Why do oddsmakers list Vikings as a favorite to land Dak Prescott in 2021?

Multiple online oddsmakers have the Vikings as one of the leading contenders to land quarterback Dak Prescott on their roster for the 2021 season, and since I can’t quite shake the “whaaaaaaat?” reaction I have to such a thing I decided to try to shake loose possible reasons why.

*These online sites know something we — and by we, I include plugged-in Star Tribune Vikings writers Ben Goessling and Andrew Krammer — don’t know when they list the Vikings at 8 to 1 odds, tied for third with the Bears and just behind the Colts (6 to 1) and Jaguars (7 to 1) as Prescott’s most likely landing spot.

Prescott is at odds with his current team, the Cowboys, after the sides failed to hammer out a long-term extension. He will play 2020 for Dallas on the franchise tag, making a robust $31.4 million.

As Goessling and Krammer noted to varying degrees on a podcast earlier this offseason, current Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is likely here for a while after signing an extension. Even though his new deal does not include a no-trade clause it would cost them a $20 million cap hit to trade him after the 2020 season — a year that would have to be a complete disaster, one would imagine, to even entertain such a thing. A trade after the 2021 season, at a $10 million cap penalty, is somewhat more feasible. But the Prescott question is for the 2021 season.

And really: None of this makes much sense at all when you consider Cousins was quite good in 2019 and ranked higher (No. 6) than Prescott (No. 10) in Pro Football Focus’ QB rankings.

*The online sites are looking for publicity during a time when betting action has been painfully slow because of the sports shutdown. Ah, now we might be cooking. Now let’s go a step further.

*Only 18 teams are listed as candidates to have Prescott on their Week 1 roster in 2021, and all of them are listed between 6 to 1 and 25 to 1 odds. That establishes that there’s not really a huge front-runner. It could be anyone!

More specifically, though, you can’t bet on the most likely team: Dallas. The Cowboys aren’t listed. They hold a decent amount of leverage and can have Prescott play on the franchise tag again in 2021.

When the dust settles, it seems likely Prescott will still be in Dallas in 2021. And everyone suckered into a prop bet — whether they’re frustrated Dallas fans or optimistic fans of another team listed — will be left holding a losing ticket.

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