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Six wins for Vikings? Vegas says that’s just about right

USA TODAY Sports Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman, left, and Vikings’ first-round draft pick linebacker Anthony Barr at Winter Park Fieldhouse in Eden Prairie on May 9.

By Kevin Cusick

St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Minnesota Vikings managed to squeeze out five victories and one tie out of their 2013 schedule, and Las Vegas bookmakers expect them to do a little better this season.

About a half-game better.

Several of the major Las Vegas casinos have set their over-under lines for 2014 victory totals, and they have set Minnesota’s betting line at a less-than healthy six wins.

How bad is that? According to the Las Vegas Hilton sports book, only the Oakland Raiders (5) and Jacksonville Jaguars (4.5) are projected to do worse.

Of course, these numbers are for wagering purposes only and do not necessarily indicate great football expertise on the part of the bookmakers.

Last season, the Hilton set the Vikings’ over under at 7.5. Not far off. But they overestimated the Atlanta Falcons by six full victories and underestimated the Carolina Panthers by five.

Last season’s Super Bowl teams, the Seahawks and Broncos, top the 2014 guesstimates with an over-under of 11 victories, and conference finalists New England and San Francisco (10.5) are just a sliver behind.

The Packers (10) are projected as the strong favorites in the NFC North, with both the Bears and Lions set at a break-even eight victories.

If you wanted to look ahead to the 2014 playoff matchups, this is what the Hilton bookies are forecasting:

NFC wild-card games: 49ers at Eagles, TBA at Saints

NFC byes: Seahawks, Packers

AFC wild-card games: Ravens at Bengals, Steelers at Colts

AFC byes: Broncos, Patriots

As for that TBA: The Hilton has five NFC teams (Lions, Bears, Falcons, Panthers, Cowboys) tied for the second wild-card spot.

Here’s the Hilton sports book’s complete list, broken down by divisions:


Eagles: 9

Cowboys: 8

Giants: 7.5

Redskins: 7.5


Packers: 10

Bears: 8

Lions: 8

Vikings: 6


Saints: 9.5

Panthers: 8.0

Falcons: 8.0

Buccaneers: 7.0


Seahawks: 11

49ers: 10.5

Cardinals: 7.5

Rams: 7.5


Patriots: 10.5

Dolphins: 8

Jets: 7

Bills: 6.5


Bengals: 9

Ravens: 8.5

Steelers: 8.5

Browns: 6.5


Colts: 9.5

Texans: 7.5

Titans: 7

Jaguars: 4.5


Broncos: 11

Chiefs: 8

Chargers: 8

Raiders: 5

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.