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Opening odds: Vikings open as slight favorite in battle of winless teams

Not that it means a whole lot

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It will be another battle of winless teams on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, as the Minnesota Vikings will roll into Bank of America Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers in Week 4. As things get started for the week, the expectation appears to be that the purple will be the ones to finally get themselves into the “W” column.

The folks at the DraftKings Sportsbook have released the opening lines for this week’s games, and Minnesota has opened as a 2.5-point favorite over the Panthers in early betting.

The Vikings, as we know, have lost three games by one possession. . .the same sort of games they went 11-0 in last season. Turnovers have plagued the Vikings throughout the first three games, as have collapses on both sides of the ball at the most inopportune times. They’ve lost their first three games despite Kirk Cousins being the NFL’s leading passer, Justin Jefferson being the league’s top receiver, and Danielle Hunter being tied for the league lead in sacks through the first three weeks of the season.

The Panthers have lost a pair of games by double figures, including a 37-27 loss to the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday, and they lost their one home game thus far by a field goal. They could also, potentially, be without the services of starting quarterback Bryce Young, the #1 overall pick in this past April’s draft. Young was sidelined against the Seahawks with an ankle injury, and if he’s unable to go in this one the Vikings will once again face veteran Andy Dalton.

At 0-3, the odds of the Vikings making the postseason. . .even with the extra playoff spot now available. . .are pretty low. If they’re going to turn things around, it’s going to have to start on Sunday in Carolina. As things stand right now, at least, they’re favored to make it happen.