Vikings Have Same 2021 Super Bowl Odds as Cardinals, Steelers
Per Sporsline.com, the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, and Pittsburgh Steelers share the same odds to win Super Bowl LVI. At +4000 as the moneyline, the Vikings, Cardinals, and Steelers are tied for the 18th most-likely franchises to win the championship in February.
The Kansas City Chiefs at +525 are the frontrunners for the Lombardi trophy during the 2021 NFL season whereas the embattled Houston Texans are the least likely squad to win the chip (+20000). Just ahead of the Vikings are the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans (+3500). Directly beneath live the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, and Washington Football Team at +5000.
The NFL world is mysteriously unexcited about the Cardinals — a team that grabbed early March headlines when EDGE rusher J.J. Watt chose to leave Houston in favor of Arizona. Watt joins household names like Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins in the desert, but oddsmakers aren’t sold as the team as playoff-bound just yet. Arizona ranked 14th in points scored during the pandemic season and 12th defensively with points allowed. Kliff Kingsbury’s team failed to reach the postseason in 2020, hanging their notoriety hat on a “moment” instead. In Week 10, quarterback Kyler Murray found DeAndre Hopkins in the endzone for a game-winning touchdown over the upstart Buffalo Bills. The play was considered a Heisman-like moment Murray, theorized to propel his team on a playoff run. Conversely, Arizona went 2-5 for wins and losses after that, a whimpering disappointment proceeding such an illustrious, nationally-captured finish over the Bills.
The Steelers are gearing up for another hurrah with Ben Roethlisberger. The longtime Steelers quarterback recently turned 39 — you know, the same age that Tom Brady and the New Patriots shocked the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI — indicating Pittsburgh is running short on years with his services. But head coach Mike Tomlin never allows lousy years to pervade his system, so the Steelers should finish 2021 with an at least .500 record. If the record is close to that — a middling one — it will likely be time to move on from Roethlisberger.
The Steelers ranked 12th in points scored last year and 5th in points allowed. The team isn’t too far away from making a reasonable playoff push. However, the enterprise relies on the late-age efficacy of Roethlisberger.
As for the Vikings, the team stares down its most pivotal year since the departure of Leslie Frazier. And that season, 2013, wasn’t billed as an “all-in” year [at all] like this one for these 2021 Vikings. The 2013 Vikings squad wasn’t very good, and everyone knew it heading into the season.
The 2021 edition of the Vikings must win, though. Head coach Mike Zimmer embarks on his eighth season, carrying the NFL’s eighth-best record since he arrived Minneapolis in 2014. Yet, the team has won only two playoff games and alternates good years with mediocre ones like clockwork. Zimmer probably needs a playoff win and an impressive showing in the following game to ensure 2022 job security.
Several offseason moves were enacted to point the Vikings on a righteous path for September. Minnesota added Patrick Peterson (CB), Dalvin Tomlinson (DT), Mackensie Alexander (CB), Nick Vigil (LB), Stephen Weatherly (DE), Xavier Woods (S), and (G) Mason Cole.
Notably, the Vikings subtracted the following men from their 2021 depth chart: Riley Reiff (LT), Anthony Harris (S), Eric Wilson (LB), Ifeadi Odenigbo (DE), and Kyle Rudolph (TE).
The offense in 2020 performed rather well. Zimmer’s offense was responsible for the third-most yards gained and the 11th-most points scored — thanks to Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Kirk Cousins.
On defense, the team has taken noteworthy steps to remedy the NFL’s fourth-worst squad. Key players like Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce (COVID opt-out), Anthony Barr, and Eric Kendricks will return from injury while the new gents mentioned above should shore up any possible gaps.
And in the 2021 NFL Draft, Minnesota plucked Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis to round out a homegrown offensive line. Meanwhile, a quarterback of the future in Kellen Mond was chosen as a contingency plan for Kirk Cousins.
Interestingly, as Super Bowl odds bedfellows with the Cardinals and Steelers, the Vikings will play each team in 2021. Minnesota travels to Arizona in Week 2 and hosts Pittsburgh in Week 14 on Thursday Night Football.