Minnesota Vikings Betting Preview 2018
Bet on the Minnesota Vikings
Mike Zimmer has managed to keep this team competitive despite being forced to start three different quarterbacks in three years. Once Sam Bradford went down, Case Keenum came in and played like he did in college. Keenum was incredibly efficient, and he only threw seven picks in his 14 starts.
The offense managed to end the season at 11th in yards and 10th in points. It makes it easy to rotate through quarterbacks and lose your stud, rookie running back when you have the best defense in the league.
Minnesota ranked first in yards and points. Everson Griffen led the team in sacks with 13. Harrison Smith is one of the
best safeties in the business. And, it’s near impossible to throw on Xavier Rhodes. Add in two other Pro Bowlers in Linval Joseph and Anthony Barr, and this defense was amazing.
Key Offseason Changes
It is strange for a team to make their conference championship and then let all of their quarterbacks go. Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, and Case Keenum were allowed to sign elsewhere. Each player has been the starter for the team in the past three years. Bridgewater signed with the Jets, Bradford went to the Cardinals, and Keenum takes over in Denver.
Taking over the quarterback duties are Kirk Cousins and Trevor Siemian. Cousins signed with the team after failing to nail down a long-term contract with the Redskins. He played on the franchise tag back-to-back years. Although there is a lack of success in Washington, his statistic rank amongst the best in the league. Siemian came from Denver in a trade. He began the year as the starter, but he failed to improve to the level the Broncos hoped.
In another huge signing, the best defense in the league is bringing in Sheldon Richardson. The former Jet and Seahawk signed a one-year, $8 million contract. He joins Griffen, Joseph, and Danielle Hunter on which will easily be the best defensive line in the league. Last year, the line racked up 23.5 sacks among the starters. Richardson will be an upgrade over Tom Johnson.
I must say I loved their first-round pick in the draft. Mike Hughes, the cornerback from UCF, not only is a quality pick, but it further upgrades an already dominant defensive secondary. This defense will be ridiculously dominant. Plus, in the third round, they got a steal in Jayln Holmes who adds great depth to the line.
Betting on the Vikings
Normally, changing quarterbacks makes me back off a team unless it’s a massive superstar. Cousins isn’t a superstar, but the rest of this team make up for it. We didn’t even mention the amazing receiver group and the fact that Dalvin Cook comes back after missing most of his rookie season. Then, the defense is stacked, so I don’t care what happens at quarterback.
Win the NFC NORTH
GUARANTEED MONEY – I like the Packers, and I think the Lions might have a shot. It is a slam dunk for the Vikings to take this division. The defense alone gives them ten wins. If Cousins just keeps the status quo at quarterback, they will take at least 12 games this year. Betmania has them at +140.
Win the NFC Championship
SAFE BET – I don’t feel comfortable guaranteeing a trip to the Super Bowl, but this team might be my pick from the NFC. Granted they are one of the favorites, but GTBets has them at +600 which is a little better than most places.
Win the Super Bowl
SAFE BET – There is that old cliché that defense wins championships. I’m not a firm believer in that theory, but this defense has the chance to be historic. Like ’85 Bears or ’00 Ravens good. But neither of those teams had an offense like the Vikings. You can find your best odds at BetDSI, +1200.
OVER 10.5 – Betmania have the Vikings at 10.5 wins, and I like the over for +105. This team easily gets to 11 wins unless they continue to suffer from injuries. Kirk Cousins already put up big numbers with a weak receiver group. Now, he gets to throw to Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Then, he gets to hand the ball to Cook. If he happens to struggle, the defense will hold the most teams under 14 points. Vikings’ fans might finally get a Lombardi trophy.