Saints vs Eagles : The New Orleans Saints finished the regular season with a record of 13-3 straight up and 10-6 against the spread with the loss in Week 17 coming as starters rested with the No. 1 seed already locked up. The Saints will get back to business with their well-rested starters this Sunday night when they host the Philadelphia Eagles.
== MATCH INFO ==
NFL Playoffs 2019
Team : Saints vs Eagles
Date : Sunday, January 13
Start Time : 4:40 Pm Et
New Orleans is the biggest favorite on the board this weekend at -8 on the NFL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The home team owns a 4-1 SU and ATS record in its last five games against Philadelphia including a 48-7 win when they last met in November.
Before shutting things down to rest in Week 17, the Saints had sealed home field throughout the NFC playoffs with a 13-2 SU and 10-5 ATS record.
New Orleans averaged 32.7 points per game through its first 15 games, and from Week 10 to Week 16 the defense allowed only 17 points per game. The Saints have no obvious weaknesses heading into this divisional round matchup and will have the home crowd behind them in it as well.
Under Head Coach Sean Payton, the Saints have never lost a postseason game at home. New Orleans is 6-0 SU and 3-3 ATS in its last six playoff home games per the OddsShark NFL Database.
Another chapter was added to the Nick Foles legend last Sunday as the Chicago Bears missed a field goal in the waning moments of the game to give Philadelphia a 16-15 upset win as 6.5-point underdogs.
Foles has now led the Eagles to a 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS record since taking over as starter for the injured Carson Wentz this season and is 4-0 SU and ATS with four outright upsets in his last four postseason starts. Philadelphia’s defense has allowed only 7.5 points per game over its last two games.
Sunday night’s total is set at 51.5 points at sports betting sites. The OVER is 9-0 in New Orleans’ last nine playoff home games.
By all accounts, the Saints were the best team of the regular season in 2018. There is no question that the Eagles are playing their best football at the right time of the year and another 41-point blowout probably isn’t going to happen. But overcoming New Orleans might just be asking too much of the defending champions. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton dismisses the premise that the Philadelphia Eagles could derive extra motivation from the widespread perception that New Orleans ran up the score on them when they met in November.
“My question would be: We’re all playing hard in these divisional playoff games, right?” Payton began, referring to Sunday’s rematch in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. “Are you going to play harder” because of a perceived slight?
Still, Payton expects a more competitive affair than the Saints’ 48-7 blowout of the Eagles on Nov. 18, which gave Philadelphia the dubious distinction of becoming the first reigning Super Bowl champion to lose by that wide a margin in the following regular season.The best betting sites are pretty much in agreement about who the favorites are in this round. The Chiefs are favored by 5.5 points, the Rams are a full touchdown favorite over the Cowboys, the Pats are 4-point favs, and the Saints are big, -8 favorites over the visiting Eagles. But are they correct? Let’s look at a couple of games this weekend to find out.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints -8
Eight is a lot of points in the NFL. Yet, the experts have lined out the Saints as more than touchdown favorites over Foles and the Eagles. Foles came to life in the playoffs last season, but he had home-field advantage. This time around the Eagles has to head down to Louisiana to face an almost unstoppable New Orleans Saints team.
Let’s be honest … Sorry, Eagles fans, but Philly only made it into the postseason by dumb-luck. Yes, Foles dropped a miraculous 4th-down TD pass into the waiting hands of Golden Tate. But the only reason they advanced was because of a botched 43-yard Cody Parkey field goal. That kind of play won’t work against the Saints who are 14-2 at home. The Eagles can win this game, but a victory isn’t going to come by way of mediocre play.
The basic numbers show the Saints winning by 12 points. The Eagles have not had the same kind of offensive potency this season as they did in 2017-2018. They are putting up just 22.53 points per game. On the bright side, they don’t perform any worse while on the road (22.43). Defensively, the Eagles do give up about one point more per game as the visiting squad. But this shouldn’t matter too much because the amount that the Eagles score per game falls right in line with the amount of points the Saints allow per game, which is 22.1.
So it comes down to the No. 2 home offense against the No. 12 road defense. We will see the Eagles falter on the ground once more, and be forced to get into a QB duel with Drew Brees, who has a powerful running game (No. 6 in rushing yards) at his disposal.
Prediction: Saints win by 10.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots -4
When I was initially handicapping this game, I was actually leaning on the Chargers to cover the four-point spread. They are perhaps the best road team in the league. They only dropped one road game this season, and that was to the Rams in Los Angeles … so in a lot of ways, it doesn’t count as being on the road.
When you look at average offense and average defense, these two teams match-up quite closely. The Chargers allow 20.35 per game while the Pats allow 20.31. On offense, they are also less than a point apart. The Chargers score 26.53 while the Pats put 27.25 per game. When you add to the fact the Chargers are veritable road-warriors, it seems like the perfect situation for a backdoor cover.
But they will be traveling to the other side of the country for the second time in two weeks. And the kicker is the weather. The former San Diego Chargers, now LA chargers are not used to playing in freezing temperatures. The weather is expected to be 27 degrees and cloudy. As the game wears on, the Pats are going to have a definitive advantage. They thrive in moist, cold New England winter air.