Vikings’ win sparks major shift in Vegas

Vikings players and coaches are being cautious, saying the blowout in St. Louis was only one win, but Vegas seems convinced the Vikings are better than the odds-makers originally thought.

What a difference a day can make.

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.

TUESDAY NOTES


  • The video release by TMZ Monday of Ray Rice knocking out his girlfriend was troubling for anyone who saw it. The firestorm that has arisen from it could reach as far as Commissioner Roger Goodell. When the incident initially happened, the only video footage seen was Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of the elevator. It was clear something had happened, but without in-elevator video, it was little more than speculation. What makes the incident troubling for the NFL is that reporters like Chris Mortensen reported that a league source of his had seen the video and described it almost exactly as it played out on the video released Monday. If Mortensen (or his source) had seen it, it’s hard to rationalize that the powers that be atop the NFL wouldn’t have seen the video before handing down a two-game suspension.

  • While the NFL doesn’t believe in collusion of owners (at least not publicly), there are rumors that the reason the league suspended Rice indefinitely after he was released by the Ravens Monday was to prevent any team from signing him or claiming him off waivers.

  • Despite winning by 28 points and being at home against a Patriots team that was outscored 23-0 in the second half against Miami, New England has been installed as a 3½-point favorite for their meeting at The Bank on Sunday.

  • Xavier Rhodes and Sharrif Floyd will be two defensive players to keep an eye on as the week of practice progresses heading into the New England game. Rhodes suffered a groin injury against the Rams and Floyd hurt a shoulder in Sunday’s win over St. Louis.

  • Michael Mauti (foot) and Zach Line (ankle), both of whom were inactive Sunday, are expected back in practice Wednesday.

  • Those who were wondering how much rookie Anthony Barr would play, he was on the field for 59 of the defense’s 67 plays, behind only Robert Blanton (67) and Captain Munnerlyn (66) and tied for third with Chad Greenway and Harrison Smith.


    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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