You wanna bet?

The Vikings are near the top of the Vegas oddsmakers list of favorites to win Super Bowl XLV next year, but are far from the very top. Who is in front of them and why? Check it out.

The "boys in Vegas" have spoken.

With a week to go before the Super Bowl, fans who head to Las Vegas to put some money down on the big game can now make bets on Super Bowl XLV in February 2011. The wise guys expect Brett Favre to return, but aren't making the Vikings one of the top favorites. In numbers released by Lucky's Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Vikings are 14-1 to win the Super Bowl, with the caveat that Favre is expected back.

As expected, this year's Super Bowl teams are on the top of the list with the Colts at 7-1 and the Saints at 9-1, with the Chargers sandwiched in between at 8-1. Three teams sit at 12-1 – the Steelers, Patriots and Cowboys – with much of the credit for the Cowboys number being attributed to the consistently high wagering done on them year after year. Three NFC teams follow at 14-1 – the Vikings, Packers and Eagles.

The Ravens and Jets follow at 15-1, with the Falcons and Giants at 20-1, the Cardinals at 25-1 and the Bears at 30-1. Rounding out the field are three teams at 100-1 – the Lions, Rams and Buccaneers.

The betting lines are out and the gambling has begun. Think the Vikings can get the job done in 2010? You can back up that belief with some cash.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • As expected, the NFL fine police came down heavy on Saints defensive end Bobby McCray, who got hit with a $20,000 fine for a pair of big hits on Favre last Sunday. Typically, players are fined between $5,000 and $10,000 for illegal hits, so the $20,000 hit is huge indeed. In addition, two other Saints defensive players – LB Jonathan Casillas and DE Anthony Hargrove – were fined $5,000 each for unnecessary roughness.

  • Bryant McKinnie and Julius Peppers skipped Friday's Pro Bowl practice and McKinnie wasn't on hand to take the NFC team photo. No reason was given for their absences. Through his Twitter account, it was determined that McKinnie was at Miami's Mansion Nightclub sending out tweets after midnight that he was at the club. For a player who said he fought long and hard to get Pro Bowl recognition, it's hard to imagine that getting his partying on could mean more than practicing for the Pro Bowl. He wasn't at practice again on Saturday morning, according reporter Michelle Tafoya.

  • Jared Allen was asked at the Pro Bowl his feelings on the potential Brett Favre retirement. Allen said there's no rush for a decision, saying, "Whatever Brett decides, we obviously respect him and want him back as a teammate. He was a great teammate. A guy in his position has every right to retire and, if he wants to come back, we'll welcome him. Take your time. Make the right decision. Do the right thing, Brett. Do the right thing."

  • A day after interviewing Kevin Rogers for their opening at offensive coordinator, the Bears interviewed former head coach Mike Martz Friday.

  • The NFL printed up a lot of shirts, hats, towels and other items bearing the Vikings name on them as the NFC Conference champions in the event they won the game and would be wearing them in a post-game celebration. Thanks to a deal with World Vision, a humanitarian group, the apparel from the Vikings and Jets proclaiming them as conference champions, will be sent to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.


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