Heading into Sunday’s Week 1 game with the St. Louis Rams, the Vikings were among the longest of the long shots with the Las Vegas SuperBook, one of the largest gambling bookmakers in the world. They were a 50:1 shot to win the Super Bowl and a 25:1 shot to win the NFC. Even then, there was a feeling that the SuperBook was giving the Vikings a little too much credit.
One week in, if you’re looking to make a bet on the Vikings, the return will be half of what it was on Sunday morning.
The Vikings were dropped from a 50:1 bet to win the Super Bowl to 25:1 and, more interestingly, if you read into the NFC odds, the boys in Vegas are picking the Vikings to make the playoffs.
The top three picks to open the season remain the same with minor tweaks. Seattle has dropped from 9:4 to 2:1. The Saints (7:2) and the 49ers (5:1) remain the same. Green Bay bumped from 5:1 to 6:1 after their humbling Week 1 defeat at the hands of the Seahawks. Philadelphia dropped from 13:1 to 10:1 on their heels of its second-half blowout of Jacksonville.
Then come the Vikings.
Minnesota made the move from 25:1 to 12:1 – the largest single jump of any team in the NFL. In one day, the Vikings passed the Giants, Lions, Bears (who went from 13:1 to 25:1 in one day), Arizona, Atlanta and Carolina in terms of what team will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
What makes the changing of the line so pronounced is that, under the current betting odds format, the Vikings would be a wild card team. Using the favorites as the guide, Seattle, New Orleans, Green Bay and Philadelphia would be the division champions and the Vikings and 49ers would be the wild cards.
While fans have been cautioned to temper their enthusiasm when it comes to putting too much stock in an impressive preseason and a route in Week 1 of the regular season, it would seem clear that those who make a living setting betting odds have given the Vikings a lot more respect than they were just a couple of days ago.
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.