Vegas Likes Vikings' Improvements

The sports books in Las Vegas had the Vikings' odds of winning the Super Bowl increase from their opening line in late January or early February to their current line. While the team improved its odds and rankings with their offseason work, the Vikings, according to Vegas, are still in the middle of the NFL pack.

The Vegas odds-makers have spoken.

The message on three separate futures gambling sheets obtained in Las Vegas this week shows that, while the Vikings aren't the favorites to win the NFC or Super Bowl, the odds-makers like the improvements the team has made since the end of last season.

In all three sheets Viking Update picked up in Vegas earlier this week, the Vikings' odds improved from the opening line until now, showing that Vegas thinks the Vikings are better now relative to the rest of the NFL than they were in late January or early February.

In one sheet that sets the odds for Harrah's, Rio, Caesars Palace, the Flamingo, Reno Hilton, Harveys, Bally's and Paris, the Vikings were ranked 19th to win the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, 2007 in Miami. But that opening line of 35/1 was on Jan. 16, 2006. Since then, the Vikings improved to 18/1, which moved them ahead of two teams and into a 14th-place tie with San Diego, Philadelphia and Kansas City.

The Indianapolis Colts were the unanimous favorites in the three sheets we got, going as high as 4/1 favorites to as low as 5/2 favorites to win the Super Bowl. The Seattle Seahawks were the top-ranked NFC team, going at 6/1 on Harrah's sheet and 7/1 on the Mirage and New York New York sheets.

The Vikings opened at 15/1 to win the NFC Championship on the Harrah's sheet, but they have since improved to 8/1, jumping up two spots to the eighth-ranked team in the conference.

On the Mirage and New York New York sheets, the Vikings opened at 25/1 to win the Super Bowl, but have improved to 20/1 since their opening line on Jan. 22. That moved them into a tie with Jacksonville for 18th place.

On the Mirage and New York New York sheets, the Vikings opened at 12/1 to win the NFC and are currently at 10/1, putting them in 10th place in the conference.

With all three sports books, the Vikings are ranked ahead of Green Bay and Detroit, with Chicago the NFC North favorite, currently at 12/1 to win the Super Bowl.

With the Mirage and New York New York sports books, the Vikings are currently ranked behind Indianapolis, Seattle, New England, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Diego, Denver, New York Giants, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Washington, Kansas City, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Miami, respectively.

With the Harrah's book, the Vikings are ranked behind Indianapolis, New England, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Denver, Carolina, Chicago, Tampa Bay, New York Giants, Cincinnati, Washington, Dallas and Miami, respectively.

Miami made one of the biggest jumps in the rankings, opening at 30/1 on the Harrah's sheet and climbing to 12/1, maybe because of the addition of Daunte Culpepper. The Cowboys, with the addition of Terrell Owens, jumped from 25/1 on Jan. 16 to 6/1 as of June 2. The Oakland Raiders went from 100/1 to 30/1; the Lions from 200/1 to 35/1, New Orleans from 200/1 to 70/1; and Cleveland from 200/1 to 50/1.

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