Eagles–Vikings The Minnesota Vikings will travel to Lincoln Financial Field to play the Philadelphia Eagles (-6, 49) in Week 2’s most intriguing “Thursday Night Football” showdown. The Eagles are seeking to avoid the dreaded 0-2 start after a close 20-17 home loss to Tampa Bay in Week 1 while the Vikings are hoping to avoid the same fate after a narrow 25-20 away victory over New England in Week 1.
What odds might we anticipate for the game on Thursday night?
The following betting experts are available to share their opinions: Tyler Fulghum, Erin Dolan, Eric Moody, Seth Walder, and Anita Marks.
How much do you weigh Week 1’s results and the Vikings trying to avoid 0-2 in this one?
Moody: It has a lot of significance. The data show that it is incredibly challenging for 0-2 clubs to advance to the postseason. Last week’s matchup between the Vikings and Buccaneers was a tremendous letdown.
The Vikings lost to Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers at home despite having a very excellent quarterback in Kirk Cousins and one of the top wide receiver tandems in Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. On Thursday night, we’ll witness Minnesota’s desperation as they attempt to avoid a 0-2 start.
I do think the Vikings will cover the spread against a Philadelphia group that features five new starters and a new defensive coordinator. The Eagles had a 3-4 record against the spread when they were favored by six points or more during the previous season.
Fulghum: It undoubtedly has some significance. I’m not sure we’d have to bet a full 6 points with Philadelphia in this game if Minnesota had defeated Tampa Bay as an almost TD favorite. Is the Vikings’ “desperate” attempt to prevent a 0-2 start a buy-low spot? Maybe.
In the end, I do think Philadelphia is the superior team and will prevail, but given how much better the Vikings can play than they did against the Buccaneers, I anticipate a close, exciting contest. In a 6-point teaser, I suggest using the Eagles as one leg. Move through the crucial 6-4-3 numbers to generate a spread where you are merely requesting that they win the match.
Walder: Some weight, however I’d say the first week of play was a little disappointing for both teams. The character they were portraying, though, made a difference. In comparison to the Buccaneers, I think we may look back on New England as being a little more fierce. Therefore, Week 1 was undoubtedly worse for Minnesota.
In Week 1, the Cowboys and 49ers crushed their opponents while the Eagles triumphed in a close contest. Do the NFC contenders’ performances alter your opinion of the Eagles in futures markets?
Dolan: Definitely not. It was one week, and each situation is different. The 49ers’ performance was the most unexpected. Brock Purdy shown his ability to take charge as a quarterback and that neither the offense nor the defense are to be taken lightly.
The Cowboys had the Week 1 box score that was the most startling, but I believe that was an isolated incident. The Eagles defeated one of the greatest coaches of all time while playing on the road (and covering the spread). There is a good reason why Super Bowl odds for the Eagles, 49ers, and Chiefs are all at +700.
Fulghum: Absolutely not. The top three NFC clubs are Dallas, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Over the course of the season, I think that belief will only be altered by injury.
The Vikings lost at home to Tampa Bay on Sunday despite finishing the previous season with a 13-game winning streak. How worried are you that Minnesota will play an elite team after little rest?
Walder: I suppose being really concerned in light of their win total from the previous year? I doubt that anyone is paying attention, not even the Vikings, if you consider their offseason! — thought they were at least a 13-win club the previous season. They were only average, and they still are. Minnesota should not be considered a playoff-caliber club by supporters and bettors.
In this game, Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown both have receiving totals of 6.5 and 5.5 catches, respectively. Week 1 saw Brown catch seven passes, while Jefferson hauled in nine. Are you considering placing one or both of these bets?
Brown’s 5.5 receptions attracted my attention, but I’m more interested in DeVonta Smith over 5.5 receptions at plus odds. Last year, the Vikings’ pass defense was the worst in the league, allowing 265.5 passing yards per game. Baker Mayfield, the quarterback for the Buccaneers, is not nearly as talented as Jalen Hurts.
The secondary for the Vikings doesn’t have a lot of skill for new defensive coordinator Brian Flores to work with. Over the past 18 games, Smith has caught the ball 70.3% of the time, averaging 5.6 catches per game.
Fulghum: I’m keeping an eye on them both. It’s always possible for Jefferson to receive 12+ targets in a game. And as we saw in Week 1, the Eagles will continue to throw the ball up in the air and target their co-alpha WRs when the game is close. I anticipate that the plot of this game will be similar.
The type of game script that so many Philadelphia games last season followed, where they had such a sizable lead in the second half that they hardly ever throw the football, I don’t believe we see this year. For Week 2, there are several solid fantasy choices in Jefferson, Brown, and Smith. This game, with a 49.0 total, is primed for offensive production.
Marks: I’m keeping an eye on Brown’s OVER 5.5 receptions. In his first season with the Steelers, Brian Flores, the new defensive coordinator, blitzed the Eagles 60% of the time. Last week, against Baker and the Buccaneers, he blitzed 47% of the time.
Hurts targets Brown 32% of the time when he is blitzed. The Buccaneers’ wide receivers had 11 receptions for 121 yards thanks to the Vikings’ secondary. On Thursday night, Brown should see a lot of action.
Is there anything else you are playing on Thursday?
Dolan: Kirk Cousins OVER 37.5 passing endeavors. In this prime-time matchup, Cousins ought to spread the ball out. Last season in Seven days 2 ideal time matchup against the Birds, Cousins had 46 passing endeavors in a day in and day out street misfortune.
Cousins was attempting to slither back in that game. In Minnesota’s Week 1 misfortune to Tampa Straight, he went 33 for 44 with two passing scores and one capture attempt. The Vikings rested on the passing game instead of the running match-up with Alexander Mattison posting 34 hurrying yards. Minnesota was attempting to remain in that game.
In the Patriots’ Week 1 loss to the Eagles, Mac Jones completed 54 passes, meaning that the Patriots had to come back. I anticipate that Cousins should play from behind in this one, which will drive him to toss the ball more. That’s what you like?
T.J. Hockenson has over 48.5 receiving yards, says Fulghum. The Eagles defense has a history of being content to let opposing TEs produce. Hunter Henry caught five of six targets for 56 yards and a touchdown in Week 1’s matchup with Philadelphia.
Hockenson saw nine targets and hauled in eight receptions but only managing 35 yards against the Buccaneers. If he faces that kind of target volume versus Philadelphia, he ought to experience an increase in efficiency.
Jalen Hurts gains MORE than 45.5 yards while running. In their road season opening against the Patriots, the Eagles weren’t at their best. Philadelphia is certain to regain momentum when they play their home opener on Thursday night.
Last season, Hurts had 11 carries for 57 yards against the Vikings. In 2022, he ran for 50.7 yards on average. On Thursday night, Hurts is in a good position to match or surpass those per-game averages.
Marks: Kirk Cousins attempted over 37.5 passes. In Week 1, the Vikings gained 89% of their yards through the air; on Thursday night, I anticipate more of the same. While the Eagles’ secondary is healthy, the defensive line is not. The Vikings can only keep up with the Eagles by relying entirely on Cousins, who has a wide range of offensive options at his disposal in the passing game.
OVER 4.5 receptions for T.J. Hockenson. This season, Hockenson is a key component of the Vikings’ passing attack. In Week 1, he had nine targets, hauled in eight receptions, and scored a touchdown. Due to the absence of LB Nakobe Dean, S Reed Blankenship, and CB James Bradberry for the Eagles, the TE will have plenty of opportunities.