It has been a busy offseason for the Minnesota Vikings.
They have a new general manager and a new head coach as the franchise looks to turn the corner and become a playoff contender.
With OTAs and minicamps now wrapping up for the Vikings, let's look at the latest news and notes from Minnesota, along with their current odds in the NFC North and the conference.
Minnesota sports betting is not legal, unfortunately for those wanting to wager on the Vikings in the state.
Bettors will have to visit border states with legal sports betting — Iowa (with thriving online and retail markets), Wisconsin (retail at some Indian casinos) and South Dakota (retail sports betting at Deadwood casinos).
Or they can go north to Ontario, which has fully regulated sports betting, and several markets for Minnesota Vikings odds.
Minnesota Vikings 2022 NFL Odds
2022-2023 Super Bowl: +5000
NFC Championship: +2000
NFC North: +275
To Make Playoffs: -105
Regular Season Wins: Over 8.5 (-130), Under 8.5 (+110)
*Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Roster Gives Vikings Hope For Playoffs
The Vikings are considered a borderline playoff team in 2022 by most sportsbooks.
However, they have one of the better overall rosters in the NFL. The only big question is how long will it take Kevin O'Connell to install his offense and what will the defense look like without Mike Zimmer?
They are probably a year or two away from really challenging the Packers in the NFC North, but this feels like a team that should be competitive most of the year in the NFC.
Latest 2023 Super Bowl Odds
New-Look Vikings Offense
The Vikings are implementing a "new-look" offense with Kevin O'Connell as the head coach.
The plan is to move superstar receiver Justin Jefferson around more, freeing him up from double-teams and press coverage. The expectation is that Jefferson will be used in a Cooper Kupp-like role, where he should see more targets from the slot.
Also, expect running back Dalvin Cook to be used more as a receiver, as he has been lining up in the slot more during offseason practices.
Expect Minnesota to be a somewhat balanced offense, but look for them to be much more creative under O'Connell.
Irv Smith Jr.’s Role in the Offense
One of the biggest storylines coming out of Minnesota is the health of tight end Irv Smith Jr., who missed the 2021 season with a meniscus injury. He is healthy now and has been participating in offseason workouts.
The word out of camp is that he looks 100% and should have a significant role in the offense.
When Smith has been healthy and on the field, you can make a case that he was severally underutilized. During the 2020 season, he saw just 43 targets with the Vikings.
But now with Tyler Conklin gone via free agency, Smith should see the most snaps of his career during the 2022 season. Going into Year 4, this should be Smith’s breakout season in Minnesota.
Who Will Be The No. 4 Receiver?
The top three receivers are set for the Vikings with Jefferson, Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn. However, the No. 4 spot is up for grabs and there are a ton of players competing for that spot.
The Vikings signed veteran Albert Wilson to a one-year contract in late May and he is the favorite to take the job. Last month, Minnesota also worked out former third-round pick Dede Westbrook, who played for the team during the 2021 season.
Minnesota also drafted a sixth-round receiver in Jalen Nailor, plus Ihmir Smith-Marsette figures to be a part of the camp battle.
Don't be surprised if the Vikings continue to search the free-agent market for wide receiver help considering Thielen has struggled to stay healthy the last few years.