2014 Minnesota Vikings Over/Unders
Image courtesy of Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsAccording to Bodog.eu “NFL prop betting is one of the more unique and entertaining forms of wagering on football. A prop bet is not affected by the final outcome of the game, allowing betters to wager on all sorts of things such as team statistics and individual player performances.”
In the United States, the unofficial provider of most NFL prop bets is Bovada.lv and earlier this week they released their list of 2014 NFL Prop Bets.
While the full list contained over 500 different prop bets for multiple players from each of the NFL’s 32 teams, 11 of them were themed after the Minnesota Vikings players. Below is the list of this year’s Vikings prop bets. Take a peek at the line, check out some free analysis and play along as we go through the list of 2014 Minnesota Vikings Over/Unders.
Minnesota Vikings Season Player Props
Teddy Bridgewater – Total Games Starter in the 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 4 ½ games
As it stands now we all know that Teddy Bridgewater is the backup quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. Despite Teddy’s impressive preseason showing, Matt Cassel looked better, and he did so against the first-team defenses. That’s not a knock against Teddy, but the fact of the matter is that the opportunity may not be there. The Minnesota Vikings have a tough five-week open to the season. If Cassel struggles to lead the team over this five game span, this might be Teddy’s opportunity to crack the lineup. But if Cassel leads the team to a 2-3 record or better, it might be smooth sailing the rest of the way for Matt.
I would have to lean towards the under for this particular wager. If you’re brave enough to take the over you’re likely banking on an injury knocking Cassel out for extended time.
Adrian Peterson – Total Rushing Yards in 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 1300 ½ yards
2014 very well could turn into a story about The Curious Case of Adrian Peterson. On one hand, he’s the best running back in the entire league. On the other hand, he’s stepping into a brand new offense, and nobody on the outside knows how Norv Turner plans to use him. Looking at the statistics of LaDainian Tomlinson under Norv Turner in San Diego may help us get a little glimpse into how Peterson could be used this season.
Before Norv took over in San Diego, LT had averaged 1,529 yards per season. When Norv was hired as head coach in 2007, he came in and installed his offense changing the way the Tomlinson was used in a big way. Turner’s influence brought with it an increased emphasis on passing, particularly to tight ends and big wide receivers. LaDainian saw his touches drop below 300 a season shortly thereafter and his yearly average dropped to 1,105 rushing yards.
For Adrian, 1300 yards would be a below average season, and nobody would argue that he’s a better rushing running back than LT ever was. Still, the uncertainty surrounding the unknown with Peterson’s involvement in the offense is enough for me to steer clear of this particular wager.
Adrian Peterson – Total Touchdowns in the 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 12 ½ touchdowns
On the matter of total touchdowns with Adrian Peterson, my skepticism continues to run high. Adrian has eclipsed the 12 ½ mark in five of his seven seasons as a pro, but did so by a slim margin (12 rushing TDs and 1 receiving TD) in four of those five seasons. Because we are not sure about his level of involvement in the Vikings passing game and for the same reasons highlighted above, I would avoid this line at all costs. If you are feeling inclined to live on the edge, I would lean towards the under.
Greg Jennings – Total Receiving Yards in the 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 700 ½ yards
Through four preseason games Greg Jennings slipped into the background and didn’t exactly make his presence felt. Was that a tip of the hand towards how Jennings will be involved in the offense this year or was it a veteran receiver laying low in the weeds before the regular season starts? Jennings has only failed to eclipse the 700 yard mark twice in his professional career. In one of those seasons he only started five games due to injury and the other was his rookie year in Green Bay.
Jennings and starting quarterback Matt Cassel seemed to develop some sort of a vibe together last season. The hope this year is that Jennings and Cassel keep that connection hot and the coaches call Greg’s number on a regular basis. I wouldn’t say that this one is a lock in an offense that will surely spread the ball around a lot, but I would feel decently comfortable taking the over on this one.
Greg Jennings – Total Receiving Touchdowns in 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 4 ½ touchdowns
Receiving touchdowns for Jennings in 2014 is a completely different matter. While Jennings is known to be a yardage guy, he’s never been known for his knack to cross the goal line. In each of the past two seasons, Greg hauled in 4 scores but this year the Vikings are thought to have more options through the air with Patterson, Wright and Rudolph all advancing. This particular wager scares me a little, but if I had to make a choice I think the smart money is on the under.
Cordarrelle Patterson – Total Receiving Yards in 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 950 ½ yards
In his rookie year of 2013, Cordarrelle Patterson racked up only 469 receiving yards. On paper that’s not great, but when you recall the situation, you remember that he didn’t play the first half of the season and when he was on the field it was with a deficient trio of rotating quarterbacks. Couple that with the fact that Norv Turner’s offense last season with the Cleveland Browns, also a team with bad QBs, was able to propel Josh Gordon to leading the league with 1,646 yards receiving.
As dynamic as he is, Patterson is not the same downfield threat that Gordon was for the Browns last year. The Vikings offense will be much improved, and Patterson will surely be a big part of it, but I don’t necessarily think that it will come through copious amounts of receiving yards. I would be inclined to take the under on this one.
Cordarrelle Patterson – Total Rushing, Receiving and Return Touchdowns in 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 8 ½
Now the matter of total touchdowns for Cordarrelle Patterson is a whole different subject. In 2013, with three different quarterbacks rotating into the game and an offensive play selection that was more bland than cardboard, Cordarrelle Patterson was able to find the endzone nine times (4 receiving, 3 rushing and 2 return). It’s been well documented that when Norv Turner first came to town one of the things he did first was install a handful of plays that feature Cordarrelle Patterson. We’ve seen limited action from CP this preseason but what we have seen is already a new wrinkle to his dynamic attack, the long ball. The Vikings have gone towards Cordarrelle at least twice deep and that’s just off the top of my head.
Players like Patterson are special. You get the ball into their hands and let them do the rest of the work. There’s no doubt in my mind that Norv is going to find ways to get the ball into Cordarrelle’s hands, and there’s not much more doubt that Patterson is going to find ways to make it count. I would run to the bank and take the over on this one.
Kyle Rudolph – Total Receiving Yards in the 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 650 ½ yards
Norv Turner’s love for former basketball playing tight ends is another thing that’s been well documented. Most recently, both Jordan Cameron (Cleveland) and Antonio Gates (San Diego) have fit this mold under Turner and have experienced great success. So coming off of an offseason where he has lost weight and increased his speed, it’s easy to think that Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph would follow suit. Last season, with Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden under center for the Browns, Turner was able to get the ball to Jordan Cameron 80 times for 917 yards. Flash back to his time in San Diego and only one season (2012) did Antonio Gates have less than 700 yards receiving under Turner.
This is a two-fold answer here. Both Kyle Rudolph’s new health plan and Norv Turner’s tendency to make the tight end a focal point of the offense have me taking the over on Rudy’s 650 ½ receiving yards.
Kyle Rudolph – Total Receiving Touchdowns in the 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 6 touchdowns
Many of the same reasons would lead me to believe that Rudolph is at the very least capable of 6 touchdowns this season as well. But when you start to reach the 7, 8, or 9 touchdowns a season marks as a tight end you’re entering rarified air. I personally could see him doing it, but would need to see more of how he will be used in the regular season before jumping to the assumption that Kyle is ready to join the upper class group of elite tight ends. I would be inclined to take the under here.
Everson Griffen – Total Sacks in the 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 8 sacks
It’s pretty tough to diagnose Everson Griffen at the moment. For the firs time in his career he will be a starting defensive end in the NFL. He got a big contract during the offseason and is looking to impress a new coaching staff. But it’s that same coaching staff that has repeatedly told us that there won’t be a bunch of guys with double-digit sacks in this defensive scheme. Still, Everson tallied 8.0 sacks in 2012 and 5.5 in 2013, all while playing backup and third down snaps primarily. Is it really too outlandish to think that he’ll get 8.0 as the starter?
Personally, I think Everson is sitting on a really big year. It’s nothing more than a hunch, but it’s there. For that reason alone, and maybe it’s a stupid bet, but I would take the over on Everson’s progression.
Brian Robison – Total Sacks in the 2014 Regular Season
Over/Under - - 8 Sacks
I love B-Rob! It’s been a lot of fun to watch him come into his own and develop into a leader of the defensive line now that Kevin Williams and Jared Allen have moved on to other ventures. With 9.0 sacks in 2013, Robison splashed a little bit. But this season he won’t have the luxury of Jared Allen drawing the double teams on the other end of the line. I believe that in time, Griffen will demand that sort of attention, but for the first handful of games it might be Brian fighting off two offensive linemen. For that reason I would likely take the under on B-Rob’s sack number for 2014.
Prop bets are what they are. Not a whole lot of substance, but surely a whole lot of fun. They are easy to track from you’re couch and exciting for cheer for in real-time, no matter if your team is in first or last place in the standings.
So what do you think about the list above? What’s the one Vikings prop bet that you would consider to be “easy money”? What’s the one that you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?
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