Vikings Are Awesome Dark-Horse Bet to Make Playoffs

Max Staley
The Minnesota Vikings are an awesome dark-horse bet to make the 2020 NFL Playoffs.
The Minnesota Vikings are an awesome dark-horse bet to make the 2020 NFL Playoffs. / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After starting out 1-5, the Minnesota Vikings were understandably written off. To be fair, it felt like the organization was ready to pack it in as well. GM Rick Spielman sent star defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens in a mid-season deal after acquiring him via trade just days before Week 1.

However, the reports of Minnesota's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Since a Week 7 bye, the Vikings have ripped off three consecutive wins. Don't look now, but the Vikings are quietly a fantastic dark-horse bet to make the 2020 NFL Playoffs.

Vikings Playoff Odds

Currently 2.0 games back of a playoff spot, FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL future odds list Minnesota at +160 to make the playoffs and -198 to miss them. Mike Zimmer's team still has a long way to go, but there's real reason to believe they can pull it off.

For one, the Vikings' upcoming schedule looks like a breeze. Minnesota's next three opponents only have a combined six wins on the year. Don't be surprised if Kirk Cousins and Co. turn their three-game win streak into a six-game run.

And Minnesota's improved play over this stretch doesn't seem like a fluke. After surrendering 32.0 points per game over the first six weeks, the Vikings are only allowing 18.3 PPG over this three-game win streak. That's a lot closer to what was expected entering the year, and the offense has followed suit.

Cousins tossed 11 TDs to 10 INTs with a passer rating of 88.2 over the first six games. Since then, however, the offense has shifted to a completely Dalvin Cook-centric attack. Cousins has responded by playing some really efficient football, throwing 6 TDs to 1 INT for a stellar 123.0 passer rating over his last three.

Assuming the team keeps humming on both sides of the ball, Minnesota has an extremely realistic chance to be sitting at 7-5 heading into its final four games of the year. Of those, remaining matchups with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions both feel very winnable, as Minnesota has already beaten both with relative ease.

It's looking like Minnesota's playoff chances could come down to how the team fares in Week 14 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints.

If you believe Minnesota can go on the road and knock off Tampa Bay or New Orleans, the Vikings make for an excellent dark-horse bet to make the postseason.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.