Saints or Eagles? Get the odds on Saturday’s NFC playoff
Sunday, the New Orleans Saints will take the field vs. the Philadelphia Eagles (FOX, 3:40 p.m.) as favorites to win the NFC and the Super Bowl. They will likely close near 8-point favorites vs. the Eagles, would be a home favorite in the NFC Championship game vs. either the LA Rams or Dallas, and would be a slight favorite over any AFC entry to earn the Lombardi Trophy in Atlanta on the first Sunday of February.
Composite global odds to win the NFC: New Orleans even money, LA Rams 7/4, Dallas 8/1, Philadelphia 8/1
Composite global odds to win the Super Bowl: New Orleans 9/4, Kansas City 4/1, LA Rams 9/2, New England 6/1, LA Chargers 10/1, Indianapolis 12/1, Dallas 16/1, Philadelphia 16/1.
New Orleans should feel confident Sunday vs. Philadelphia. These teams played in the Superdome back on November 18. The Saints were 7-point favorites before coasting to a 48-7 blowout. Game stats backed up the rout. New Orleans won total yardage 546-196 on 7.9 to 4.1 yards-per-play. Drew Brees passed for 363 yards with four TD’s. Carson Wentz only threw for 156 yards with three interceptions.
Why is Sunday’s point spread only eight (possibly rising higher before kickoff) given that result? There are two key differences involving the visitor.
Philadelphia’s defense was ● injury riddled at the time of the first meeting. There’s no way to stop Brees and the Saints indoors on a fast track when your defense is injury riddled! That stop unit has performed much more impressively in recent weeks. Not only did the Eagles shut down No. 3 seed Chicago on the road last Sunday, but they also upset the No. 2 seed Los Angeles Rams 30-23 on the road in mid-December.
Philadelphia’s quarterback ●
Carson Wentz imploded vs. the Saints, a few games before finally being escorted to the bench so he could recover from a bad back. Nick Foles has been getting much better results in his stead. And, he’s still showing that playoff magic that led to last year’s shocking championship run.
Handicappers and bettors must determine whether those new developments justify Sunday’s point spread. Worth remembering that the Saints are VERY fresh and rested. Philadelphia had to win its last three regular season games to sneak into the final NFC playoff slot.
It’s possible that “exhausted Philadelphia” is similar to “injury-riddled Philadelphia” in a way that could create another rout.