Vikings (0-1) at Eagles (1-0)
Spread: Eagles -7
Weather: No current concerns
There have only been minor line movements on the spread and total for this contest through Tuesday evening. The spread has landed at Eagles -7.5 at a few locations, while the total has gone to 48.5 at some sportsbooks.
Eagles Offense vs. Vikings Defense
New England’s defense played an exceptional game against the Eagles, limiting Jalen Hurts to 170 passing yards. Minnesota’s pass defense is on the other end of the defensive spectrum. Middle-tier quarterbacks like Mac Jones and Daniel Jones exceeded 300 yards in the air against the Minnesota Vikings in 2022. Minnesota’s new defensive coordinator, Brian Flores, had a solid debut against Tampa Bay despite a losing effort. The Philadelphia Eagles are a vastly more talented offense than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith each saw 10 targets in New England. Brown had 79 receiving yards, while Smith had 47 and a score. Against Minnesota, Brown and Smith have high-upside matchups. Dallas Goedert was only targeted once against New England, finishing with no receptions on opening day. We expect a bounce-back performance from the Eagles' passing attack. The issue in prop markets is that any of their core pass catchers could succeed in this matchup.
Kenneth Gainwell led the Eagles backfield in Week 1, amassing 14 carries and four targets. Gainwell is currently nursing a rib injury, which puts his status in doubt on the short week. D’Andre Swift saw two targets and a carry, while Boston Scott finished with one of each. Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch in Week 1. If Gainwell misses this contest, there is no realistic way of projecting their backfield deployments after just one week. However, we can reasonably expect Swift to benefit the most while Penny could take on some rushing workload.
Vikings Offense vs. Eagles Defense
Minnesota center Garrett Bradbury did not participate in Monday’s practice, while LT Christian Darrisaw was limited. The Eagles have one of the best defensive fronts in football, where they’ll have a major trench advantage if either Vikings’ lineman misses Thursday.
When these two teams played last season, Kirk Cousins was held to 221 yards in the air, but he threw for more than 300 yards in Week 1. Mac Jones threw for more than 300 yards against Philadelphia on opening day. That doesn’t mean that the Vikings will necessarily have more success against the Eagles in 2023, but we’ve already seen this defense get shredded by a far less talented offense.
Justin Jefferson had a modest six receptions for 48 receiving yards last season against the Eagles. Jefferson caught nine of 12 targets for 150 receiving yards last week against the Buccaneers. This isn’t a good matchup for Jefferson, but he is one of the league’s premier wide receiver talents who can make it work against anyone. Jordan Addison had a strong debut, catching four of six targets for 61 yards and a score.
T.J. Hockenson saw massive volume as a Viking last season, and that continued with nine targets on opening day. The Eagles gave up the most yards and the second-most receptions to tight ends in Week 1. Hockenson’s over/under of 4.5 receptions is very beatable, but we expect that number to move sooner rather than later.
The Eagles also shut down Minnesota’s running game last year, holding the Vikings to 62 yards on 11 carries. Cousins had 20 of those yards on two carries and wide receiver Jalen Reagor had one carry for 17. Vikings running backs had just 25 yards on eight carries in that matchup. The Vikings running game also struggled against Tampa Bay last week, as Alexander Mattison had 34 yards on 11 carries. Given Philadelphia's trench advantage, we should have moderate expectations for the Vikings run game.
What You’re Betting On
A bet on the Eagles is a bet on one of the best rosters in the league. Philadelphia’s defense has a trench advantage in this contest that could significantly impact what Minnesota can do on offense. The Eagles’ passing attack is in a plus matchup across the board. The Eagles beat Minnesota, 24-7, last season, where the game was never close. A similar performance from the Eagles' offense is expected, which means that their defense will ultimately determine if Philadelphia covers.
The Vikings lost, at home, to Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers on opening day. That contest turned on a Cousins interception on a likely scoring drive. Regardless, that’s a bad loss.
If you’re betting on Minnesota, you’re primarily betting on their high-octane passing attack at least meeting expectations. Eagles cornerback James Bradberry could potentially miss this contest on a short week. If he does, that’s a positive for that stance. On the other side of the ball, Flores is one of the league’s best defensive coordinators. Despite that, we shouldn’t be betting on the Vikings’ talent-poor defense carrying this game against the Eagles' premium offense.
Score Prediction: Eagles 27, Vikings 20
Ryan’s Recent Betting Record
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 48-32
ATS 2023: 2-3
Props 2022: 60-40
Props 2023: 2-1
Ryan Reynolds is the associate director of fantasy and betting at The 33rd Team. He has watched every snap of every NFL game since 2014. Ryan has been covering NFL betting markets for five years. Follow Ryan @RyanReynoldsNFL on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.