Andy Reid was 13-0 coming out of bye weeks as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) before last Sunday, but that streak was brought to an inglorious end in a 30-17 home loss to Atlanta. The Saints (2-5) had their two-game winning steak snapped while being dominated 34-14 in Denver.
1. Why New Orleans will cover the spread: New Orleans will cover this spread if it can apply pressure to Michael Vick. While we are fully aware that the Saints have the worst defense in the NFL allowing 30.9 points and 475.4 yards per game, the Eagles also have one of the worst offensive lines and New Orleans does have an adequate pass rush with 13 sacks. And that is with Will Smith having only two of those sacks, so if he gets going vs. the porous Philadelphia offensive line, it would increase the likelihood of Vick being forced into more mistakes. After all, Vick is personally responsible for 13 (8 interceptions, 5 fumbles lost) of Philadelphia’s ungodly 17 turnovers through seven games.
2. Why Philadelphia will cover the spread: The Eagles will cover the spread and have an excellent chance at an upset if they can slow down the New Orleans passing game. The Eagles rank 14th in passing defense at 227.4 yards per game and ninth in defensive passing average at 6.3 yards per attempt, so at the very least they can try and force Drew Brees into throwing underneath routes and limiting the damage deep. Philadelphia’s task could be made easier here in that the Eagles could focus only on stopping the pass, given that the Saints rank dead last in the NFL in rushing at 72.6 yards per game on 3.7 yards per carry.
3. Total Talk: As bad as the Saints have been defensively, we actually think they will be successful in applying pressure to Vick as the Eagles’ offensive line really has been that bad. Vick took three more sacks vs. the Falcons and the line could not open up any holes for LeSean McCoy, who had just 45 rushing yards on 16 carries, and that was with two weeks of preparation time. On the other side, we do not think there is a defense in the NFL that can slow Brees down here at home, and while Philadelphia grades out decently on pass defense yardage wise, it does not apply much pressure on the quarterback with only nine sacks. Give Brees that much time and he will pick apart any defense. We lean toward the ‘over’ in this contest, but not by much given this bloated posted total.
4. Betting Trends for SAINTS-EAGLES: The Saints are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 home games and 4-1 ATS in their last five home games vs. teams with a losing road records. The Eagles are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games vs. teams with losing records.
New Orleans 31 – Philadelphia 24