Eagles-Saints Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Playoff Score Prediction
The second game on wild card Saturday could be a barnburner with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints invading Lincoln Financial Field to run up against Chip Kelly’s vaunted offensive attack. Coach Payton’s squad punched its ticket into the playoffs last Sunday by throttling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the Eagles also pulled the deed by going into Big D and pulling out the win to lock down the NFC East title.
SAINTS – EAGLES WILDCARD PLAYOFF GAME LINE:
OPEN: EAGLES -2.5 | CURRENT: EAGLES -2.5 | O/U: 54
1. Why the SAINTS will cover the spread: Drew Brees will no doubt be licking his chops heading into this one knowing full well that a potential record breaking playoff performance could be in the cards. The Eagles pass defense has been nonexistent all season long. It enters the postseason ranked dead last in the league surrendering an average of 289.8 PPG at 7.3 yards per pass attempt (#19) and 19 TD passes. It just allowed a rusty Kyle Orton pick it apart for 358 yards and two TD’s, and if not for the late-game interception, would have probably been the reason why Philly missed out on the playoffs.
2. Why the EAGLES will cover the spread: The Saints inability to win big games on the road is no secret, as New Orleans only went 3-5 SU on the road and managed just one pointspread cover during that stretch. In that mix were losses to the Panthers, Seahawks, and Patriots – all playoff bound teams. N’awlens also hasn’t fared well defensively in containing the run (#19 at 111.6 YPG) and the Eagles just so happen to possess one of the nastiest weapons going in the NFL in the form of LeSean McCoy. Philly also enters this spot having gone 4-0 SU & 3-1 ATS in its L/4 home games that was capped with a 54-11 shellacking of the Chicago Bears.
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3. Total Talk: As potent an offense as the Saints possess, it comes as very surprising to see the ‘under’ a $$$-making 10-6 in their games on the year; NO played to low scorers in six of their eight road games. Philadelphia cashed ‘over’ bettors tickets in nine of their 16 played games, but the ‘under’ cashed in five of their eight home tussles.
The Saints have played to overs at a 3-1-1 clip in their L/5 road playoff games, but the ‘under’ has cashed in six of the Eagles L/7 home playoff games. These teams have played to high scorers in five of their L/6 overall meetings
4. Betting Trends for SAINTS/EAGLES: The “MO” has been to back the Saints when playing in the comfy confines of their own dome, but fade the heck out of them whenever playing in a meaningful game on the road. But save for a blowout loss in front of the 12th Man, the Saints were extremely competitive on the road and had both New England and Carolina dead to rights before ultimately losing in the closing moments. Nick Foles has been a nice story, but for all intents and purposes he’s a rookie and has never played in a situation like this with so much on the line.
Coach Kelly has the Eagles on the up and up, but their pass defense – or lack thereof – will ultimately decide their playoff fate. Philly has failed to cover each of their L/7 games at home against a +.500 road opponent and still owns a 6-20-1 ATS tally their L/27 home games even when you include their hot streak at the end of the season. Philly is no doubt the false favorite here, and when you pair that with the Saints being on a mission with Payton back at the helm, look for them to march on.
New Orleans 38 – Philadelphia 26