Before Week 2 last season, people were still skeptical about the Philadelphia Eagles. That would change quickly.
The Eagles were just 2.5-point home favorites against the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota was coming off a good win against the Green Bay Packers. A majority of people didn't realize yet that the Eagles were one of the best teams in football.
Everyone took notice after what happened that night. Kirk Cousins tossed some interceptions, the Eagles were dominant on offense and defense and won 23-7 in a game that seemed like an even bigger blowout. That was the first true sign that Philadelphia was a Super Bowl contender.
The schedule-makers decided to run in back in Week 2 this season, just with Vikings at Eagles on Thursday instead of Monday. The Eagles are 6.5-point favorites over the Vikings at BetMGM.
While the Eagles took off last season, we all know the 2022 Vikings story. They won the NFC North and had a sparkling 13-4 record. But they also had historically great luck, especially in close games. Regression started in Week 1 of this season, when they lost 20-17 at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's the kind of game the Vikings always won last season.
The Eagles aren't coming off their best performance. In Week 1 they took a 16-0 lead on the New England Patriots off of two turnovers, then held on for a 25-20 win as New England outplayed them the rest of the way. The start, particularly on offense, was bad enough that Eagles coach Nick Sirianni promised to re-evaluate not playing starters in the preseason.
Maybe it was just some rust for the Eagles and they'll pound the Vikings, but it's still a lot of points for Philadelphia to lay. Minnesota will be desperate to avoid an 0-2 start and we know the Vikings can move the ball. I'll take the Vikings and the 6.5 points to start Week 2, and hope Minnesota looks better in Philly than it did a year ago.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:
Some Vikings-Eagles props
Jalen Hurts didn't have a great game in Week 1 but I think that'll turn around. If I'm picking a close Thursday night game then I'll assume Hurts has enough passing attempts to get over 251.5 yards. Related to that, I'll take A.J. Brown to go over 72.5 receiving yards. The Eagles have a narrow passing tree and Brown will get plenty of targets, as usual.
On the other side, I'll take Justin Jefferson anytime touchdown at -125. Jefferson had a monster game with 150 yards last week but didn't find the end zone. He's the focal point of the offense and should score in Week 2.
MLB has 9 games
Baseball gets overshadowed once football starts, but there are still plenty of intriguing games. The Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays finish a four-game series that's huge in the AL wild-card race. The Jays have dropped the first three games of the series but are -165 favorites on Thursday.
Also, the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays start a four-game series that could decide the AL East. The Orioles enter the series with a two-game lead, but the Rays have a chance to leave Baltimore with a good chance of passing them in the final two weeks. Baltimore is -140.
What's the best bet?
I'll go with another prop from the NFL game. Give me T.J. Hockenson to go over 49.5 yards. Philadelphia doesn't cover tight ends that well, Hockenson will be a focal point and the Vikings will need to pass a lot to have a chance.