Sunday sees a clash of the NFC teams, and it has the potential to be two superb matches. Things are always spicy when the Vikings and Saints face off, and with the prospect of this being the Saints only home game in the playoffs, the atmosphere should be electric. After that we have the battle of the wounded teams between the Eagles and Seahawks. Both teams have been hit hard by injuries in a game which could be defined by the weather come Sunday.
Here are this week’s NFL Picks:
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints | 1:05 pm EST
1u – New Orleans Saints -7.5 @ -110
- Per statschecker, the New Orleans Saints are 11-5 ATS this season
- Per statschecker, the Minnesota Vikings are 1-3 ATS as road underdogs
This game has the potential to be fascinating. Both teams have issues in the trenches, ranking below 20th in both pass block and pass rush win rate. Both teams also have very similar win differentials, but the Saints needs to be put in the context of having played half the season without Drew Brees. I just look at the numbers the Vikings have put up this season and there is concern. They are 2-4 against their division and defeated just one team with a winning record come the end of the season.
They have also struggled ATS on the road as underdogs this season, and to me that is a good indicator of a cause for concern. The Saints have had their issues at home this season, but right now this team is rolling, and they will want to bury the Vikings to ensure there is no miracle this time around.
Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles | 4:40 pm EST
1u – Philadelphia Eagles +2 @ -110
- The Philadelphia Eagles have the edge in both pass block and pass rush win rate
- The Seahawks have lost their last two games while the Eagles have won four straight
This game is interesting because it is a matchup between two teams struggling with injuries. Carson Wentz achieved the feat of throwing for over 4,000 yards without having a single 500-yard receiver. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson is a QB that you can simply never write off. What makes this game all the more interesting is that the way the Eagles have rallied recently. They just seem to have worked things out, albeit against bad teams, and their make shift offense has clicked. In contrast, the Seahawks are losing players week by week and have not had the chance to figure things out. Both teams are very even in most categories, but I just think home-field advantage, and the way this team has worked things out means they can advance to the Divisional round for a second year running.
1u – Philadelphia Eagles Over 21.5 Total Points @ -117
- The Philadelphia Eagles have scored over 22 points in four of their last five games
- The Seattle Seahawks have allowed over 22 points in their last five and 12 games this season
I am not really sure that the Seahawks defense is going to be able to stop the Eagles offense, which seems to have figured things out. This could end up being a game of attrition, which will not be great for scoring. Something to watch this week is the weather forecast. Currently, the forecast is for high winds during the day, but dying down in the evening. If that is still predicted come Saturday, then jump on this line. However, if the wind looks like still being around in the evening, it is worth staying away from this bet.
By Ben Rolfe