Thursday Night Football Week 2: Vikings vs. Eagles picks, predictions and player props

By Zachary Cohen  ( Senior Editor) 

September 12, 2023 11:42 AM

TNF Vikings vs. Eagles Week 2 odds and predictions

Every week, VSiN will be doing an in-depth dive on the week’s Thursday Night Football game. In Week 2, that game features the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is a game that lost a bit of its luster after Minnesota's surprising loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. But this is still a team with the potential to do big things this season, and the Vikings will be hungry to put that loss behind them. That'll make for an even more competitive showdown on Thursday, when the Eagles will be playing in front of their fired up fans for the first time this year. With that out of the way, keep reading for our Vikings vs. Eagles preview, picks and player props. 

RELATED: Check out our Pro Picks page for NFL best bets from all of our VSiN analysts

Vikings vs. Eagles Spread

A lot of people are going to get on the Vikings for their loss to the Buccaneers. That was one that looked like it easily should have gone Minnesota’s way, on paper. In fact, the Vikings were a popular survivor pool play last week, and they were also a popular bet amongst the public in Week 1. But you can’t overreact to a single performance in this league, especially considering Tampa Bay looks like a team that could be better than anticipated. This Vikings team can still make the playoffs this year — and even win the NFC North — and I think we’ll see them turn in a much better performance against the Eagles in Week 2 — at least offensively.

Since the start of the 2021 season, this Minnesota group has responded well to close losses. The Vikings are 3-2 straight-up and 5-0 against the spread when coming off a loss by six or fewer points in that span, and they’re 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS when the loss was by three or fewer points. On top of that, the Vikings are 2-0 both SU and ATS in the Thursday Night Football games they’ve played in that time. And while that’s not a big sample size, it is nice to know that Minnesota has done a good job of dealing with the quick turnaround that these games present.

Another reason I’m high on the Vikings in this game is that I thought the Eagles passing defense looked miserable in Week 1. Philadelphia was able to come away with a win over the New England Patriots, but that was really because the Patriots came out flat and spotted them a 16-point first quarter lead. But Mac Jones threw for 316 yards with three touchdowns and only one pick in that game, and a good argument can be made that New England should have stole that victory late. Now, the Eagles will be tasked with slowing down a much better passing attack, so I can see this turning into a big game for the Kirk Cousins-Justin Jefferson duo. And I also think you’ll see a nice performance out of rookie Jordan Addison, who had four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL game.

It should also be noted that the Vikings weren’t bad defensively in Week 1. They gave up only 246 total yards of offense in that game, and they’re ranked 11th in Defensive DVOA after just one week of football. Of course, it would have been nice to see the Vikings find a way to beat the Buccaneers last week, but it did feel like the defense did its job. It was the offense that failed Minnesota in the opener, but I think we can count on the Vikings to bounce back on that side of the ball. This was a top-10 offense in football in 2022 and not much should change in 2023 — unless you’re a lot higher on Dalvin Cook than I am.

The only concern I have heading into this game is that Jalen Hurts really gave the Vikings trouble when the Eagles earned a 24-7 win over them in 2022. Hurts threw for 333 yards with a touchdown in that game, while also rushing for 57 yards and two scores. Minnesota can’t afford to let Hurts beat them with both his arm and his legs. But I do think new Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores is one of the best defensive coaches in the game. He should have his group ready to keep Hurts in check. And if he does, it’s hard to envision Minnesota losing this game by more than a touchdown.

Vikings vs. Eagles Total 

While I do think the Vikings will avoid being torched by Hurts in this game, there’s a decent chance this ends up being a high-scoring affair. Since the start of the 2021 season, the Over is 8-5-1 in Philadelphia’s home games. It’s also 7-3 when the Eagles are coming off a nonconference game. On top of that, the Over is 6-0 when the Vikings have played as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points in that span. And it’s also 7-2 when Minnesota has played as a road underdog, too. So, there are a lot of trends that support the Over.

It's also just hard to ignore the amount of firepower that will be on the field at once in this game. Whenever you have Jefferson, AJ Brown, Addison and DeVonta Smith on the field at the same time, you can count on the opposing defense to be in some trouble. Even the tight ends in this game are explosive, with T.J. Hockenson and Dallas Goedert both being very hard to cover. That said, I think it’s fair to expect both offenses to have some successful drives in this game.

It also doesn’t hurt that the weather is expected to be nice for this game. That means there will be no excuses for either of these quarterbacks. Both should be able to sling it.

Vikings vs. Eagles Player Props

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T.J. Hockenson Over 4.5 Receptions

You'll have to lay a little juice to play this, but I think it's worth it. Hockenson was targeted nine times in the Week 1 meeting with the Buccaneers. He hauled in eight of those targets, giving him at least five receptions in nine of the 12 games he has played for the Vikings dating back to last season. Cousins has a lot of trust in Hockenson as a safety valve in this offense, and I'd be shocked if he isn't a big part of the game plan here. Last week, tight ends Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki combined to catch eight passes for 92 yards against this Eagles defense. Why wouldn't the Vikings see that and use it to their advantage? 

Vikings vs. Eagles Best Bet

I do think there’s a solid chance the Over hits in this game, but I’m not going to play it. I’m a lot more confident in backing Minnesota here. I’m very high on the Eagles this season, so I can see why people might want to bet on Philadelphia. But I don’t think Minnesota is as bad as people think. This Vikings teams is still very talented, and a Week 1 loss doesn’t change that. So, this feels like a lot of points, and I think it’d be foolish not to take them. This should be a competitive game throughout.

Bet: Vikings +7 (-110) 

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