Vikings vs Eagles Same Game Parlay: Picks Include Total, T.J. Hockenson, DeVonta Smith
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Hurts (left) and DeVonta Smith (right).
Can the Vikings bounce back from a tough loss and pull off the second straight upset on Thursday Night Football after the Lions toppled the Chiefs last week, or will the Eagles continue their run of success?
I project a high-scoring Vikings vs. Eagles game in this NFL Week 2 primetime matchup and my same game parlay reflects that.
50+ Receiving Yards (-128)
It’s normal for eyes to be drawn to Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison, but where I see value is with T.J. Hockenson.
Minnesota has a high-octane offense that can spread defenses thin. Cornerback Darius Slay is going to be shadowing Jefferson — who could draw double coverage — and there’s also plenty of injuries on the Eagles defense. Linebacker Nakobe Dean (foot) is on the IR and James Bradberry is in concussion protocol. Even safety Reed Blankenship is out.
That leaves plenty of space in the middle of the field and underneath for Hockenson to take advantage. He's already one of Kirk Cousins’ favorite targets and he has played a vital role since being traded to Minnesota.
Hockenson hauled in eight receptions for 35 yards in Week 1. A model of consistency, Hockenson is heavily leaned on as a safety valve for Cousins. Since joining the Vikings last season, Hockenson has been targeted at least six times all but once — Week 18, when starters didn’t play a full game — and he’s made at least five receptions in nine of those 12 games.
The tight end position is scarce of able-bodied receivers, but Hockenson is the cream of the crop, alongside Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. Last year, Hockenson was second in receiving yards amongst all tight ends.
While he doesn’t dominate the touchdown market, he’s incredibly efficient in the middle of the field. This is also profiles as a great matchup. We saw the Eagles struggle with tight ends in their opener as Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki combined for eight receptions and 92 yards.
Given the injuries and Slay’s needed attention on Jefferson, Hockenson should see a boost in usage and find more success from a yardage perspective.
Alternate Game Total
Over 50.5 (+102)
It’s not often you want to back an over on Thursday Night Football. The quick turnaround means less prep and less time for players battling injuries. But this week, the turnaround may actually provide a scoring boost.
When it comes to the Vikings, their issues lie on the defensive side of the ball. Dalvin Tomlinson, Patrick Peterson and Eric Kendricks all departed over the offseason. One of their key signings, Marcus Davenport, missed Week 1 and is questionable for Thursday night.
Last season, Minnesota was one of the luckiest teams in the league, according to our Luck Rankings. Against the Buccaneers, it struggled when it came to pass rush. As a whole, the Vikings graded out 18th, per PFF.
Now, they head to Philadelphia to take on a potent Eagles offense. Think back to the Vikings-Eagles matchup last year. Philly jumped out to a 24-7 halftime lead before wasting clock and sitting on the ball (Minnesota also blocked a FG). It had no issues slicing through a defense that has since taken a step back.
I’m not totally sure how the game is going to play out. Both teams have explosive offenses and clear issues on the defensive side. As I mentioned earlier, the Eagles are dealing with a number of defensive injuries. Slay can only do so much on Jefferson, but Minnesota will be able to utilize Addison and Hockenson plenty.
The key is how disruptive can the Eagles' defensive line be. Cousins fumbled twice against Tampa Bay and now draws a Philly team that creates plenty of havoc.
There are way more routes to a high-scoring game even with the quick turnaround. I expect an angrier Eagles offense after they struggled to finish drives a week ago, and they should have no issues breaking down the Vikings.
As for Minnesota, turnovers played spoiler in its Week 1 loss. But this offense still racked up nearly 400 yards against a good Buccaneers defense. Dean’s IR stint paired with T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White leaving in the offseason is a significant downgrade for the Eagles pass defense. Bradberry and Blankenship play pivotal roles in the secondary, too.
I see this game turning into a shootout with neither team sitting on the ball.
60+ Receiving Yards (-144)
Let’s follow the correlation in what I project as a high-scoring game. Philly's offense is hard to slow down with three excellent receiving threats in A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert.
I expect Byron Murphy to line up against Brown often, which leaves Smith in a great matchup with Akayleb Evans on the outside. Both Murphy and Evans ranked outside PFF’s top 45 cornerbacks a season ago, but let’s focus on Evans here.
The second-year corner received a PFF grade of 59.6, which was 52nd of 92 corners in Week 1. Last year? Evans had a grade of 47.2 — his pass coverage grade was even worse at 40.5 — and he allowed a 68.2 reception rate and 16.1 yards per reception.
This is a great matchup for Smith, who caught seven passes for 47 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. That came without a reception of 15+ yards, too, which is unlike the explosive receiver.
In 17 games last year, Smith caught a pass of 15+ yards in 16-of-20 games. He had 25+ in 40% of his games. Given the expectation of a high-scoring game and the fact that Minnesota’s pass defense should struggle, I love backing Smith.
His current prop sits in the mid-60s. Smith cleared 60+ in 12-of-18 games last year, including eight of his last nine to end the season. Against the Vikings in Week 2 last season, Smith caught all seven of his targets for 80 yards.
Buy low on Smith after a low-yardage Week 1.
The Parlay (+410)
- T.J. Hockenson 50+ Receiving Yards (-128)
- Alternate Over 50.5 (+102)
- DeVonta Smith 60+ Receiving Yards (-144)