New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles Spread Pick
Opening Line: Philadelphia -3
New Orleans destroyed Tampa Bay 42-17 last Sunday. Philadelphia travelled to Dallas and won 24-22 to claim the NFC East crown last week.
New Orleans has scored a lot of points this season, just not on the road. They have averaged a mere 18 ppg in their eight away games and lost five of their last six away from home. QB Drew Brees was lights out at home in 2013 but couldnít match that production outside of the Superdome. Philly's pass defense gives up a lot of yards (290 per game) but not a lot of points. They have held 11 of their past 12 opponents to 22 points or less. Brees has a lot of targets to throw to as four players had 70+ catches, an NFL first but only TE Jimmy Graham had more than five TD catches. Philadelphia's pass rush has shown life in the second half of the season and Brees was sacked 37 times in 2013. The running game never took off in New Orleans as they average only 92 ypg. The Eagles run defense has been stout for most of the year.
The Eagles will be facing a defense that has allowed 134.4 yards per game less than a season ago, an NFL post-merger record. However, their run defense isn't as good as their No.2-rated pass defense. That's bad as they will face the NFL's leading rusher and yards-from-scrimmage leader in RB LeSean McCoy. HC Chip Kelly has done a great job of utilizing McCoy's talents, far better than Andy Reid ever did. McCoy averaged 5.1 ypc and totaled 1,607 yards on the year. He also had 52 receptions. Look for him to be the mainstay of the offense and to get several touches. Backup RB Bryce Brown is also capable. QB Nick Foles had an astounding 27-2 TD/INT ratio and a QB rating of 119.2, third-highest ever. He doesn't make mistakes and relies on his teammates to make plays. WR DeSean Jackson had a big year but several other Eagles make contributions in the passing game. If the Eagles can consistently move the ball on the ground, Foles will be able to find receivers off of play action. New Orleans did a great job of getting to the QB in 2013 as DE Cameron Jordan (12.5) and OLB Junior Galette (12) helped lead the Saints to 49 sacks.
ATS Game Pick
There are several factors working against New Orleans in this game. They just don't play well away from home; HC Sean Payton is 0-3 in road playoff games; Philly's TO ratio was -24 in 2012 and +12 in 2013; Eagles are 4-0 SU last four at home and 7-1 SU last eight overall. The weather is going to be a factor and the Saints don't run the ball well. With the number less than a FG, we'll take a hot Philadelphia squad at home.
Our Crew's Pick: Take the Philadelphia Eagles -2.5 at GtBets and get yourself a 100% bonus on your first deposit!