Alas, Vikings and Packers Align for Oddsmakers Win Projections

Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) on the field following the game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Note: This article originally appeared on our nationally-themed site, FranchiseTagged.com

During the post-NFL draft segment of the offseason, the Green Bay Packers hovered around a 10 or 10.5-win forecast per oddsmakers — even with Aaron Rodgers’ drama raging in full force.

On April 29th, reports rocked the NFL community that Rodgers was disenchanted with the Packers front office, implying he was finished playing in Green Bay. Rodgers never refuted the reporting, instead complimenting the fans, city, teammates, etc. — but never the management. The quagmire is at a standstill as Rodgers did not report to mandatory minicamp in June. For now, Rodgers could change his mind and return to Wisconsin for 2021, be traded by general manager Brian Gutekunst, experience gridlock where nothing happens whatsoever, or retire.

Football brains routinely eye Vegas odds for the pulse of situations like this, confirming reality or seemingly denouncing rumor. For months, the Packers win total was unwavering, indicating that perhaps the gambling authority knew something everyone else did not.

Well, those odds shifted recently. PointsBet lowered the total for the Packers win projection to nine, evening the total with the Minnesota Vikings who are also projected at nine wins. All told, these are the teams situated at an exactly nine-win forecast for 2021 per PointsBet:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Tenneesee Titans

Teams that checked in right ahead of the Vikings and Packers at 9.5 wins included the Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, and Miami Dolphins.

On the Vikings, this is the first time since last offseason that the organization has been considered “equals” with the Packers regarding win and losses, hitting home the impact that Rodgers’ saga has on the division. The Chicago Bears could sneak into the mix with their customary stringent defense if Andy Dalton and Justin Fields find a way to coexist. The general public is low on the Detroit Lions, led by a head coach that says strange things in Dan Campbell.

A Rodgers exclusion from the division should be perceived as glorious news for the Vikings as the team embarks on an extremely pivotal season. Last year was a humongous lesson on falling short of expectations, setting up a tell-all year for head coach Mike Zimmer. Spearheaded by quarterback Kirk Cousins, Minnesota authored a nifty 2019 campaign when the Vikings shocked the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs — a commonplace occurrence as of late — establishing lofty anticipation by fans for the 2020 campaign. But the team disappointed. Minnesota finished 7-9, missed the postseason, and drafted a contingency plan signal-caller in Kellen Mond in the event 2021 mirrors 2020.

The Packers win total forecast will surge if Rodgers reverses course with a Kutegunst kumbaya, likely ticking back up to 10 or 11 wins. Without him, though, Green Bay entrusts the enterprise to a Jordan Love and Blake Bortles sandwich — an uttermost departure from Rodgers’ herculean 2020 MVP season.

The Packers travel to Minnesota for a pre-Thanksgiving date on November 21st while the Vikings head to Green Bay on January 2nd, 2022, for a showdown on Sunday Night Football.

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