Do you have faith in the Minnesota Vikings and their prospects for 2017? If you want, you can start betting on games up to Week 16 of the regular season.
CG Technology, based out of the Venetian Race & Sports Book in Las Vegas, released betting lines on all NFL games through the first 16 weeks of the season and fans can bet up to $300 on each game. Given the volatile nature of Week 17, when teams often shut down if they’re eliminated from the playoffs or have their playoff fate already determine and rest starters, no line has been established for those games. But, for the other 16 games, they’re all fair game for the speculative gamblers.
So what do the boys in Vegas think of the Vikings? From the looks of things, visiting teams won’t want to come to U.S. Bank Stadium.
Here is the full breakdown of the opening point lines for the Vikings’ 2017 regular season.
- Week 1 – Vikings (-3) vs. New Orleans
- Week 2 – Vikings (+6) at Pittsburgh
- Week 3 – Vikings (-3) vs. Tampa Bay
- Week 4 – Vikings (-3) vs. Detroit
- Week 5 – Vikings (-2) at Chicago
- Week 6 – Vikings (+1½) vs. Green Bay
- Week 7 – Vikings (-3½) vs. Baltimore
- Week 8 – Vikings (-7) at Cleveland (at London)
- Week 9 – BYE WEEK
- Week 10 – Vikings (+1½) at Washington
- Week 11 – Vikings (-7½) vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Week 12 – Vikings (+2½) at Detroit
- Week 13 – Vikings (+5½) at Atlanta
- Week 14 – Vikings (+3) at Carolina
- Week 15 – Vikings (-3) vs. Cincinnati
- Week 16 – Vikings (+6½) at Green Bay
- Week 17 – Vikings vs. Chicago (No line)
The numbers may be a bit simplistic, because typically a home team in evenly-matched games is given three points. Anything more or less than that is where the speculation comes in.
In Week 2, making Pittsburgh is six-point favorite sends the message that the gambling community feels strongly about the Steelers’ chances. In Week 5, the Vikings are a two-point favorite on the road at Chicago – presumably the computers that do game simulations don’t factor in the Soldier Field curse that has afflicted the Vikings.
The Vikings were made a slightly larger favorite than the norm in Week 7, when they host Baltimore and are a huge seven-point favorite over the Browns in Week 8 on a neutral site in London prior to the Vikings’ bye week.
The problem, as was pointed out by here within minutes of the schedule being released, is what comes after the bye week. By the gambling odds that project favorites to win, Minnesota will be favored to be 6-2 by the time they hit their bye week. But, after the bye week, things get difficult. With four of their first five games on the road following the bye, things are expected to get tough in a hurry – much like it did during the Vikings’ post-bye collapse last season.
With the three-point spread as the standard measure, it’s interesting that the projections have the Vikings as less than a three-point underdog in their first two road games after the bye week – at Washington and at Detroit. It basically says that, while the teams are essentially even, there is a bit of a stronger feeling about the Vikings as opposed to the Redskins or Lions.
The other games that the numbers showed a strong sentiment for one team over another were in Weeks 11, 13 and 16, when the Vikings are the largest point-spread favorite of any game (7½ vs. the Rams), but also significant underdogs at Atlanta (5½) and at Green Bay (6½).
Considering that the Vikings were favorites at Soldier Field, it would be safe to assume that, all things being equal, the Vikings would be home favorites against Chicago in Week 17.
If that’s the final scenario that plays out, the expectation would be that the Vikings finish 9-7 – 7-1 at home and 2-6 on the road. In many circles, that seems like a logical record. The only difference will be if the Vikings can find a way to get the extra win or two needed to get back into the playoffs. By this method, if they beat Green Bay once they are probably there.