(Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY)
The Vikings surprised outsiders with a playoff trip last year, but that didn’t earn them Vegas cred. According to the updated Las Vegas odds, the Vikings have the longest odds among 2012 playoff teams to win the Super Bowl and wouldn’t even make the playoffs if the odds in June predict the playoffs in January.
The boys from Vegas have spoken again and, if you read anything into Super Bowl odds, the NFC is head and shoulders superior to the AFC in terms of depth of quality teams.
The LVH SuperBook has updated its odds for Super Bowl XVLIII and six of the nine teams with the lowest odds are from the NFC and none of them are the Vikings.
San Francisco now leads the way at 9:2, moving ahead from its 6:1 odds in May. New England and Denver are next, both at 5:1 to keep the Lombardi Trophy in the AFC. After that, the odds get a little longer, but the NFC has more viable contenders at the top than the AFC to win the Super Bowl.
Thanks to a strong late-season run and offseason acquisitions, Seattle checks in at 8:1, followed by Green Bay and Houston, both at 12:1. Atlanta, which dominated much of the 2012 season, is next at 14:1, followed by New Orleans and the Giants, both of whom are installed as 20:1 shots to win it all.
The defending champion Ravens aren’t getting a lot of respect from The Outfit in Vegas. In fact, they don’t even have the best odds in their own division. Pittsburgh (25:1) gets that distinction, while the Ravens, Bengals and Bears all are 30:1 shots to win. Three more teams are at 35:1 – Dallas, Indianapolis and Washington.
The Vikings don’t show up until the 50:1 range, joined by Miami, St. Louis and Tampa Bay. While all four of those teams have made progress in the last year, the Vikings are the lowest ranked 2012 playoff team in the betting odds, which should be enough to get die-hard Vikings fans to plunk down a few bucks.
Six teams have been installed as 60:1 shots to win it all, including Philadelphia, San Diego, Detroit, Carolina, Cleveland and Kansas City. After that, things get deep and kind of ugly.
The Jets, Tennessee and Buffalo are all currently at 100:1 odds, with Oakland at 200:1 and Arizona and Jacksonville picking up the rear at 300:1.
If one is to use the betting odds as a playoff barometer, the division champions in the NFC will be San Francisco, Green Bay, Atlanta and the Giants, with Seattle and New Orleans taking down the wild card spots. The Vikings would finish a distant 10th in the playoff chase behind non-playoff teams Chicago, Washington and Dallas.
While Vegas odds aren’t indicative of future success, it would appear that the Vikings’ 2012 playoff run, while impressive, hasn’t turned heads at the sports books on the Vegas strip. The gambling community is essentially saying, “Prove it again.” The Vikings relished in their role as underdog in 2012. They won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year, but it’s clear they still aren’t getting the respect they think they deserve and haven’t been able to shake their underdog/spoiler type of role they used as motivation last year.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.