NFL Betting: 2013 Minnesota Vikings Preview

In 2013, the Minnesota Vikings are going to go as far as their passing game will take them. A team that made big forward strides in 2012 will try to sustain and build on recent successes. Here’s a look at the NFL betting lines for Vikings in 2013-14:

Best Offseason Move:

The Vikings snagged veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings from an in-division rival, the Green Bay Packers. It is well known throughout the NFL that Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder needs prime targets to throw to in order for this team to create an even more formidable passing game that can force opponents to play a different style of defense. Minnesota must pass the ball better this upcoming season than it did last season, because that’s the key to preserving and extending the career of running back Adrian Peterson. Minnesota’s offensive braintrust knows that if Ponder can throw well, especially down the field, opposing defenses won’t be able to cram the tackle box with eight or nine bodies in the attempt to shut down Peterson. This is the heart of the matter for the Vikings’ 2013 season, and Jennings’ combination of skill and wisdom on the edges will give Ponder a security blanket of sorts. It has to be added that Jennings isn’t just a smart player (though he most certainly is); he is someone who played for the Green Bay Packers and can give the Vikings even more of a feel for what the Packers like to do on defense. There are many ways in which this Jennings pickup is going to work well for Minnesota.

Worst Offseason Move:

The Vikings parted ways with cornerback Antoine Winfield, a decision that would have made sense a year ago but not in the present context. Winfield played a meager total of just five games in 2011. Injuries roughed him up. In 2012, though, Winfield responded in a big way, wiping away the frustrations that had mounted the year before. Winfield paced the Vikings with three interceptions and rang up an eye-catching total of 101 tackles. Though in his mid-30s, Winfield made a statement that a lot of older NFL players make: Experience frequently translates into results, given the endless complexities at work in the sport. The Vikings wanted to keep Winfield at a bargain rate, when they really should have been focused on trying to keep him on the roster – this miscalculation could loom large in due time.

How They’ll Finish In The Division:

The Vikings overachieved, without question, in 2012. Now football betting handicappers want to know if they can respond to pressure and return to the playoffs. This is certainly possible, but is it likely? Ponder will have a tough time dealing with NFL defenses that are going to take away Peterson. The Vikings’ youth is certainly a good thing for the organization in the long run, but this season, a lot of expectations will fall on the shoulders of many players who are unaccustomed to handling a big burden. Don’t be shocked if this team wins 10 games, but don’t be surprised if it wins only eight, too.

Prediction: 8-8

Super Bowl Odds: +2450

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