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Eagles vs. Vikings prediction: Don’t fall for trendy Philly in dangerous home spot

Philadelphia is dealing as a short home favorite against a surging Minnesota squad that matches up well on Monday.

Kirk Cousins (left) of the Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson (center) celebrate a 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Kirk Cousins (left) of the Minnesota Vikings and Justin Jefferson (center) celebrate a 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)Read moreSTEPHEN MATUREN / Getty Images

One team dominated headlines all summer after adding a slew of talent in the offseason. The other flew under the radar after hiring an innovative young coach to ignite an already talented roster.

Those two will meet on Monday in a game that oddsmakers see as a near-even clash between undefeated teams. The Philadelphia Eagles are slim home favorites, though public bettors are taking the points on the Minnesota Vikings after an impressive season debut.

Here’s how we’re betting Monday night’s contest, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Eagles vs. Vikings Pick

  1. Vikings +2.5 (-110 BetMGM)

Eagles vs. Vikings Analysis

Both of these teams deserve a lot of credit for the changes they made this offseason and what we’ve seen already through the first week of the season. But it sure doesn’t feel like the betting market is treating them as equally as it should.

Each of these teams were as high as 40/1 this offseason, with the Eagles entering the season closer to 25/1 at most books thanks to a late rush of speculative money. Since then, Philly ran all over a weaker Lions team before nearly surrendering the lead late. The Vikings steamrolled a Packers team that looked an awful lot like a Super Bowl contender in Sunday night’s Week 2 tune-up.

And yet, here we are with the Eagles tied with those Packers for the fourth-shortest title odds (12/1), while the Vikings sit at 20/1. Oddsmakers are seemingly giving Philly the home-field nod and nothing more in this one, which feels like a much fairer assessment of these two clubs — and leaves value on Minnesota as a dangerous road ‘dog.

» READ MORE: Our favorite Eagles-Vikings props for Monday Night Football

The Vikings offense looked nearly unstoppable in the first half of last week’s win over Green Bay, which owns one of the best secondaries in the league on paper. Tell that to first-time head coach Kevin O’Connell, who schemed up superstar wideout Justin Jefferson for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone.

The two-time All-Pro wideout was seemingly wide open all afternoon in a career-best 184-yard day, while much-maligned quarterback Kirk Cousins (277 yards, 2 TDs) finished with his third-highest yards per attempt (8.7) in his last 17 contests. Receiver Adam Thielen (36 yards) shared after the game how refreshing it was to be part of an offense that’s always in attack mode, which is notable after eight years under notoriously conservative coach Mike Zimmer.

That poses an issue for Philadelphia’s defense if it can’t generate a pass rush, which was a serious issue in its season-opening win over Detroit. The Eagles finished with just one sack last week, a year after recording their fewest in a season (29) since it became an official stat in 1982. Cousins has a quick trigger, especially with his receivers as wide-open as they’ve been in the O’Connell offense, which puts a lot of pressure on a Philly defense that allowed 35 points in Week 1.

Conversely, much has been made of Jalen Hurts’ development as a passer, which feels like the key to unlock Eagles’ title potential. Let’s not confuse projection with progress: he still completed fewer than 50% of his passes against a lowly Lions defense in Week 1, and he was far too reliant on star receiver A.J. Brown (10 catches, 155 yards), who finished with a 40.6% target share.

» READ MORE: Jalen Hurts rushing yards prop seeing movement before MNF matchup vs. Vikings

Even Jefferson’s brilliance last week came in the flow of the Vikings offense. Brown is the Eagles pass offense thus far, which is obviously concerning against this Minnesota defense that made two-time Aaron Rodgers look pedestrian a week ago. Yes, Philly has an elite run game with one of the best offensive lines in football, but Minnesota reworked its front this offseason and held the dynamic duo of AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones to fewer than 50 rushing yards each in Week 1.

I have more faith in the visitors here, as the pieces seem to fit better early in the season and match up well with the talented yet developing group on the other side. This feels like a team that’s been a sleeping giant for years, and we’re finally seeing how creative coaching can awaken it.

Eagles vs. Vikings Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Eagles -2.5 (-110), moneyline -145

  2. Vikings +2.5 (-110), moneyline +120

  3. O/U 49.5 (-110)

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