Monday Night Football – Minnesota +2 at Philadelphia – Forget the odds, bet the football

NFLbets is huge on trends We believe in analyzing – all-too-often even over-analyzing – the following week’s NFL games before betting on anything. Head to head, general trends, regression to the mean Anything that seems relevant in the least goes under the microscope. In betting as in economics, one forces thestatistics to fit the people (or NFL teams), rather than the other way ’round.

But sometimes, you just have to bet the football. As in the week 2 late Monday Night Football matchup with lines of

Minnesota Vikings +2 at Philadelphia Eagles, over/under 50½ points

NFLbets has been on the Vikings since the preseason and, particularly after beating the Green Bay Packers in week 1, may be on the inside track for the NFC’s best record. So naturally, we’re inclined to take advantage of another Minnesota money line paying better than 1/1 without further consideration. The Vikings, we are convinced, will be this year’s (mostly) surprise team in the conference championship games and that Justin Jefferson will win the NFC Offensive Player of the Year.

So here’s the damning stat loved by NFL betting-themed podcasts and other talking sports head shows: As a starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins is 10-16 SU/11-15 ATS in all late and primetime games. Even more seemingly damning is his mark in Monday Night Football games: 2-8 SU/ATS.

But even this caveat gets an asterisk: Both of Cousins’s SU/ATS wins on MNF came with Minnesota in 2020 and ’21, with both as the visiting team. This trend may in fact be moving back to the mean.

There’s also the leveler of week 2; when in dobut, we’ll take a team that’s 0-1 ATS against the 1-0 SU team. But on Sunday, the 0-1 ATS teams went 6-2 ATS, with only the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills moving to 2-0 ATS. If you believe this trend regresses, it’s another reason to take the 1-0 ATS Vikings.

Finally, there’s the whole narrative about Jefferson seeking revenge on the Eagles for drafting jalen Reagor ahead of him. And, irony or ironies, Reagor was traded to the Vikings this past preseason and as the storytellers would have it, he’s also looing for payback against Philly. NFLbets never knows how to believe such stories. Some players actually do use draft day “snubs” as personal motivation, but this often isn’t easy to discern, particularly when 99.9% of players will profess only that “it’s a business” and “that’s the way it goes.” Way too abstract that stuff, anyway…

Sure, the Eagles put up 38 against the too-small Lions defense in week 1, but this Vikings D ain’t comparable to Detroit’s. Just ask Aaron Rodgers. And while Philadelphia might (might!) be excused for allowing 35 points to Detroit – we’ve had confirmed in week 2 that the Lions can rack up some points – what exactly can we imagine their answer for Jefferson will be? Take the Minnesota Vikings +2½ at Philadelphia.

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