Vikings vs Eagles Picks, Player Props: Our 6 Best Bets for Thursday Night Football
Thursday Night Football of Week 2 is nearly here. That means it's time for Vikings vs. Eagles picks, odds, player props and more.
Our staff of NFL betting analysts is all over this game with this complete betting preview.
From Vikings vs. Eagles spread predictions, totals and player props on Kirk Cousins and A.J. Brown, here are our experts' favorite picks and best bets.
Vikings vs. Eagles Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our NFL betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NFL Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Vikings vs. Eagles
The Vikings gave away the easiest win on the schedule despite a good offensive performance in Week 1, and I think the season could get dark very quickly on Thursday night.
This is a really bad matchup for Minnesota.
Philadelphia dominated the Vikings a year ago, constantly pressuring Kirk Cousins and intercepting him three times. The interior of Minnesota's offensive line is struggling — now with center Garrett Bradbury out, too — and that spells big trouble against rookie Jalen Carter, Fletcher Cox and all those Philly pass rushers. Cousins handles pressure poorly, so that could make for a long night.
The other side of the ball also presents matchup problems. Minnesota's young corners will have their hands full with DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown, and when Brian Flores' blitzing doesn't get home, those corners will be on an island and could get exposed.
The Eagles' injuries are not nothing, but I think they're buying us value on the line when this game will be won by Philadelphia dominating in the trenches. I like the Eagles at any number under a touchdown.
This has also set up as a perfect teaser leg to head into the weekend. I already played an Eagles-Bills teaser if that's your fancy. Philadelphia is much better and should take care of business.
Pick: Eagles -6
Vikings vs. Eagles
The Vikings were supremely unlucky to lose last week. Minnesota out-gained Tampa 369 total yards to 242. The Vikings ran five fewer plays, thus generating 5.9 yards per play to the Bucs’ 3.6. The Vikings generated more EPA per play and a higher Success Rate.
The Vikings were the better team by every measure, save the final score. Minnesota ultimately lost that game when they generated four second-half drives inside the Tampa 27-yard line and came away with zero points.
That simply shouldn’t happen. And I’m betting it won’t happen again.
Meanwhile, the Eagles were supremely lucky to win last week. Philly was out-gained 382 total yards to 251, producing only 17 first downs to the Patriots’ 24. The Eagles were bailed out by two first-quarter plays, an early Mac Jones pick-six and an Ezekiel Elliot fumble, setting up Philly with a short field.
The Patriots also finished with -0.87 EPA per play on late downs in Week 1. The Eagles won’t get that lucky on third and fourth down again.
Philly was dominated for three quarters but snuck away with a win and a cover. I’m concerned about the Eagles moving forward (I projected them for regression in the pre-season based on last year’s easy schedule), and I think those worries show on Thursday Night Football.
I expect a bounce-back performance from the Vikings and a letdown performance from the Eagles, with both squads regressing toward their mean talent levels.
Both teams are overvalued in the markets, but I suspect the Eagles are slightly more overvalued because of last week.
Pick: Vikings +6.5
Bet Minnesota vs. Philadelphia at FanDuel
Vikings vs. Eagles
By Chris Baker
I was low on the Vikings defense coming into the season, and they did nothing against the Bucs to dissuade me from my prior conviction.
Outside of slot CB Byron Murphy and safety Harrison Smith, there just isn’t much experience in the secondary of the Vikings. Their best edge rusher, Marcus Davenport, may be out for this one, as well.
We saw the Eagles offense dominate this Vikings defense in Week 2 of last season at home on Monday Night Football as they posted 24 first-half points before coasting to a win. I'm confident that the Eagles will be able to dominate this Vikings defense again, given that unit has likely gotten worse since last season's matchup.
It helps that Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores loves to play man coverage and blitz. Jalen Hurts has historically dominated man coverage while struggling against zone. Flores led the NFL in man-coverage rate in 2020 and '21 with the Dolphins. It will be another long night for the Vikings defense if Flores opts to match up with A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith in man-to-man coverage.
On the flip side of the ball, I expect the Vikings offense to be fine. That unit actually looked extremely good despite a misleading total of just 17 points. Minnesota was 13th in overall EPA but ninth in dropback success rate and 10th in dropback EPA. Kirk Cousins and this passing game looked very good, but two untimely turnovers and one field goal inside the 10-yard line caused them to finish with just 17 points.
Their offense was held back by a run game that ranked 31st in EPA and 24th in success rate in Week 1. I expect head coach Kevin O’Connell to continue to lean on the passing game given how strong this Eagles front seven is. The Vikings threw the ball on 75% of their plays in Week 1, so we know we aren’t dealing with a stubborn play-caller who will just blindly stick with the run game even when it isn’t working.
I expect the Vikings offense to be pass-heavy, and I expect them to find success as Eagles cornerback James Bradberry, linebacker Nakobe Dean and safety Reed Blankenship will all be out for this one. I grabbed this at 48, but I’d be comfortably grabbing 49 or potentially grabbing this one live if you were late to the best number.
Pick: Over 49
Vikings vs. Eagles
By Cody Goggin
Jalen Carter has played one game in the NFL and his presence is already being felt. His 92.1 Pro Football Focus grade was the highest on the Eagles defense last week and second highest in the entire NFL among interior defenders, behind only DeForest Buckner. Carter was tied for the league lead with eight pressures, which led to seven hurries and a sack.
Now, a large part of this was that New England ruled out both of their starting guards just hours before kickoff. I understand this context, but Carter still looked the part of a future All-Pro. Minnesota will be facing a similar situation this week without center Garrett Bradbury, while left tackle Christian Darrisaw is questionable with an ankle injury.
Last year’s Philadelphia Eagles were among the best all-time at rushing the quarterback, coming up just short of the NFL record for sacks in a season. Using PFF’s OL/DL matchup tool, the Vikings are at a 38% disadvantage with their pass-blocking unit. This would be the second biggest disadvantage for any team in Week 2. Last week, Kirk Cousins was hit seven times against the Tampa Bay defense, which was the second-highest total of the weekend.
The Vikings also struggled to run the ball last week, ranking 24th in rushing success rate and 31st in rushing EPA. If Minnesota cannot move the ball on the ground, this will force them into obvious passing downs, which they certainly do not want.
For this one, I’ll be taking Kirk Cousins under 263.5 passing yards. There are multiple avenues for this bet to cash, but the most likely scenario is that this Eagles defense can suffocate the Minnesota offensive attack.
Pick: Kirk Cousins Under 263.5 Passing Yards
Vikings vs. Eagles
Brown is a solid WR and even though this offense is pretty concentrated between Brown, Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith, this line is a bit high. Brown averaged just 5.17 receptions a game last season to go along with 8.5 targets a game.
Brown does have a solid matchup going up against a Vikings pass defense that was near the bottom of the league last season, but the Vikings run defense was almost as bad last year and the Eagles are a run-first offense.
Brown only hit the over at this number in five of 17 games last season, and the Eagles have a tendency to get up early and play more conservatively in the second half. While there is a game script where the Eagles are down for most of this game, the 6.5-point spread and home-field advantage don't seem to point in that direction.
I have Brown projected for just under five receptions in this prop, making it a solid value, and I would hit it all the way down to -130.
Pick: A.J. Brown Under 5.5 Receptions (-120)
Vikings vs. Eagles
The Eagles have a true 1A-1B receiving duo.
Since Week 2 of last season, DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown each have 164 targets. Since Week 10 of last season, Smith has had between eight and 13 targets in every game besides the NFC Championship Game. He has topped 62.5 yards in seven of his last 10 contests overall.
The Vikings secondary remains quite vulnerable. While cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. has improved, he and counterpart Akayleb Evans each ranked outside the top 45 cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus' grades a season ago. Brown and Smith combined for 149 yards in this matchup last season, with Smith catching all seven of his targets for 80 yards.
I don’t expect much to change this time around. In fact, if the Vikings’ rush defense is as strong as it was in the season opener, the Eagles passing game may have to do even more of the heavy lifting.
I'd bet this over up to 64.5 receiving yards.