Vegas Likes the Vikes ... Sort Of

Vegas has spoken. At least one association in Vegas likes the Vikings to win the NFC North, but beyond that they are behind a number of other teams to win the conference and Super Bowl.

The gambling community has spoken and they're tending to like the Vikings' chances in 2009.

In the most recent odds put out by NSA (National Sports Advisors), the Vikings have been established as the co-favorite to win the NFC North and are viewed as the division's best team.

Fans typically learn of the myriad of bets that can placed on a team only at Super Bowl time, where bets can include things like who will score the first touchdown and will Bob Kraft mention the undefeated Miami Dolphins in his acceptance speech – a bet that became moot when the Patriots lost to the Giants.

The most telling gambling line is betting the projected over-under – the line as to the number of games a team needs to win. For the Vikings, that line is 8½ wins – meaning the Vikings need nine wins to cover the over. Meanwhile, the Packers over-under is eight, Chicago has an over-under of eight as well and the Lions pick up the rear at 6½.

As it pertains to who will win the NFC North Division, the Vikings are again the smart money. Both Minnesota and Green Bay are listed as co-favorites. If you bet $100 on either the Vikings or Packers to win the division, the payoff is $185, followed by Chicago at $225 for every $100 wagered and the Lions at $450 per $100 bet.

The odds of winning the NFC Championship? The Vikings have been established at 9:1, which is fourth-best in the NFC. The Cowboys are the favorites at 11:4 ($275 to win on a $100 bet), followed by the Packers at 15:2, the defending champion Giants at 8:1 and the Vikings and Eagles at 9:1. For the record, the Bears are 12:1 and the Lions are 22:1. Worst in the NFC? The Falcons at 50:1.

So you think the Vikes can win the Super Bowl? They're getting more and more respect in that area too. This is where the betting gets a little confusing. For example, the Vikings are a bigger favorite than the Saints to win the NFC, but when it comes to winning the Super Bowl, somehow New Orleans has better odds. The Vikings are 30:1 to win it all, which isn't too shabby. The Patriots are the clear favorites at 13:4 ($325 to win on $100 bet), followed by the Chargers at 7:1, the Colts at 15:2 and the Cowboys at 8:1. Next are the Packers at 14:1 and a group of three teams – the Giants, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh – at 20:1. Two more teams – the Eagles and Saints – are at 25:1, with the Vikings in the next grouping of teams, which includes the Bears and Cardinals, at 30:1.

Interestingly, the Vikings are bigger favorites than perennial playoff team Seattle and 2007 playoff teams like the Buccaneers, Titans and Redskins.

The gamblers have spoken and, while they may not be on the Vikings bandwagon to win it all, they like their chances to make the playoffs as the NFC North champs. Once you're in the dance, who knows? Who thought the Giants could go on the road and beat Tampa, Dallas, Green Bay and New England in successive games? The fact the Vikings are firmly on the radar speaks volumes.

FRIDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings waived running back Arkee Whitlock and wide receiver Justin Surrency. If the Vikings are to sign all five of their draft picks before training camp, they will have to release three more players to make the NFL-mandated roster limit of 80 when camp starts on July 25.

  • Vikings offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie had a court hearing scheduled for this morning in Florida continued until Sept. 24. McKinnie was scheduled to face four charges, including one felony, stemming from a fight outside a nightclub in Miami, but his lawyer has asked that McKinnie be allowed to enter a diversionary program, which could lead to the charges being dropped.


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