This Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles (2-2) will host the Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1) in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST at Lincoln Financial Field and will be televised locally on FOX.
Taking a look at the Week 5 NFL odds, the books have the Eagles listed as a 3-point home favorite with the total set for 46.5 points.
Vikings vs Eagles Game Preview & Betting Odds
Minnesota comes into this one off a 38-31 loss at the Rams on Thursday Night Football in Week 4. That spread was anywhere from LA -6.5 to -7.5, so it really depends on when you bet it if you covered or not. I don’t think the outcome surprised a lot of people, as the Rams look like the best team in the league. The fact that the Vikings hung around and were within a touchdown late, was a big positive off that ugly 22-6 home loss to the Bills in Week 3.
Philadelphia also comes into this game off a loss and it’s one they might have a tough time getting over. The Eagles led the Titans 17-3 in the 2nd half, then out of nowhere let a struggling Titans offense score 17 unanswered to take a 20-17 lead. Philadelphia tied it up at 20-20 with a late field to force overtime. They got the ball first in OT and managed a field goal, but the defense couldn’t make the stop it needed and Tennessee went 75 yards on 16 plays to score the game-winning touchdown.
Most of you will probably recall last year’s NFC Championship Game. Coming off what is known as the “Minnesota Miracle” the Vikings were a 3.5-point road favorite over Nick Foles and the Eagles. It looked like Minnesota was on to something when they took the opening drive 75 yards for a touchdown, but it was all Eagles from there on out. The Vikings wouldn’t score again and the Eagles runaway with a 38-7 win.
Free NFL Pick Against the Spread: Eagles -3
I would lean towards laying the 3-points with the Eagles at home. I think the combination of Philadelphia not looking great in the first two games since Carson Wentz returned to the lineup and the Vikings getting a few extra days to prepare, plus the revenge angle from last year’s loss in the NFC Championship Game, has created a favorable line to back the Eagles.
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With a line of just 3-points, whoever wins the game is more than likely going to be the team that covers. Given that, I don’t know how you bet against Philadelphia at home. The Eagles are perfect 2-0 at home this season and are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 home games overall.
At the same time, the Vikings haven’t looked anything like the dominant team that went 13-3 last year. The defense that led the league in both scoring defense and total defense, comes into this game giving up 27.5 ppg (22nd) and 381.5 ypg (21st). They are still without 2nd-Team All-Pro defensive end Everyone Griffen and I just think people are overlooking how big a loss he is to this unit.
It’s also only a matter of time before Wentz and that Eagles offense find their rhythm. People just expected Wentz and the Eagles offense to return to the form before his injury, but there’s going to be some rust when you have that long of a layoff. There’s been flashes of Wentz returning to that MVP form and I wouldn’t be shocked if he had his best game of 2018 on Sunday.
The other thing here is I think the Eagles defense can make what is already a one-dimensional Vikings offense even more unbalanced. Minnesota is dead last in rushing at 63 ypg and will be up against the league’s best run defense, as Philadelphia is only giving up 63.8 ypg. That’s going to allow this talented Eagles defense to sit back on the pass and as good as Kirk Cousins has been, I think he could struggle, especially in the redzone. It’s really hard to score in this league inside the 20 if the opposing team doesn’t have to respect the run.
I also think too much is played into revenge in the NFL. There’s just not enough games on the schedule to value one more than the other. Some teams just don’t matchup well against others and I think that might be the case here. Give me the Eagles -3.