2012 Minnesota Vikings Odds & Preview
2012 Minnesota Vikings Betting Preview
Every team, regardless of how much success it may have had over whatever stretch, eventually goes through a rebuilding period. At the moment, the Minnesota Vikings are in that mode. Minnesota had a pretty good run, with back-to-back division titles a couple years ago, but they shot for the moon with an aging Brett Favre, and while they almost got there, when he left they were left with nothing at that most important position. So they went from 12-4 and nearly winning the NFC to 3-13 in just two seasons. Now they’ll try to rebuild with a young quarterback, a running game and a decent defense, but they’ll have to do it in one of the tougher divisions in the NFL.
Last Season in Review
Minnesota led San Diego by 10 points in the season opener last year, but lost by a touchdown; they then led Tampa by 17 in Week 2, but lost by four points; they then led Detroit by 20 in Week 3, but lost by a field goal in overtime. From there they never recovered. They did make the right move in dumping Donovan McNabb and inserting rookie Christian Ponder, if only to get the youngster some experience, but it certainly didn’t result in many victories. But they took a very scary hit when RB Adrian Peterson blew out a knee in Week 16.
In the end, nine of the Vikings losses came by a touchdown or less, they went 1-7 at home and 0-6 within the division.
The Vikes ranked 18th in the league in offense last year at 330 YPG, and fourth in rushing at 145 YPG, even though Peterson missed five games. On the other side of the ball Minnesota ranked 21st in defense at 358 YPG, and a respectable 11th vs. the run, allowing 107 YPG on the ground. But part of that was because their secondary stunk, and opponents chose to throw the ball instead of run it.
Overall the Vikings ranked 24th in total yardage at -28 YPG, fourth in total rushing at +38 YPG, but 27th in time-of-possession at -2:42 per game.
Around the league last year teams that outrushed their opponents covered the spread 69 percent of the time, but teams that lost the TOP battle only covered 34 percent of games. Minnesota went 6-8-2 ATS.
They also went 10-6 on the totals, as Vikings games averaged a healthy 49 points.
Individually Ponder completed just 54 percent of his passes while compiling a 13/13 TD/INT ratio. But DE Jared Allen bagged 22 sacks.
Over the off-season Minnesota let go a starting TE, two starting offensive linemen, a NT, a LB, a CB and a S, and did very little in free-agency to fill those holes.
At the draft the Vikes used the fourth overall pick to take USC monster T Matt Kalil, then grabbed Notre Dame S Harrison Smith at No. 29 and Central Florida CB Josh Robinson at No. 66.
And they brought back Sage Rosenfels to back-up Ponder at QB.
2012 Vikings Schedule
Going by last year’s W/L records Minnesota will play the eighth-toughest schedule in the league this season. But that might be skewed a bit because of the Vikes’ two games against the 15-1 Packers. They’ve only got five games against teams that made the playoffs last year, and at least seven winnable games, with the Jags, Colts, Redskins, Cardinals, Bucs, Seahawks and Rams. So they can’t complain to the schedule maker.
2012 Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds and Prediction
Minnesota is getting +2500 at DSI Sportsbook to win the NFC North this season, 70/1 to win the NFC and 150/1 to win the Super Bowl. The Vikes are also lined with a wins ‘over/under’ at Bookmaker of six (O even/U -130).
Honestly, we didn’t think the Vikings would be that bad last year. They were only two seasons removed from losing the NFC championship game, they had AP and what we thought would be a decent defense. But those early blown losses were like nails in the coffin.
Now the Vikes are playing rebuild in what is suddenly one of the best divisions in football. But early reports about Peterson are positive, and Ponder should improve. So we’re leaning, ever-so-slightly, toward the ‘over’ on six wins for Minnesota this season.