Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:30 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Philadelphia -6 over Minnesota
8:15 EST. The sharp betting community can't make up their minds about this game. On the one hand, the Vikings already seem like the team doubters were speculative about last year. Somehow Minnesota was 11-0 in one-score games in 2022, a stat that pundits despised about the defending NFC North champs, but they're already a sad 0-1 in 2023. Last year, in this very same Week 2 spot at Philadelphia, the Eagles pummeled the Vikings 24-7 as 2.5 point favorites. The composition of each roster is very similar, expectations are about the same, and yet we're seeing a distinct difference in the line this season. The Eagles are full touchdown chalk.
After Week 1, the Eagles opened as more than a touchdown favorite (-7.5) at some books. That number has dropped all week, down to as low as -6, signaling that some big-bettors are showing surprising support for the floundering Vikings. Now why would that be? Minnesota had an awful Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs at home, failing to muster the offense they needed late and unable to stop a normally mediocre Baker Mayfield. Brian Flores' new defense looked promising in the first half, then fell apart in the second. The Vikings failed to establish a consistent run-game, and Kirk Cousins was under duress for most of the contest (9 hits, 2 sacks).
So, we ask again - why would sharp bettors show confidence in the Vikings?
Part of it may be for football reasons. In Week 1, the Eagles didn't look as dominant as they did throughout last season. Two early turnovers that converted into 13 early points saved an offense that never earned another touchdown. The Patriots won the first down battle 24-17 and gained over 130 more yards against last year's NFC Champions. It’s worth noting that the Eagles have a new offensive coordinator and these operations can take time. A home game at night in the City of Brotherly Love may be the perfect stimulant.
It’s hard to picture the Vikings' offensive line "winning" very often against the Eagles' defensive line. It's also tough to picture Kirk Cousins and the Vikings suddenly thriving in a hostile prime-time environment. We know that's not Kirk's forte (he's 2-16 straight up in prime-time games against teams with a winning record).
Xs and Os aside, pro-bettors are buying the Vikings for a simple reason: they think the opening number was wrong.The Vikings were just embarrassed at home, they're 0-1, and surely they haven't forgotten about last year's curb-stomp in Philly. And while Philadelphia still has its share of believers, their Week 1 was hardly inspiring.
This is a tough one. Football reasons say bet on the Eagles to cover at home, but the market isn't so convinced. From a bettor's perspective, it's simply all about the number, and at this juncture it's dropped too low. Recommendation: Philly -6 (hedge by taking Vikings if the line moves back to +7.5), No bets.
Philadelphia -6 -110 (Risking 0 units - To Win: 0.00)