Written by: Julian Miller
September 14, 2023
The second Thursday Night Football game of the season is coming up fast. This time around, we’ll see the defending NFC champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, host the 2022 NFC North champions, the Minnesota Vikings. The game will give us a better idea of where the Vikings stand in the NFC hierarchy, and whether the Eagles can keep their momentum moving forward.
This is your in-depth preview that will cover not only the game, but also potential betting mismatches, injuries, and any other factors that could impact the game. More importantly, you will walk away with a few key bets that you can lay down today at bet365 sportsbook.
Bet on Vikings vs. Eagles
Vikings vs. Eagles odds
All odds courtesy of
About the Vikings (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 0-1 o/u)
The story for the Vikings remains the same as it has been the last few seasons. The talent is there, enough to potentially win the division. With players like Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson leading a dynamic offence, they are expected to put up points with some of the best teams in the NFC.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, early returns are not where the purple and gold faithful would like them to be. The Vikings lost a close battle in Week 1 to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that was largely considered to be in a rebuilding phase before the season started.
Granted, Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield had a very good day. He even threw the game-winning touchdown, bringing himself back into prominence after an ugly departure from the franchise that drafted him, the Cleveland Browns.
A costly interception from Cousins definitely made a difference but the total lack of a running game proved critical. Alexander Mattison, replacing multi-time Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook, managed just 34 yards on 11 attempts, adding just 10 yards through the air. It leaves a lot of questions about the effectiveness and balance of the Vikings offence.
About the Eagles (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 o/u)
Despite making it to the Super Bowl a year ago, there are still things to figure out for the defending NFC champions. The Eagles won their debut, a road game in Foxborough against the Patriots. Despite the 25-20 win, there are more questions than answers.
The offence has a new coordinator, Brian Johnson, and things were a bit uneven on the offensive side of things. Quarterback Jalen Hurts went 22-of-33 for 170 yards and a touchdown, getting off to an especially good start. But the rest of the game left a lot to be desired. It felt as though the Eagles got out to a big lead and eased off the gas pedal. Leading 16-0 after the first quarter, the Eagles would slog the rest of the way, managing a trio of field goals. They also showed some vulnerability, allowing Patriots quarterback Mac Jones to throw for 316 yards and three touchdowns.
The Eagles have arguably the most talented roster in the league. Games like this show that the best teams find a way to win even when they aren’t at the top of their game. The Eagles have some things to figure out but there is a lot to like from the NFC champs.
Based on how things went in Week 1, it looks like things may be a slog for the Vikings on Thursday. Getting just 33 yards out of Mattison as the feature back has to be a cause for concern, especially facing a potentially dominant Eagles defence.
Failing to establish the run will require Cousins to throw more than he or the Vikings are comfortable with. He’s a solid quarterback, finishing statistically in the top 10 in most major categories each and every year.
That said, he makes costly mistakes as his interception on Sunday proved. In their matchup from a year ago, the game was over before halftime. The Eagles flustered Cousins, leading to three interceptions in a 24-7 victory. If the ground game can’t get established, it could be a long day for the Vikings offence.
Total: Over 49 points
Even though the season has just started, there are injuries to just about every team. Eagles DB James Bradberry has entered concussion protocol and seems likely to miss the game. Linebacker Nakobe Dean is going to be out several weeks with a foot injury.
The trenches were hit hard for the Vikings in Week 1. Offensive linemen Christian Darrisaw (ankle) and Garrett Bradbury (back) both came out at times during the game against Tampa. Defensive lineman Marcus Davenport is also dealing with an ankle injury, not dressing against the Bucs.
Though it will be dry and warm during the day, things could get a little on the chilly side when the game kicks off. Temperatures should be around 13 or 14 degrees Celsius, with light winds blowing in throughout the evening.
The Eagles opened as 7-point favourites at bet365 last Thursday and that number has since been moved to Eagles -6 as of this morning. The spead moving off the key number of seven points is huge if you like the Eagles to cover in this one. As for the total, it opened at 48.5 points, and now stands at 49 leading up to kickoff.
The Eagles went 7-2 straight-up at home last year, going 6-3 against the spread. The interesting thing is that they were just 1-2 against the spread when they were favoured by seven points or more at home, going 3-4 overall as 7-point favourites or greater.
The talking point last year for the Vikings was their record in one-score games but the real talk should be their over percentage. In each of the last two years, the Vikings have gone 11-6 and have hit the over at an incredible 67.2% rate over the last three years, with no other team hitting 60%.
Player prop trends
K.J. Osborn looked like he could break out this year, but beware of him when betting on anytime touchdown scorers (+240). In his last nine games, Osborn has hit the anytime touchdown scorer prop just twice. With more touches going to Jordan Addison, that number may not improve.
The average over/under receiving yards for DeVonta Smith a year ago was 57.5 yards. He averaged 70.4 per game, though he managed just 47 yards in the opener against the Patriots. His o/u on receiving yards is 63.5 in this one.
Jalen Hurts anytime TD
Wagers to consider
Even with their struggles in Week 1, it’s hard to go against the over here. Historically, the Vikings hit their over at a rate like no other, and both teams have the ability to create fireworks offensively. Look for 50+ combined points in this one.
Hurts had a relatively quiet day against the Patriots, throwing for 170 yards and running for 37 more. More importantly, he had just one touchdown, coming through the air. He’s a force on the ground and won’t stay out of the end zone for long. Take Hurts as anytime touchdown scorer (-110) here.
Justin Jefferson continues to be a monster. He posted nine catches for 150 yards in the loss to Tampa and is clearly a favourite for Offensive Player of the Year. That said, the Eagles are a different beast. His over/under on receiving yards is set at 91.5, which is a bit high for this kind of defence. With constant pressure on Cousins, look for Jefferson to fall short of his total (-110).