The defending Champions Philadelphia Eagles kept their hopes alive by upsetting the Bears 16-15 to advance to the NFC divisional round. They’ll look for revenge as the New Orleans Saints embarrassed them in their regular season matchup back in November, 48-7. The worse loss by a defending Super Bowl Champion ever. Revenge should run a little deeper considering the Saints also bounced them out of the playoffs during the 2013-14 season, beating them at Lincoln Financial Field as the wild card team.
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans has won six straight home playoff games and open their playoff run as heavy favorites following a bye. As the top seed, they’ll play at home throughout the playoffs, where their offense is tailor made for, making them a favorite to reach the Super Bowl. However, the Eagles come in with momentum as winners of their last four games.
Matchups favor the Saints. While both teams performed terribly against the pass this year, Saints ranking 29th and the Eagles 30th, the Saints have shored up their run defense ranking second best in the NFL, allowing only 80.2 yards per game. Offensively, the Saints are a well-oiled machine led by quarterback Drew Brees, and playmakers wide receiver Michael Thomas, and running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.
They’ve sputtered towards the end of the season, but they haven’t played a meaningful game in weeks. Even so, they’ve averaged close to 400 yards and 31.5 points per game with a deadly balanced attack. They’re hopes are not just riding on the shoulders of quarterback Drew Brees as was the case with previous Saints teams, they now own a nasty running game to compliment the pass. With 126.6 rushing yards per game, they’re sixth best in the league, and feature the most rushing touchdowns.
New Orleans Saints Home NFL Form
|30.12.2018||LOSS||Saints 14 – 33 Panthers|
|23.12.2018||WIN||Saints 31 – 28 Steelers|
|23.11.2018||WIN||Saints 31 – 17 Falcons|
|18.11.2018||WIN||Saints 48 – 7 Eagles|
|04.11.2018||WIN||Saints 45 – 35 Rams|
Injured Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz will again take a back seat to backup Nick Foles, the man who led them to a championship last season. But this game will come down to whether the Eagles can get to Drew Brees and stop the run. They only hit him once in their previous game and if Philadelphia is to have a chance, they’ll need to pressure the Saints quarterback. That will be hard to do considering the Saints allowed only 20 sacks on the year, second best in NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles Away NFL Form
|06.01.2019||WIN||Bears 15 – 16 Eagles|
|30.12.2018||WIN||Redskins 0 – 24 Eagles|
|17.12.2018||WIN||Rams 23 – 30 Eagles|
|09.12.2018||LOSS||Cowboys 29 – 23 Eagles|
|18.11.2018||LOSS||Saints 48 – 7 Eagles|
The Money Line
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
Odds taken at 00:00 GMT 12/01/2019
Our Verdict and Best Bets
This game will feel different than their last meeting. Before that contest, the Saints were steamrolling opponents at 8-1, now Phil is the hot team with Foles under center instead of Wentz. However, look for more of the same. While we shouldn’t expect another blowout, the Saints should handle this one with ease. But if Brees is on his game, it may get ugly quickly for the Eagles.
Point Spread, New Orleans Saints -8 @ 1.95 (20/21) with Unibet.