The Vikings playoff odds took a hit earlier this season when QB Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles. Minnesota traded for Josh Dobbs, and the Passtronaut looked great in his first few games. Since then, Dobbs’ play has fallen off, and he was replaced by Nick Mullens.
NFL betting sites have new odds available for the Vikings to reflect yet another change at the QB position. Minnesota plays in the NFC, so they have an easier path to the postseason than their AFC counterparts. At 7-6, the Vikings are still very much alive in the playoff race.
Continue reading to see the latest Vikings playoff chances according to the top football oddsmakers. I will break down Minnesota’s path to the postseason and tell you whether I believe the Vikings will make the playoffs.
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Are the Vikings Out of the Playoff Race?
Minnesota (7-6) has a winning record despite a tumultuous start to the season. The Vikings also have the benefit of playing in a top-heavy NFC conference, so a winning record is all they will likely need to get into the postseason. Those two factors combined currently have the Vikings as a sixth seed heading into Week 15.
Here are the four games still on the Vikings schedule:
Week 15: at Cincinnati Bengals
Week 16: vs. Detroit Lions
Week 17: vs. Green Bay Packers
Week 18: at Detroit Lions
The Vikings will likely need to win at least two of their four remaining games to make the playoffs. Their remaining schedule includes three divisional games, and all four games are against potential playoff teams.
How Can Minnesota Make the NFL Playoffs?
Minnesota has two paths to making the playoffs this season. The first is to win the division and guarantee themselves a spot in the postseason. Or the more likely option is for the Vikings to hold onto their current Wild Card spot.
Win NFC North
The NFC North is shaping up to be one of the more competitive divisions down the stretch this season. Aside from Chicago, the other three teams in the division would all be in the postseason if the playoffs started today.
Getting three teams from the same division is unlikely, but not impossible. The more likely outcome is that only two teams from the NFC North make it in. If Minnesota wants to guarantee they are one of them, then the Vikings need to win the North.
Minnesota still has to play Detroit twice in the final month of the season. If the Vikings win both games against the Lions, they could steal the division away. That will be easier said than done, though.
Secure Wild Card Spot
The other option for Minnesota to make it to the playoffs is to make it as a Wild Card team. Depending on where they finish, that could put them in a position to play the Lions for a third time this season. If the current standings hold, then the #6 Vikings would face the #3 Lions in the Wild Card.
They don't call it a WILD Card race for nothin'… which NFC teams will grab these three spots?! 😳 pic.twitter.com/0OqILGpqXH
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 13, 2023
Minnesota has several hurdles to overcome before they can start making their postseason travel plans. Their Week 15 game against the Bengals will be a real challenge, especially with Nick Mullens making his first start this season.
Even one loss down the stretch could put the Vikings’ Wild Card spot in jeopardy. There are five teams behind Minnesota that are all tied at 6-7. Any of those teams could pass the Vikings if Minnesota stumbles in the last month of the season.
Vikings Playoff Odds
If the season ended today, the Vikings would be in the playoffs as a sixth seed in the NFC. The oddsmakers at football betting sites believe that Minnesota will hold onto their playoff spot for the next month.
Here are the Vikings playoff odds heading into Week 15, according to BetUS:
Vikings make the playoffs (-180)
Vikings miss this playoffs (+150)
The Vikings are a slight favorite to make the playoffs at -180 odds. You can also bet on Minnesota to miss the playoffs at +150 odds.
Minnesota is far from guaranteed a spot in the postseason. They face a tough schedule down the stretch, and they just made a QB change. On the bright side, the Vikings did recently get star WR Justin Jefferson back from IR to help with their playoff push.
NFC North Divisional Odds
As I mentioned above, the Vikings could guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs by winning the division. They are two games behind Detroit with four games left to play.
Here are the current odds to win the NFC North, courtesy of BetUS Sportsbook:
Detroit Lions (-600)
Minnesota Vikings (+750)
Green Bay Packers (+1000)
Chicago Bears (+25000)
The Vikings and the Lions play twice in the next month. If Minnesota wins both of those games, then they would greatly improve their chances of winning the NFC North.
A head-to-head tiebreaker of the Lions would only matter if they had the same record. Detroit has looked bad over the last month, though, and no one would be surprised if the Lions continue to fall apart.
NFC North Wild Card Race
Minnesota has a slight advantage over the five teams in the NFC who are tied at 6-7: the Vikings control their own destiny. All Minnesota has to do is win out, and they will be in the Wild Card round.
"Nick (Mullens) gives them the chance to really be productive" 👀@DCarr8 is looking forward to a fun matchup between #MINvsCIN
📺: on @nflnetwork
📱: Stream on #NFLPlus pic.twitter.com/XVJnjAPVke
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) December 14, 2023
That will be easier said than done, though. Minnesota’s new starting quarterback, Nick Mullens, is just 5-12 as a starter. He also has not started a game since the 2021 season when he was with Cleveland.
Will the Vikings Make the Playoffs?
The Vikings are favored to make the postseason as we head into Week 15. However, I would bet against the Vikings in this NFL futures wager.
There are three reasons why I do not believe Minnesota will make the playoffs this season. First and foremost, they have too many injuries to key players. Also, I do not believe in Mullens, and the other teams fighting for a Wild Card spot are too good.
Minnesota Vikings do not make the playoffs (+150)
Key Players Injured
Minnesota has had terrible injury luck this season. WR Justin Jefferson injured his hamstring in Week 5 and did not play again until Week 14. Jefferson sustained a chest injury in his first game back, but he is projected to play against the Bengals.
The Vikings have also suffered multiple injuries at QB, including Kirk Cousin’s season-ending Achilles tear. Multiple defensive players, including LB Jordan Hicks and DL Dean Lowry, have also joined Cousins on IR.
Another reason why I would bet against the Vikings is that I do not believe in their QBs. The Josh Dobbs experiment came crashing down in Minnesota’s 3-0 win over the Raiders last weekend.
Head Coach Kevin O'Connell on the decision to have Jaren Hall serve as the backup QB Saturday pic.twitter.com/ZxV11Yx3Ip
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 14, 2023
Dobbs has been demoted to the backup role, putting Nick Mullens in line for his first start of the season. Mullens has averaged just 206.7 yards per game throughout his career. He also has 27 TDs and 24 INTs in his career so far.
The only other active QB on the Vikings roster is rookie Jaren Hall. Hall has attempted just 10 passes this season. He started for the Vikings in their win over the Falcons, but he was knocked out of that game early on due to a concussion.
Other Potential Wild Card Teams
Last but not least, I do not think that the Vikings have a big enough lead over the other teams vying for a Wild Card spot. Minnesota’s schedule down the stretch includes three divisional matchups, including two against Detroit. The only team with a losing record on their remaining schedule is the Packers (6-7).
Green Bay is currently the seventh seed and faces Minnesota again in Week 17. The Packers are the healthier team and have looked better as of late.
I believe Green Bay will make the playoffs, but that could still leave a spot for the Vikings. The problem is that the Rams, Seahawks, Falcons, and Saints are all 6-7, too. Seattle is the only one of those teams that is scheduled to face a team with a winning record this week.
If the Vikings lose to the Bengals, they could find themselves in a multi-team tie at 7-7. Simply put, Minnesota has no room for error down the stretch with a third-string QB starting. I do not trust the Vikings to be able to overcome those obstacles, and I would bet against them making the playoffs.
Will You Bet on the Vikings Playoff Odds?
The Vikings’ playoff chances are hanging by a thread as Nick Mullens takes over the starting QB role. Oddsmakers have Minnesota as a slight favorite to make the postseason, but I would bet against Minnesota making the playoffs. Check out BetUS Sportsbooks for even NFL playoff odds.
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