The wise guys have spoken and from what they're saying it may be a long year for the Vikings. Or it may be a profitable one for Vikings fans.
Every year, the Outfit in Vegas comes out with its own mid-year Christmas present for hard core fans – the annual over/under projected win totals for all 32 NFL teams. They are just projections like anyone might throw out, but they back them up by allowing fans to bet on them. Whether you want to drop $100 or $3,000 (the current betting limit at Cantor Gaming – the first gambling site to release betting lines for the 2012 NFL season), you can do it on any team you want.
The idea of setting odds is to get gambling activity on teams during the offseason. $100 is the base unit of measure on such bets. For example, the Green Bay Packers were established as the preseason favorite at 12 wins on the over/under line. In order to win $100 by predicting 13 or more wins, one has to bet $125. To bet that the Packers will win 11 games or fewer, one has to bet $105. Every team is different, because the perception is that more people that are die-hard fans will bet higher on their team going over the projected total. That's the human nature of fandom.
The good news for Vikings fans is that, to lose a bet on the team's prospects for 2012, the only way you lose betting the over is if the Vikes are 5-11 or worse. To win $100 on seven wins, it will cost you $100. To win $100 on the team winning five games or fewer, you have to bet $130.
The bad news is the "The Outfit" puts them at that position for good reason. There are only six teams placed at that suspiciously low a level and only three worse. The Vikings, Rams and Buccaneers were all slated with – gambling's dubious six-win distinction. Only three others opened at 5½ – Cleveland, Indianapolis and Jacksonville.
For the record, here is the complete opening Vegas line from Cantor Gaming (note that MGM-Mirage numbers are different) – in case you have a relative in Nevada you would like to enlighten with your comments.
Green Bay (over -125/under -105)
New England (-120/-110)
New Orleans (-125/-105)
San Francisco (+105/-135)
New York Giants (-110/-120)
San Diego (-130/Even)
San Diego (-130/Even)
New York Jets (-115/-115)
Kansas City (-120/-110)
St. Louis (-110/-120)
Tampa Bay (-110/-120)
MGM Mirage's numbers, which were released Friday, differ in some significant respects, but, as far as the Vikings are concerned, the numbers are strikingly similar. The bottom line: If you think the Vikings are going to make marked improvement in 2012, you have the chance to back it up with some cash. If you don't, you can make money in your sorrow. Either way, Vegas wins. It always does.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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