2023 Minnesota Vikings Season Betting Preview
As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: REASONS FOR OPTIMISM
The Vikings won 13 games last season. Even if regression seems inevitable, that still leaves considerable room in their quest to make the playoffs. The biggest concern coming into the offseason was on the defensive side of the ball, but Minnesota made significant strides to fix some of its weaknesses. After releasing aging, name-brand veterans like Dalvin Tomlinson, Z’Darius Smith, and Patrick Peterson, the Vikings signed CB Byron Murphy, DE Dean Lowry, and DE Marcus Davenport. These changes are being priced as a downgrade, but I’m not sure that’s the case. Add in Brian Flores as defensive coordinator, and the Vikings defense should be better than it was last year. It is completely conceivable the Vikings could be a better team this year with a significantly worse record.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: CAUSE FOR CONCERNS
Take out their 13-4 record, and the Vikings were a mediocre team last year. They finished 29th in net yards per play and 27th in DVOA, while their defense finished 30th in YPA. They finished 1st in blended 4th quarter win % and 5th best in adjusted games lost due to injury. Add in the fact that Minnesota lost Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook in addition to three aforementioned defensive starters, and this Vikings team shed salary, experience, and continuity this offseason. The Vikings have a much more difficult schedule than last season when they finished an unprecedented 11-0 in one-score games. The 6 departing defensive starters may eventually lead to future success, but that success most likely won’t be immediate.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: BETTING OPPORTUNITIES
Instinctually, a 4.5 move off of last year's 13-4 record seems like overkill. Yet my Power Ratings come out slightly under. I anticipate that Brian Flores' insertion at DC will have a substantial impact, which may lead to under opportunities throughout the season. I’m not seeing a ton of value in the futures market or the Game of the Year lines. However, I do see some value in the Week 17 contest against the Packers. There is a risk that one of these two teams is out of the playoff picture which would totally shift the landscape of this play, but with all things equal, I make the game MIN -4 and we get to lay less than a field goal. In their Week 8 contest in GB, the Vikings are favored by one. The valuation of home field advantage is much greater than 1.5 points.
Best Bet: Week 17 MIN -2.5 vs GB (Pass at -3)