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Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds Preview

After a successful 2012 season that saw them finish 10-6 and make the playoffs, the ship quickly started sinking for the Vikings last season.

Minnesota’s defense imploded, Adrian Peterson couldn’t carry the offense by himself, and the end result was a 5-10-1 record and a gutting of the coaching staff. Former Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer now takes the helm and tries to get the Vikings afloat again.

Minnesota Vikings Odds to Win NFC North: +1000 at Bovada
Minnesota Vikings Odds to Win Super Bowl: 100/1 at Bovada
Minnesota Vikings Regular Season Win Total: 6 at Bovada
Minnesota Vikings Betting Props: Adrian Peterson to Win NFL MVP 25/1 at Bovada

After three disappointing seasons Christian Ponder’s time in Minnesota appears to be over. Ponder lost the starting job to Matt Cassel last season, Minnesota drafted their new quarterback of the future Teddy Bridgewater, and Ponder will likely never take the field for the Vikings again. Cassel will likely start the season as the Vikings' QB again, but with Bridgewater breathing down his neck it may not be for long.

No matter who is at QB for Minnesota Adrian Peterson will continue to be the offensive catalyst. Injuries slowed Peterson at times last season as he was limited to 14 games and 1266 rushing yards. With the departure of Toby Gerhart Matt Asiata is expected to play second fiddle to Peterson this season.

Greg Jennings may have led the Vikings in receiving last year, but his first year in Minnesota was still disappointing as he only registered 804 yards receiving and four touchdowns. He’ll likely be passed on the depth chart this season by Cordarrelle Patterson. He had a slow start in his rookie campaign a year ago, but was strong at the end of the season with three touchdown receptions and a pair of rushing TDs in the Vikings' final four games. Tight end Kyle Rudolph could also be in line for a bounceback season following an injury-shortened season in which he appeared in only eight games.

For the Vikings to get out of the NFC North basement this season they’ll need a much better effort from their defense. The Minnesota D was horrible last season, allowing more points (30 per game) than any other team in the league. That led to a much-needed house cleaning with DE Jared Allen, DT Kevin Williams, LB Erin Henderson, CB Chris Cook and LB Desmond Bishop all getting cut loose.

Minnesota restocked the cupboard with DE Corey Wootton and CB Captain Munnerlyn and also brought in new defensive coordinator George Edwards. Zimmer made quick progress with the Cincinnati defense when he was defensive coordinator, and now that he’s the top man in Minnesota expect him to make his mark on their defense as well.

Thanks to the abysmal defense last season the Vikings were a dream for OVER bettors with a 12-4 OVER/UNDER record. They also were a healthy 9-7 ATS which included a surprising 8-5 ATS mark as the underdog.

NFC North Odds at Bovada as of August 5
Green Bay Packers -110
Chicago Bears +250
Detroit Lions +400
Minnesota Vikings +1000

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Adrian Peterson led the Minnesota Vikings into the playoffs last year with an improbable 10-6 SU and 8-7-1 ATS record. His supporting cast won’t be much better than it was last year in 2013, so the elite running back will be called upon to carry his team into the playoffs again.

Odds to Win NFC North: +600 at Bovada
Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 at Bovada
Betting Props: Adrian Peterson to win NFL MVP (15/1) at Bovada

Adrian Peterson was a one-man wrecking crew all season long, but took his game to another level down the stretch in leading Minnesota to a 4-0 SU and ATS finish over its last four games to secure a playoff spot just one year after going 3-13 SU. Peterson became just the seventh rusher in NFL history to eclipse 2000 yards rushing, falling just eight yards shy of the all-time record with 2,097 yards.

Peterson carried the offense all season long as Christian Ponder didn’t show many signs of development, passing for just 2,935 yards and 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. To help get the passing game going, the Vikings drafted wideout Cordarrelle Patterson and signed Greg Jennings. With Ponder at the helm and speedster Percy Harvin gone, though, this offense will once again only go as far as Peterson takes it.

Minnesota finished right around league average in both total yards and points allowed per game last season. The unit’s main weakness was against the pass, where the team ranked 24th in passing yards against allowing 244.3 yards per game. Minnesota spent its first two draft picks on defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Xavier Rhodes to help try to improve the defense.

On paper, the Minnesota Vikings don’t look like a playoff team, and are arguably the worst team in the NFC North. But Adrian Peterson tore the paper to shreds last season with his MVP campaign. Hungry for an impressive encore, Peterson is tough to bet against. But until the Vikings develop a passing game to complement their franchise back, it will be hard for Minnesota to keep up with the high-powered offenses in the NFC North and around the NFL.

NFC North Odds at Bovada as of August 4
Green Bay Packers -160
Chicago Bears +350
Detroit Lions +500
Minnesota Vikings +600