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Vikings Bettors Look to Pillage Sportsbooks Once Again in 2016

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings NFL

The term “sexy pick” gets bandied around every summer about a team that bettors, fans and pundits predict to make great strides and possibly be a darkhorse Super Bowl option. Last year, the Minnesota Vikings were one such team that many felt would make the leap and they certainly did just that as they won the NFC North and were one Blair Walsh missed field goal away from winning a playoff game.

A safer betting option did not exist last season as the Vikings’ 11-5 straight up record translated to an NFL-best 13-3 mark against the spread. UNDER bettors also feasted with this team featured on betting slips as 12 of Minnesota’s 16 regular season games finished under the number.

This time around, however, the “sexy pick” label has been stripped away as the Vikes are a bona fide contender to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy come February 5.

Here’s a look at their odds for the upcoming season:

Super Bowl +1600

The Vikings took a 9-0 lead into the fourth quarter in their NFC Wild Card playoff game versus the Seahawks but watched that slip away as Seattle put up 10 points before Walsh’s miss. The game will be remembered for the miss (as well as the frigid temperatures) but the 10-9 loss is something that will have stewed in some of those Vikings players during the offseason and could be a catalyst for this team to make a deeper run come playoff time.

The Purple and Gold have never won a Super Bowl and haven’t made an appearance in the game since Super Bowl XI (1977) but are sitting there on the board at the attractive price of +1600.

Part of what makes that offering so appealing is the work done by GM Rick Spielman. The Vikes were already a very good team and Spielman added some personnel to the roster, most notably on the offensive line, to make this squad one of the deepest in the league.

Minnesota looks to be a team that will win the battle in the trenches on a weekly basis, take care of the football and play stellar defense. If quarterback Teddy Bridgewater can progress and, perhaps, make a star out of No. 1 draft pick Laquon Treadwell, this team ticks all the boxes of a Super Bowl threat.

NFC North +200

The Green Bay Packers are the favorites to win the NFC North at -140 and the Vikings are next in line at +200. Sure, the Pack had injury issues last year which certainly impacted their season, but the Vikes are still the defending champs so this is another spot that presents some appealing value.

The 2015 crown was the franchise’s first since 2009 and their third overall under the new division structure. Since that structure was implemented back in 2002, 43 teams (out of a possible 104) have repeated as division champs while 18 of 32 division champs have been a repeat winner in the last four years.

OVER/UNDER Win Total 9.5

Minnesota had gone from five wins in 2013, to seven in 2014 to a whopping 11 last season. That’s pretty damn good growth over a three-year stretch.

Their 2016 schedule ranks 18th in terms of difficulty and they actually have a tricky opening to the season. Week 2 will be the Packers’ first visit to shiny and new U.S. Bank Stadium while the following week means a trip to Carolina to face the defending NFC champion Panthers.

The schedule is no gimme, but the Vikes look to have the mettle to be able to compete with a such a challenge.

Mike Zimmer for Coach of the Year +1000

Now that the Vikings have made the leap from “sexy pick” to “contender”, this could shape up to be the season where head coach Mike Zimmer gets his props.

Zimmer’s background is rooted firmly in defensive philosophy and that is evident in this team. The Vikes allowed the fifth-fewest points in the league last season (18.9 per game) and were +5 in the take-aways, give-aways department.

Plenty of what the Vikings do well and get right are hallmarks of “coach of the year” candidates and if the Vikes reach the heights that many expect them to in 2016, Zimmer could be in store for some hardware of his own.

2016 Minnesota Vikings Futures Odds
Super Bowl+1600
NFC Championship+800
NFC North+200
Win Total9.5

Odds as of August 21 at Bovada