The 2020 NFL season is coming in hot, which means your betting card for the season needs a double-check. We’re going to be going over a copious amount of NFL futures bets, NFL odds, NFL betting picks and NFL predictions for the 2020 campaign. Sportsbooks have released win totals for every team, and we’re going to examine strengths, weaknesses, schedules and make predictions on the over/under. Right now, we’re looking at the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings finally got back to winning in the postseason last season, but it wasn’t the end result they were looking for. Kirk Cousins led a great overtime drive, and the officials were once again making judgment calls against the Saints. A win is a win, and the Vikings are hopeful that addition by subtraction occurs in 2020. The biggest loss is clearly wideout Stefon Diggs, but the addition of LSU star Justin Jefferson could be a nice asset in the near future. The defense should slowly get back to relevancy thanks to the acquisition of dynamic pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. The pass rushing in Ngakoue and Danielle Hunter should be electric. The losses of Everson Griffen and Xavier Rhodes should not be as devastating, so youngsters such as rookie Jeff Gladney could fill in admirably.
The current NFL futures price of 8.5 wins by most markets suggest that the Vikings are right there to take this division. The juice is on the over and some have recently moved their total to nine wins, which comes as no surprise. If you are looking for value, the under would be the play for some that have it at +140. Due to the recent trade of Ngakoue, the juice has slightly changed. The Vikings though have had at least a win total of 8.5 or more for the last four seasons now. For those who track NFL futures and NFL betting picks, you know they have hit the over on their win total in four of the past six seasons.
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One of the most productive running games in the NFL, Minnesota is thankful for a solid one-two punch. Dalvin Cook is one of the most explosive backs in the game and surely has another monster season in him where he is likely to stay healthy. Cousins finally broke through in a playoff game, getting his first victory, and he has hopes to pick up his play despite the loss of Diggs to the Bills. A healthy Adam Thielen returning to his 2017 and 2018 form would be a huge boost. Not that many teams have a consensus top-10 back and a borderline top-10wideout like the Vikings do. They could be in some shootouts this season but are fortunate enough to have the pieces to win most of them.
The defense was a huge strength when the Vikings went to the NFC title game in 2017, but they have been anything but championship-caliber ever since. Harrison Smith is one of the best players in the NFL at his position, but their front seven is arguably no longer a strength. It has dropped off in talent and production. The days of Griffen (now a Cowboy) could be long gone. The pass rushing should be very good, but they aren’t close to the likes of the Steelers, Bills or Patriots defense from last season. In fact, they may get into some shootouts this season where combined point totals are in the 50s. Cousins has the talent to do it, but the defense will have to pin its ears back now that they have acquired Ngakoue. The secondary could have some tough games with some young players at corner, so they need to get after the passer.
The Vikings have their bye in the seventh week of the season. This would not be the year to really struggle out of the gates. A season-opening showdown at home against the defending NFC North champions will be critical since they follow that up with the Colts, Titans and Texans. The schedule lets up a bit when they take on the lowly Jaguars and Panthers. Wins are there for the taking, but they must start out 3-3 at the very least if they want to challenge for the division this season. Detroit has their head coach on the hot seat, and Chicago will have a tough time improving upon their record from a season ago. Green Bay is in for a rude awakening for some major regression. This division is a crapshoot and might just be the weakest in the entire NFC in terms of any Super Bowl challengers. Cousins is going to have to be the real deal in the fourth quarter this season. If he can come up clutch just like he was against the Saints in overtime, then they will be sitting pretty come January.
The Vikings NFL odds are currently -155 to make the playoffs and +110 to miss it. Those are solid NFL odds, but far from a lock in a division that should come down to the wire. Their win total of 8.5 on OddsShopper is similar to most outlets. There is not much juice on nine wins but quite a bit on 8.5 wins. The expectation is another trip to the postseason, and there is no reason why they cannot win nearly all of their home games. If they indeed protect home turf, this team will be right there nearing double-digit victories. I like their star talent on both sides of the ball and feel they will get to host a playoff game in which they could be an underdog against a team like Tampa Bay or San Francisco. I do, however, see them winning seven or so home games and being about average on the road. Going to the Buccaneers and the Saints in December will be grueling, but the NFC North will be taken by the Vikings. For this NFL prediction, if Cook and Thielen stay healthy, the Vikings should hit the over and have a great chance at reclaiming the NFC North.
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