Vikings Given -145 Odds to Make Playoffs, Sixth-Best Odds in NFC, After Back-to-Back Wins
- After an up-and-down start, Minnesota has won two-straight games convincingly
- Kirk Cousins is playing his best football of the year, but Minnesota is in the league's deepest division
- Are the Vikings a good bet to make the postseason at -145 odds?
As Week 7 begins and the calendar inches into the back half of October, teams have now accrued enough game action to be thinking about the playoffs. A lot can happen in the final 10 or 11 games, but that makes it even more important to assess the here and now — so you can capitalize on the future.
In the case of the Minnesota Vikings, the here and now has been very good to them. They've won their past two games by 18 points each and now see their NFL playoff odds lurch forward into a projected postseason spot.
2019-20 NFC Playoff Odds
|Team||Odds to Make the Playoffs at Bovada*||Odds to Miss the Playoffs at Bovada*|
|New Orleans Saints||-1000||+550|
|San Francisco 49ers||N/A**||N/A|
|Green Bay Packers||-350||+245|
|Los Angeles Rams||Even||-130|
* Odds taken 10/17/19
** As of Oct. 9, 49ers had -275 odds to make the playoffs.
The problem is, the NFC (and the Vikings' NFC North, particularly) is crowded with competitive teams. Only five teams in the conference are below .500 — compared to nine such teams in the AFC.
Here's a look at what the Vikings have done and how you should view them at this juncture.
The Mini Winning Streak
Are back-to-back wins even considered a streak? Probably not, but after a shaky start for the Vikings, it was a positive sign to see them bulldoze the Giants and Eagles in games they led from start to finish.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins had been particularly shaky, including an abysmal performance in Week 4 against the Bears (6.47 yards/attempt, no touchdowns). He certainly turned that around.
Kirk Cousins in the two games since the public criticism from the Bears loss: 44-of-56 passing, 639 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 13, 2019
An improved output in the passing game allows for balance with Dalvin Cook and Minnesota’s third-ranked ground game, which has gone over 120 yards all but once this year. The defense continues to hum, allowing 310.3 total yards/game, which ranks second in the NFC.
BRINGING THE ????????????! pic.twitter.com/XfTvBL9Lrp
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 13, 2019
Numbers Don't Lie, Do They?
For those who care less about the eye test, here's a positive sign for the Vikings: according to DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), a metric by Football Outsiders that measures play-by-play efficiency adjusted for situation and opponent, Minnesota has the fourth-highest total at 21.9% (where 0% is average).
New England takes over the top in overall DVOA (Football Outsiders):
1. Patriots — 53.5%
2. 49ers — 44.3%
3. Chiefs — 23.3%
4. Vikings — 21.9%
5. Cowboys — 18.0%
(That’s the percentage above the NFL avg so the Patriots and 49ers are still head and shoulders above everyone else)
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) October 15, 2019
By that logic, they’re definitely on their way to the playoffs. Of course, it's not really that simple.
Tough Road Ahead
Making the NFL playoffs is a tough task, given that only six of 16 teams per conference (four division winners and two Wild Cards) get through. Let's map out the NFC playoff picture as it stands now: 49ers (5-0), Packers (5-1), Saints (5-1) and Eagles (3-3) are projected to win their divisions.
Richard Sherman asks the 49ers' doubters to please stick to their word. pic.twitter.com/1kIFQg8S6X
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 14, 2019
That leaves two Wild Card spots, where the Vikings (4-2) are up against the Seahawks (5-1), Panthers (4-2), Bears (3-2), Cowboys (3-3) and Rams (3-3). It's not worth diving into each individual team right now, but consider that the Vikings' NFC North looks like a gauntlet.
Even the last-place Lions (2-2-1) are a pesky opponent, losing by a total of five points to the Chiefs and Packers. Minnesota goes to Detroit this weekend in a critical matchup for both sides.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 15, 2019
At this point, hold off on the Vikings, at least until they play the Lions. A better pick value-wise is the Bears (+135).
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky is set to return from an injury and Chicago already beat Minnesota, 16-6, without him.
The post Vikings Given -145 Odds to Make Playoffs, Sixth-Best Odds in NFC, After Back-to-Back Wins appeared first on Sports Betting Dime.
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