We don’t generally talk about gambling odds or anything like that as a part of our lead-up to Minnesota Vikings games, but given the circumstances behind this one I thought it was something that merited a look.
In their game against the Buffalo Bills this week, the Vikings are ridiculously huge favorites. They opened as a 16.5-point favorite over the Bills, and that number has climbed to 17 since then. According to CBS Sports, this is the third time in the last 30 years that the Vikings have been favored over an opponent by at least 16 points. In November of 2009, they were favored by 17 points over the Detroit Lions, and they won that game by. . .17 points, 27-10, making it a push for gamblers everywhere. Back in 1998, they were a 16-point favorite over the Chicago Bears, and won that one by a final score of 48-22, giving them an easy cover.
As most of you out there aren’t gambling types. . .at least, I don’t think you are, anyway. . .I’ll give you the most important number about this sort of thing from the CBS Sports article.
Since the start of the 2008 season, there have been 20 games where a team was favored to win by at least 16 points. In those 20 games, the favored teams have a record of 20-0. Sure, they’re just 8-11-1 against the spread in those games, but at last check the NFL doesn’t figure records against the spread into potential divisional and playoff tiebreakers, so who cares?
So, if you’re planning on putting a wager down on the Vikings for Sunday’s contest, be wary of such a huge point spread. However, if history is any indication. . .and this is where I start knocking on every wooden object in my house. . .it seems pretty likely that by about 3:00 PM Central on Sunday afternoon we’ll be celebrating the Vikings moving their record to 2-0-1 on the young 2018 season.