NFL Divisional Round
Betting Line: Saints -8
Over/Under: 50.5 at 5Dimes
Several weeks back the Philadelphia Eagles headed to New Orleans to take on the Saints and were slaughtered 48-7. However, that may have been a wakeup call for Philly, as they only lost one of their next seven games. Their secondary was torched in the first half of the season, but that unit has been pretty decent in the second half. The Eagles stepped up on defense in their last game, beating the Chicago Bears on the road in the Wild Card Round.
Nick Foles is back under center in the NFL Playoffs, just like last season, but can the Eagles get back to the NFC title game against Drew Brees and the Saints, who embarrassed them earlier this season?
New Orleans had the league’s best record and while they lost badly in their last game it did not mean anything, as they already had the top spot in the NFC locked up. Brees is the face of the franchise, but the run game has been great and the team kept winning at the end of the season even though he was not putting up big numbers.
The Saints are 6-2 at home this season and the Eagles are 4-4 on the road. Philly are 8-9 ATS and have an Over/Under record of 7-10, while New Orleans are at 10-6 ATS with an Over/Under record of 7-8.
In their Wild Card win over the Bears last week the Eagles had fewer overall yards (356-300) and had two turnovers, forcing none, but still won the game. Foles passed for 266 yards with two touchdowns, but also had two interceptions. Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffrey are his main targets, but can he get any help from the run game?
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Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams will man the backfield for the Eagles, who only rushed for 42 yards. Foles may be counted on for most of the offense in this game, as New Orleans have the second-best run defense in the NFL, but on the other side of the coin their defense ranks third to last in the league.
Brees did not have the best wide receiver corps this season, but he does have Michael Turner, who ranked sixth in the league in receiving yards, while other guys stepped up. He has not passed for over 203 yards in any of his last five games and did not pass for over 4,000 yards this season. Still, he lit up the Eagles in the Big Easy earlier this season, passing for 363 yards with four touchdowns and was not picked off.
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The running back duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram combined to rush for 1,528 yards this season. In the win over the Eagles earlier this season the Saints rushed for 173 yards while only giving up 58 yards on the ground.
Philly did play better pass defense in the second half of the season, but still only rank 30th in that category, while their run defense ranks a solid seventh.
Fletcher Cox and the Eagles pass rush has also come on as of late and they have to get to Brees in this game. The run game is also important for the Saints, but containing Brees is key for the Eagles’ defense.
Philadelphia Eagles betting trends
- 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record
- 7-2 ATS in their last nine playoff road games
- 4-0 ATS in their last four playoff games
New Orleans Saints betting trends
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games
- 48-22-1 ATS in their last 71 games against a team with a winning record
- Under record of 7-2 in their last nine games
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints betting prediction
The Eagles had a magical run to the Super Bowl last season behind Foles, but their run this season will end in the Big Easy. Brees will have a good game, the Saints will run the ball and they will play pretty good defense. Add those things up and you get a New Orleans win. Unlike the regular season matchup the Saints will not blow out the Eagles, but in their house they will still cover the eight-point spread.
Best bet: New Orleans Saints -8 at 888 Sport
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