The final game of the weekend features the NFC’s top seed New Orleans Saints and the team of destiny in the Philadelphia Eagles. The Saints were on a bye week last weekend and witnessed the lucky break that Philly got in the end of their Wild Card game against the Bears.
Will the Saints dominate the Eagles again this year or will Nick Foles lead the Eagles to another improbable playoff win? Kickoff inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is as 4:40 PM ET.
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The following odds are courtesy of live odds feed:
|Betting Data||Philadelphia Eagles||New Orleans Saints|
|Current S/U record||10-7||13-3|
|2018 ATS Home||2-5-1||4-4|
|2018 ATS Away||5-4||6-2|
|2018 O/U Home||2-6||5-3|
|2018 O/U Away||4-4-1||2-6|
Sunday’s playoff game will mark the 32nd time these two teams have played against each other. Currently, the Eagles lead the series with a 17-14 record. This will also be the 4th time the Saints and Eagles have played against each other in the playoffs.
New Orleans is 2-1 in playoff games against the Eagles. The Saints are 6-2 in the last 8 overall meetings including a blowout win two months ago when they destroyed the Eagles 48 to 7.
Philadelphia (10-7) has won 4 straight games including a huge upset against the Bears in the Wild Card round. Since Foles has come in for an injured Carson Wentz, the Eagles have appeared to be a much better team overall. The offense is functioning more efficiently and effectively, while the defense has even become stouter.
Philly is 23-21 all-time in the playoffs. Can the Eagles continue to ride the Foles magic or will their storybook season come to an end in New Orleans?
The Saints (13-3) have basically rested their players for two weeks now. New Orleans didn’t play many of their starters in the final week of the regular season and they also had a bye week during the opening round of the NFL playoffs.
Now, the Saints will look to march toward the Super Bowl by squashing this Eagles momentum once and for all. Can New Orleans capitalize on their home field advantage by defeating the reigning super bowl champs? The Saints are 8-10 all-time in the NFL playoffs.
The Saints opened as a 9 point favorite with the majority of online betting sites. However, the spread has come down some to 8 points with most online sportsbooks. The Over/Under opened at 51 total points and remains unchanged with many football betting sites.
The first time these two teams played, on November 18th, the Saints destroyed the Eagles 48-7. Brees threw for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Eagles gave up 546 total yards. Offensively, the Eagles only tallied 196 total yards and had 3 turnovers. They didn’t even score in the second half of the game.
The Philly team we saw then is not the same team we’ve seen over the last month. In fact, this Eagles team has been playing some great football as Nick Foles takes the franchise on a magic carpet ride. In the first round of the playoffs, Philly held the Bears to 356 total yards and that includes turning the ball over 2 times.
The Eagles held the Bears to just 15 total points, which is about 10 points less than their season average. Philly held the Bears rushing attack to 65 yards.
This is the team’s biggest improvement since their game against the Saints. And, they will need that tough run defense to continue this weekend against the Saints who have a two-headed monster in the backfield with Kamara and Ingram.
New Orleans finished 6th in the league for rushing yards as they averaged 126.6 ypg. The Saints were the #3 scoring offense in the league at 31.5 ppg, which further adds to the Eagles tough task at hand.
The one area where the Saints could blow this game wide open is their passing attack. New Orleans averaged 252.6 ypg, but Brees put up 363 against the Eagles in their first meeting this year. Philly has one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. They finished the regular season ranked 30th at 269.2 ypg.
Last weekend against the Bears, Philly gave up 303 yards to Mitchell Trubisky. If they don’t tighten up their pass coverage then they are in serious trouble against New Orleans.
For the Eagles offense, they must let Foles work his magic. Foles did throw two interceptions last weekend, but he led the team to a game-winning drive late in the 4th quarter and is clutch in the pressure-packed moments. The good thing for Foles and the Eagles is that the Saints pass defense isn’t any better. New Orleans finished 29th in the NFL as they allowed 268.9 ypg.
Philly will need to keep running the ball even if it doesn’t produce much because it opens up the play action pass. Ultimately, Foles could have a monster game on Sunday. Three weeks ago, he put up 471 yards against the Texans. So, crossing the 300-yard mark this weekend shouldn’t be a problem.
I’m all aboard the Nick Foles bandwagon. As long as he’s playing, they have a chance in this game. With that said, I believe the Eagles can cover this spread. Philly is 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 overall games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games, 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games during January, and 11-4 ATS after winning two or more straight games.
The Saints are 1-4 ATS following a divisional game, 2-4 ATS as a home favorite of 7.5 to 10 points including going 0-3 ATS this year, and they are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 overall games.
I believe the Eagles passing attack under Foles can hang with the Saints this weekend. I wish I was bold enough to take them to win, but the Saints at home is too tough to go against. However, I am confident that the Eagles can cover the 8 points and makes this Divisional Round matchup another exciting contest.
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