bowl for most of June and July, as sportsbooks evidently lacked enthusiasm for Minnesota’s fifth installment with Kirk Cousins at the helm. Minnesota hired new leadership in January and February, and many onlookers expected the team to conduct a full-scale roster rebuild. But new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah re-upped with Cousins, signed a few keynote defensive free agents, and decided to take another stab at the Lombardi trophy with a roster similar to 2021.
For a week — against the Vikings most-hated foe — the plan worked.
O’Connell’s team frustrated the Packers, who were beset by follies in the 1st Quarter, including a dropped sure-touchdown pass by rookie Christian Watson. And the Packers owned Top 5 Super Bowl odds heading into Week 1. Defeating Green Bay moved the needle.
Green Bay didn’t have its two starting offensive tackles on the field because of injury, which helped the Vikings generate a consistent pass rush. On Minnesota’s side, rookie Lewis Cine missed the game due to a knee injury.
Suddenly, per sportsbooks, the Vikings are the league’s 10th-likeliest team with the Super Bowl in February, an ascension of 10 spots up the ladder after a single statement game.
Perhaps the world fully grasped the utilization of wideout Justin Jefferson, who grabbed nine catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns. The Los Angeles Rams, with Kevin O’Connell as offensive coordinator, rode Cooper Kupp to a Super Bowl seven months ago. The plan seems to be on the docket for replication by Minnesota with Jefferson.
The Vikings travel to Philadelphia next week for a date with the Eagles, a team with +1460 odds to win the Super Bowl — or sixth-highest leaguewide.
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).