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Chronicles of a Pro Bettor: The NFC North Betting Landscape Is Changing

by Craig Edwards
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Vikings vs Bears

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The NFC North Betting Landscape Is Changing

Minnesota will need all their “Viking spirit” in the new NFL campaign with a seemingly difficult season ahead of them in one of the most difficult divisions on paper, the NFC North.

Huge changes have abounded in the division during recent seasons, with Aaron Rodgers no longer at the Green Bay Packers, and after years of being the dog, the Detroit Lions are now a clear favorite at +150 for the division.

The Packers are second favorites at +260 with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review to learn more), despite no more Rodgers while the Chicago Bears are third favorites, and the Minnesota Vikings are the dogs at +800 Everygame (visit our Everygame Review to learn more).

Why Are Minnesota Vikings an Upwardly Mobile Franchise?

I must confess that I have never been a fan of Kirk Cousins, always feeling he was overrated, and in a strange way, this limited the franchise ceiling with his quarterback performances that rarely shone.

He did a reasonable job, far from the worst quarterback but somehow, he has always lacked the “X factor” from a winning perspective for his sides. Therefore, his move to the Atlanta Falcons was the signal to start looking deeper into the Minnesota Vikings’ chances for the season ahead.

Encouragingly, there has been a change of head coach at the Vikings for the last two seasons and perhaps Kevin O’Connell now has his pieces into place. Certainly, his credentials as a young coach in the NFL look superb after experiencing success a few years ago when the L.A. Rams won the Super Bowl, and he was offensive coordinator

Who Will Replace Cousins at QB?

Looks like the Vikings have the quarterback position open for Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy to make their own with some healthy competition. Darnold will be pleased to be back in the running for NFL action, having been the 49ers back up last year, after his move from the Panthers.

He will have to be on his metal with the tenth pick of the draft, J.J. McCarthy an unknown quantity at this level.

Who Will Start the Season?

The general vibe from Minnesota is that there is no rush for McCarthy, and they see him as the long-term future, with general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah saying:

“We’re not going to rush his development, just going to do what’s best for the Vikings in the short and long term.”

There is no doubt purchasing Darnold for $10 million was designed so McCarthy would not be exposed to overexposure too early in his career.

Mixed Expectations from Sam Darnold

That said, huge things were expected when Sam Darnold started his career at the Jets, but like when he moved on to the Panthers, the offensive coaching at both those franchises left a lot to be desired.

Last year was the first time Darnold was part of a winning franchise at the 49ers, and the general feeling among the coaching staff in Minnesota is that fans will be pleasantly surprised, and as we know, the offensive coaching team at the Vikings is different gravy to the Jets or the Panthers.

Vikings in A Good Spot

This feels like a “win-win” situation for the Vikings, either Darnold will start fulfilling the potential many thought he had when first drafted to the Jets, or the unknown quantity of McCarthy will step up.

There is no doubt they want to control McCarthy’s career if possible, but the old adage “If you’re good enough, you’re young enough” has often come true for unexposed quarterbacks of elite talent.

There is often a honeymoon period during their rookie year that an unknown quantity brings, the most recent example of Joe Burrows at the Cincinnati Bengals, who nearly took them to the Super Bowl.

Either way, a new broom has swept clean through the Vikings for the 2024/2025 season

What Is the Best Futures Market to Bet the Vikings?

We’ve discussed the difficulty of the NFL North and the +800 price at Everygame to win it reflects that perfectly. I don’t mind a small wager on that, but the bet that is crying out to be backed is the total wins line at 7.5.

Take the Minnesota Vikings over 7.5 wins at +120  at BetOnline

author avatar
Craig Edwards
Craig Edwards, an online tipster in golf and snooker for over four years, boasts a track record of 7800 bets with a 28% return on investment. A snooker professional from 1988 to 1996, he was once a single-figure handicap golfer. Achieving the 282nd position in the WSOP MAIN EVENT in 2007, Craig possesses a unique insight into the psychological shifts of professional sportsmen, anticipating their mindset week by week.

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