Minnesota Vikings 2022 Preview – Hidden Layer Betting

2021 Record: 8-9 2nd NFC North 

2022 Win Total:  9 wins

Over 9 -130

Under 9 +100

Notable Stats:

Yards Per play: 12th 5.7

Yards per pass attempt: 12th 7.4

Offensive QB Sack percentage: 5th 4.73%

Yards per run:  17th 4.3

3rd down conversion rate:  26th 36.40%

Turnover Margin: 5th +0.6

Yards Per Play allowed: 26th 5.7

Yards per pass attempt allowed:  12th 7.4

Yards allowed per rush: 31st 4.7

Defensive QB sack rate: 4th 7.53%

Notable losses:  Tyler Conklin TE, Dede Westbrook WR, Mike Zimmer HC, Rick Spielman GM

Notable additions: Za’Darius Smith LB, Kevin O’Connell HC, Ed Donatell DC, Jesse Davis RG, Harrison Phillips DT, Jordan Hicks LB

1st Round Draft Pick(s): Lewis Cine S Georgia

Strength of schedule: 16th (1 Easiest, 32 Hardest)

2021 Review:

The Vikings had another disappointing season in 2021 as not only did they fail to make the playoffs, but they failed to even have a winning record. While the offense took care of their part, the defense was bottom seven in yards per play allowed and 2nd worst in yards allowed per rush. Given former head coach Mike Zimmer was supposed to be a defensive minded head coach, you can see why the Vikings elected to fire both him and GM Rick Spielman. 

Offensive Outlook: 

The Vikings offense retains all of the key pieces for a playoff season in 2022. The trio of Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson will scare most defensive coordinators each week. Given they were top twelve in both yards per play and yards per pass attempt last season, I expect similar production this year. Where the Vikings could improve if they hope to make a deep run in the playoffs is yards per run. If Dalvin Cook can stay healthy the entire season, I think they can get into the top twelve in that category as well. While Alexander Mattison is a more than capable running back, he still averaged just 3.7 yards per carry while Cook recorded 4.7 in that category. The offensive line returns several players from last season, and given they were top 5 in QB sack rate last year the offense should thrive as a result. New head coach Kevin O’Connell has had time with Kirk Cousins in the past and spent a few years with offensive minded Sean McVay. I’m confident the new head coach will only improve this offense in 2022.

Defensive Outlook:

The Vikings were a mess on defense last year especially when factoring in expectations. For a team that has playoff aspirations, you would think they would have ranked higher than 26th in yards per play. Minnesota addressed this issue by using five of their first six draft picks on defense including first round pick Lewis Cine. They also added two time Super Bowl champion defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. Donatell has not only won two Super Bowls, but he has experience with elite defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Starting up front, the Vikings added Harrison Phillips and 5th round draft pick Esezi Otomewo to provide depth on the line. At linebacker is where the Vikings have improved the most. They added Jordan Hicks and Za’Darius Smith to help improve their 31st ranked run defense. Hicks has had 3 straight seasons of 116 or more combined tackles. Smith missed most of last season, but recorded 26 sacks combined between the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Minnesota will also get Danielle Hunter back at full strength. Hunter recorded 14.5 sacks in back-to-back seasons in 2019 and 2020 before missing ten games in 2021 with a torn pectoral. Throw in Eric Kendricks, who has had six straight seasons of over 100 combined tackles, and you have the best linebacker core in the league. In the secondary the Vikings should enjoy their first round draft pick safety Lewis Cine. Overall this side of the ball will be the polar opposite of what they were last season. 

Season Prediction:

The Vikings have done a tremendous job at overhauling staff and personnel this offseason. They have a reasonable strength of schedule, and the best chance at knocking off the Packers in a long time. What makes me even more confident in their win total is that they went 2-5 in games decided by four or less points last season. I think the floor for this team is eight wins and will gladly take over nine at -130. I would also look at betting the Vikings to win the division at +225. I have already mentioned that the Packers may struggle at the beginning of the season. The Vikings start the season with the following games: Packers-home, Eagles-away, Lions-home, Saints-neutral. The Packers start the season with the following games: Vikings-away, Bears-home, Bucs-away, Patriots-home. I could easily see a scenario where the Vikings start 3-1 or even 4-0. If the Packers start 1-3, you could even lock in profits by betting the Packers to win the division at close to plus money.

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Author: Calvin Stewart