TNF Pick: Vikings vs. Eagles ATS Prediction

by | Last updated Sep 12, 2023 | nfl

Minnesota Vikings (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
Week 2 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, September 14, 2023 at 8:15 PM EDT
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
TV: Prime Video

Point Spread: MIN +7.5/PHI -7.5 (Bovada – Incredible live betting platform!)

Money Line: Vikes +275/Philly -350
Over/Under Total: 48.5

The Minnesota Vikings battle the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football in a big week two NFC showdown. The Vikings came up short in week one, not quite seeing their offense fully turn over in a 20-17 loss to Tampa at home. They now have to take to the road and beat the defending conference champions at home to avoid a mini-crisis at 0-2. The Eagles did their part on Sunday, scoring a resourceful 25-20 road win over the New England Patriots. They should anticipate a hearty crowd for their home opener, as the Eagles have their sights set on big things this season. Will the Eagles roll, or can the Vikes make up for last week?

Problems for the Vikings this Week

They have a big weapon in Justin Jefferson, who went off in week one, but there’s a stubborn case of mediocrity that pervades the whole team. Cousins will put up big numbers, often times with the results not really following suit. We’ll see how their run-game looks in the post-Dalvin Cook era, as it might be an issue. They’re going to need to see more from the supporting cast, though Jordan Addison was pretty good in his NFL debut, catching four balls and a TD. But with that defense, they’re going to need more than just a flashy stat line for Jefferson. Cousins is going to need to cut down on mistakes, with three turnovers the culprit for their week one upset loss to what is supposed to be a pretty bad Tampa team. And as we saw last season and already in week one, being mistake-prone is not going to serve you well against this Philly defense. We saw this last season in Philly’s 24-7 win over the Vikings, where Kirk Cousins threw three picks.

After seeing the Minnesota “D” allow Baker Mayfield to look good in spots last Sunday, one wonders what they’re going to be looking like against a home Eagles offense. I’d be a little leery if I were an Eagles backer this week as to their running game. We saw Kenneth Gainwell getting most of the work, with D’Andre Swift an afterthought. There are always the useful legs of Jalen Hurts, but you wonder how this run-game is going to come off with some turnover and roles that aren’t spelled out yet. But aerially, with Hurts delivering to AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and TE Dallas Goedert, they have a lot to throw at a Minnesota secondary that prefers not to be facing offenses with this many viable aerial options. On Sunday, the Vikes got a sack from Danielle Hunter, with very little from everyone else. A home Eagles offense in close to full swing could be big trouble.

Minnesota is going to need their defense to find some answers and keep the Eagles from going off, something they didn’t do that bad of a job of doing last season. Jalen Hurts went for over 300 yards but threw only one touchdown, while most of their rushing success came from Miles Sanders, who is no longer on the team. Still, with Hurts connecting aerially so well and Cousins giving the ball over to the other team, a 24-point allowance wasn’t so bad. Maybe with a little more support on the other side of the ball, we can see the Minnesota “D” make enough of an impact on this game to help out what can be an offense that takes over games.

Issues for the Eagles

Last season, in addition to the mistakes we saw from the Vikings, the Eagles relied on some offensive variety to get the job done. Whether their run game is going to click the same way remains to be seen. There isn’t much coaching continuity on the Eagles, and after winning the conference, both coordinators were replaced. Last year’s success was built on certain guys being in peak form, something that isn’t guaranteed to repeat. They certainly look built to last, but there is no guarantee that the any slippage in form, in addition to coaching downgrades and a few key pieces departing, won’t be enough to tilt the scales a little in the other direction. Week one games aren’t for building any concrete takeaways, but if you were to, there wasn’t anything too scary about the Eagles in week one.

After seeing a fast start to last season fizzle out a bit, an 0-2 start here for the Vikings would put them in an already uncomfortable spot heading into week three. They have a lot going into this season, and I’d expect them to be really looking to make things happen this week. I’d look for a heavy dose of Jefferson, with the attention he’s getting, maybe opening up for what could develop into a nice supporting aerial cast with Addison, KJ Osborn, TJ Hockenson, and others. It’s a little weird that it didn’t manifest in what seemed like a doable week one spot at home, but it was week one, and things happen with teams not hitting the ground running. The Eagles defense should get a little bit of a test in this one.

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Lay the Points

The Vikings struggled at home vs. a very bad Tampa Bay team. Their offensive line is weak, their running backs have no burst and their slow-footed secondary is going to get gashed by the Eagles, who have multiple wide receivers in A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith who not only run routes well, but have the speed to blow past this weak Vikings secondary. I’m betting the Eagles minus the points.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Eagles -7.5 points. 

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