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Minnesota Vikings betting odds, Week 1 Vegas spread and Kirk Cousins NFL MVP chances

The Vikings were the NFC's top Wild-Card team last season and upset the Saints in the playoffs. Here is a betting analysis of Minnesota's 2020 schedule.
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Rather amazingly, the Minnesota Vikings have never hosted the arch-rival Green Bay Packers in a season opener. That changes on Sunday with the Vikes as 2.5-point favorites on the NFL odds over the defending NFC North champions. It will mark the fourth consecutive year Minnesota starts its season at home. The Vikes are 5-0 ATS in their past five home openers, and the home team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight in this series overall.

Minnesota will be without its most important defensive player for at least the first three games as two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter was placed on injured reserve this week with a neck problem. Hunter's 29 sacks combined the past two seasons are third in the NFL. The Vikes also lost very good end Everson Griffen to free agency but traded for another former Pro Bowl end, Yannick Ngakoue, from Jacksonville. 

Overall, the have the NFL's second-toughest road strength of schedule -- going by their eight opponents' combined win percentage of .566 last year. Minnesota has two sets of road back-to-backs but also a three-game homestand (first time since 2004) from Weeks 11-13 -- all against teams that finished with non-winning records in 2019. That's a stretch the Vikings must likely sweep to win the NFC North.

There was some speculation that the 2020 season could be Mike Zimmer's last as Vikings head coach as his contract was up after 2020, but the team extened him on the eve of training camp. Zimmer is third in franchise history with a .599 win percentage and has three 10-victory campaigns in six seasons. He has a not-so-great 2-3 playoff record (2-2-1 ATS). 

Minnesota is an eye-popping 57-38-1 straight up in Zimmer's six seasons and an even better 58-33-5 against the spread with an average spread of Vikings -1.3. The team wins by an average score of 22.6-19.2. Zimmer is a defensive-minded coach, and his teams all have been very good on that side of the ball. The Over-Under record in his tenure skews heavily to the Under at 37-53-6, with an average total of 43.7.   

Zimmer has new coordinators entering this season as Gary Kubiak has been promoted to replace Kevin Stefanski (head coach of Browns) on offense, and Adam Zimmer, Mike's son, and Andre Patterson were named co-defensive coordinators to replace George Edwards.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS BETTING PROFILE

2019 record: 10-6 (second, NFC North)

2019 against the spread: 9-7

2019 ATS margin: +2.8

2019 Over-Under: 9-7

2020 strength of schedule: Tied for 10th-toughest; Vikings ' opponents combined for a .516 winning percentage last year (131-123-2).

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WILLIAM HILL 2020 MINNESOTA VIKINGS FUTURES ODDS

Win total: 9 (Under -115 favorite)

To make playoffs: Yes -140, no +120

Division: +150 to win NFC North

Conference: +1400 to win NFC

Super Bowl 55: +2800 to win first Super Bowl

NFL MVP: QB Kirk Cousins +6600, RB Dalvin Cook +10,000

Defensive Player of the Year: DE Danielle Hunter +2500, LB Eric Kendricks +10000

Defensive Rookie of the Year: CB Jeff Gladney +5000

Offensive Rookie of the Year: WR Justin Jefferson +2000

Coach of the Year: Mike Zimmer +3000

SportsLine Model's projection: 9.1 wins (Lean to the Over)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS GAME-BY-GAME BETTING TRENDS

Week 1 vs. Green Bay, 1 PM ET: Minnesota's three-game SU & ATS home win streak in the series ended last year as the Packers clinched the NFC North in Week 16.

Week 2 at Indianapolis, 1 PM ET: Minnesota is on a five-game skid vs. the Colts and has covered in just one of those.

Week 3 vs. Tennessee, 1 PM ET: The past six meetings have all been decided by at least nine points; Vikes are 5-1 ATS.

Week 4 at Houston, 1 PM ET: The Vikings have won and covered all four all-time meetings.

Week 5 at Seattle, 8:20 PM ET: Minnesota is 0-4 SU and ATS in its last four visits to Seattle.

Week 6 vs. Atlanta, 1 PM ET: The Vikings are a crazy 9-1 ATS in their past 10 before the bye, although that ATS loss was last year.

Week 7: BYE. Three straight division games out of it. 

Week 8 at Green Bay,  1 PM ET: Rather oddly, these teams have tied twice in the past seven meetings at Lambeau.  

Week 9 vs. Detroit, 1 PM ET: The Vikes have held Lions to a combined 16 points in winning the past two home meetings (2-0 ATS).

Week 10 at Chicago, 8:15 PM ET (Monday): The Vikings are just 2-8 SU & ATS in their past 10 trips to Solider Field.  

Week 11 vs. Dallas, 4:25 PM ET: The Vikings have covered nine of the past 10 regular-season meetings.   

Week 12 vs. Carolina, 1 PM ET: This is the first meeting in the Twin Cities since 2014; these teams have split the past 10 SU & ATS overall.

Week 13 vs. Jacksonville, 1 PM ET: Minnesota's lone loss in six meetings (4-2 ATS) came at home in 2001. 

Week 14 at Tampa Bay, 1 PM ET: The Vikes are just 3-7 SU & ATS in the past 10 meetings but 2-0 SU & ATS in past two.  

Week 15 vs. Chicago, 1 PM: These teams have closed the past three regular seasons in Minneapolis against one another with the Vikes 1-2 SU & ATS.

Week 16 at New Orleans, 4:30 PM ET (Christmas): Very rare Friday game. Including the playoffs, the Vikings have covered six of their past seven in the Big Easy.    

Week 17 at Detroit, TBA ET: Minnesota has won its past three in Detroit, all by at least a touchdown.

Some trends contributed by SDQL Gurus    

EXPERT PICK FROM SUPERCONTEST GURU R.J. WHITE: Minnesota to win division at +150

The Vikings actually performed like the best team in the NFC South last year, with a full win more than the Packers in the Pythagorean win formula based around points scored and allowed. They did a great job resupplying in the draft, particularly on the defensive side. Even though they lost a ton of guys at cornerback, they play in a division where passing offenses don't seem to be a priority. While the Vikings are just behind the Packers in division odds, there's a much bigger split the further you get in the playoffs, and I like the Vikings as a value play on those bets, particularly to win the NFC at +1400.

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SportsLine Staff