Either Multiple Sportsbooks Messed Up or the Vikings’ NFC North Odds are… Impossibly Horrible

Minnesota Vikings
Credit: Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

Most have the Minnesota Vikings on a rebuild year in 2024. What exactly that means is in the eye of the beholder. But most fans are holding out hope that Sam Darnold is a reincarnated version of the No. 3 overall pick he once was, or that he can keep at least keep the Vikings’ boat afloat until later in the season, when J.J. McCarthy can take the reigns.

Yes, Kirk Cousins was the best QB this team has seen since Brett Favre and he was here for six seasons. But do QB questions suddenly equate to having a bad team? Because if we look beyond quarterback, especially after the addition of (RB) Aaron Jones, the 2024 Minnesota Vikings offense is arguably better than it was one year ago.

Last season, the Vikings finished with a 7-10 record, but they were 7-6 before a five game losing streak to end the season killed their playoff chances. They were 4-4 when Kirk Cousins got hurt and remained a .500 team for most of the season while rotating Jaren Hall, Sean Mannion and Josh Dobbs at QB.

Defensively, there are questions surrounding whether or not the MN Vikings have as much talent as they did in 2023. Danielle Hunter left and that certainly hurts the talent pool, but Kwesi went and found three guys (Van Ginkel, Greenard and Turner) to replace him, and they were all hand-picked by defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

Minnesota Vikings fans… have you seen the NFC North odds lately?

Now, let’s talk about the rest of the division. Are we really supposed to believe that the Detroit Lions are suddenly a perennial NFC North champion; that Jordan Love is the next all-time great Green Bay Packers quarterback, or that Caleb Williams is going to slide into QB1 for the Chicago Bears and immediately take them back to the 80s? Because I am not sold on any of those things.

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That was until I looked at the current betting odds to win the NFC North. Now, I’m questioning everything about my own homerism and football knowledge. Hell, I’m wondering if I’m losing my marbles. Is it surprising to see the Minnesota Vikings with the worst odds of any team in the NFC North at both DraftKings and FanDuel? No. But +1000 when the Bears are +265? What in the fu…

NFC North OddsDraftKingsFanDuel

Has Caleb Williams developed superhuman powers that will immediately turn him into Patrick Mahomes, without ever taking a snap in the NFL? How can sportsbooks realistically look at the NFC North and think, ‘oh yeah, the Packers, Lions and Bears are at least 3-4x better than the Vikings’?

WTF are these NFC North odds telling us?

Even if you want to prematurely crown the Lions as the next great NFL dynasty or Jordan Love as the next Aaron Rodgers, I’m at a loss for why Vegas would be so confident in the Bears. Do they look a bit better on paper, this season? Maybe… if Caleb Williams can immediately prove himself to be a functional QB.

Jump on the Lions bandwagon if you dare but that franchise has sucked for my entire life, and long before. It will take more than a couple of playoff seasons to wipe that stain from my memory. Even if Jordan Love is hitting his stride, the Packers have a lot of holes on their team.

I am not convinced any of the above will happen. In fact, I wouldn’t feel all that confident betting on any team as the NFC North winner preseason. There’s no telling how this division will shake out in 2024.

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I mean where are all the Kirk Cousins haters who have been telling us for years that the Vikings would be better off without Kirk? I never bought into that thinking, of course, but now without him, Vegas has us pegged as being four times worse than other unproven teams like the Packers and Bears. How?

To say that the Vikings, who with Jefferson, Addison, Jones, Darrisaw, O’Neill and Hockenson have arguably the best offense in the division, outside of QB. So either oddsmakers have no faith in Kevin O’Connell, who now has two talented young quarterbacks to mold, or they know something about the NFC North that we don’t.

Or… maybe both sportsbooks made a mistake…? I guess I’d almost believe that over the Vikings being extreme long shots like they are.

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