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NFL Wild Card Picks – Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Jan/11/2019

The New Orleans Saints busted their rears during the regular season for this reason, to host playoff games in the Superdome.


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After several weeks of inactivity it’s time for the No. 1 seed in the NFC to flip the switch against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round.

The Saints secured the top spot late in the regular season and haven’t played a meaningful game in some time. Meanwhile, the Eagles and Nick Foles continued their postseason success by knocking off the Bears in last week’s wild card game for their fourth straight postseason victory, all as the underdog.

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints

Date and Time: Sunday, January 13, 2019, 4:40 p.m. ET

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Opening NFL Odds: Saints -7.5, O/U 51.5

Eagles at Saints TV Coverage: FOX

Live Betting Odds Analysis

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With Foles leading the way the Eagles have won four straight playoff games, all while getting points. And this week is no exception with Philly the biggest dog on the Divisional Round board at +7.5. That’s the biggest spread the Eagles have faced over the last two postseasons and they are coming off a hard-fought tilt in Chicago the week before. Still, the Eagles are playing their best football of the season down the stretch winning five of their last six regular season games to squeeze into the postseason before their upset in Chicago.

The Saints secured the No 1 seed in the NFC in the next to last game of the regular season and sat a bunch of starters in the finale. Coupled with last week’s bye, the Saints have gone three weeks without playing a competitive game. That could be troublesome against a hot Eagles squad, or it could benefit them. The Eagles were in an identical situation last season, used the off week to prep Foles for the playoff run, and cruised through Atlanta and Minnesota en route to the first Super Bowl title in team history.

A 10-game winning streak early in the season set the Saints up to match the team record with 13 wins. They won that many in Sean Payton’s fourth year, capping the season with a Super Bowl triumph over Indy. The Saints also won 13 games in 2011 with that season ending in a Divisional Round loss to San Francisco. Not counting the final game when Brees and several others didn’t play, the Saints went 6-1 at home with an average of 37 points per game.

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Last Meeting

That 48-7 loss to the Saints in Week 11 was the turning point in the Eagles season. Sitting at 4-6 afterwards, the Eagles could have pitched the tent with their postseason hopes in the balance. But instead, they went on a tear, winning five of their next six matchups with improved defensive play and Foles leading the offense over the over the final three games.

But things looked hopeless at the time. A rebuilt secondary was torched by Brees, who threw for 363 yards on 22 of 30 passing with four touchdowns. The Saints also got 103 yards and two scores on the ground from Mark Ingram amassing 546 yards for the game. The Saints were just as good defensively, holding the Eagles to less than 200 total yards while picking off three Carson Wentz passes and sacking him three times.

What happened in November has no bearing on this game, but the Eagles are using that blowout loss as motivation. And what Foles has been able to accomplish over the last two seasons while starting has empowered the Eagles to believe they can’t lose.

Key Stat

Sometimes sports legends come from the unlikeliest places. Foles had toiled in obscurity since being drafted by the Eagles in the third round in 2012. He started 24 games in three years with the team going 15-9 and lost his only playoff start to, ironically, the Saints. He was traded to St. Louis and spent two seasons with the Chiefs before rejoining the Eagles last season to backup Wentz. Plans changed when Wentz went down late in the year and Foles took over.

All he’s done as a starter in games in December, January and February since is post a 9-1 record with four straight playoff wins. His only loss was in the final game of last season when the Eagles had secured the top seed and he exited after a few series. Dallas won that game 6-0.

Betting Philadelphia at New Orleans at BookMaker.eu

The Saints have too many weapons and they’re particularly good on the fast track of the Superdome. With Brees slinging the ball around and Ingram and Alvin Kamara doing damage out of the backfield, the Eagles won’t know what hit them. Forget about them being rusty after a long layoff and play the Saints on the first half betting lines. The Eagles allowed Mitchell Trubisky to throw for 300 yards last week and escaped with the help of a missed field goal. They won’t be so lucky this time around the Foles magic will come to an end.

NFL Divisional Round ATS Betting Pick: New Orleans -7.5 at BookMaker.eu

NFL Divisional Round Score Prediction: Saints 34, Eagles 17

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