• According to betonline.ag, the Vikings are tied with the Cowboys and Packers with the ninth-best odds of winning the Super Bowl at 22-1. The Bears are ahead of them at 18-1.
• The Twins’ decision to trade Brian Dozier is looking smart. Lefthander Devin Smeltzer is 3-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 45 innings this season in the minor leagues. In his second outing at Class AAA Rochester, Smeltzer pitched eight shutout innings vs. Durham on Saturday. Luke Raley, the other player received from the Dodgers for Dozier, is hitting .291 with seven homers and 18 RBI in 27 games with the Red Wings.
• Through 32 games in 2017 with Seattle, Nelson Cruz was hitting .325 with seven homers and 29 RBI. Through 32 games last year, he was at .240 with seven homers and 18 RBI. Through 32 games with the Twins this year, he was hitting .278 with seven homers and 21 RBI.
• While the Twins are off to a great start in the major leagues, MLB.com ranked their minor league system as the eighth-best in baseball as well, behind the Padres, Rays, Braves, White Sox, Blue Jays, Astros and Dodgers.
• Will Amir Coffey come back to the Gophers? The guard is one of 40 players invited to the G League Camp, which starts Sunday in Chicago, and had workouts with the Warriors and Rockets. But ESPN does not have him listed in its top 100 NBA draft prospects.
• Alihan Demir, the 6-9 forward who joined the Gophers as a graduate transfer from Drexel, faced one Big Ten opponent last season, posting 14 points and eight rebounds in the Dragons’ 95-66 loss at Rutgers on Nov. 11.
• Six of the top 10 football recruits in Minnesota for the Class of 2020 have committed, three to the Gophers and three to Iowa State.
• Former Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway and country music star Garth Brooks spoke to Gophers athletes last week at the Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence.