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Woe-Town Philly: Super Bowl Contender Saints Host Super Bowl Pretender Eagles

Golden Tate

Following Sunday night’s loss to Dallas, the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles are now 4-5 overall, losers of three consecutive home games and 3-6 against the spread this season.

New Orleans possessed the ball for nearly 40 minutes in its 51-14 blowout win at Cincinnati to improve to 8-1 overall and 7-2 against the spread. For as heralded as the Saints offense is, their defense has allowed 20 or fewer points in five contests during their active eight-game win streak.

The Saints opened as 7-point home favorites, the Eagles moneyline is +260 and the point total is 52. Since 2014, the Saints are 2-8 ATS when home favorites of 7 or more points. They have failed to cover four straight under those conditions, including two this season against the Buccaneers and Browns.

SHARK BITES
  • The Saints are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games.
  • The Eagles are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.
  • The total has gone OVER in the Eagles’ last five games on the road (avg. combined score: 57.0).

Eagles vs Saints Game Center

WHAT WE LEARNED: WEEK 10

Eagles – Social media’s favorite term to describe the current state of the Eagles secondary is “decimated.” Already without Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills and Sidney Jones, the team announced top cornerback Ronald Darby will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. While there’s a chance Jones returns from a hamstring injury this week, a decimated secondary is not ideal when about to face the highest-scoring team in the league. The Eagles rank 23rd against the pass heading into Week 11.

Much was made about the Eagles acquiring wide receiver Golden Tate at the trade deadline, but he only earned 18 snaps and four targets in his debut against the Cowboys.

Saints – New Orleans lost Dez Bryant for the season before he could play one regular-season minute. So “X” is out and Brandon Marshall is in. The Saints inked the veteran receiver to a one-year contract Monday. With Ted Ginn and Cameron Meredith also on injured reserve, Marshall is expected to line up as the team’s WR-2 from the jump.

Despite the lack of wide receiver depth this season, the trio of Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram has helped the Saints average 6.4 yards per play over the past three weeks, which trumps their season-to-date per play average. In other words, Marshall could play the role of decoy.

Opposing offenses have converted just 33 percent of their third downs over the past three games against the Saints defense. That’s the sixth-lowest conversion rate in the league.

NEXT LEVEL TRENDS: THIRTY-SOMETHING

The Saints are averaging 36.7 points per game this season, 38.6 points per game over the past five games and 42 over the past three weeks. Since 2010, the Eagles are 6-24 straight up and 5-25 against the spread when allowing 30 or more points and 1-14 SU, 2-13 ATS when allowing 35 or more points.

NEXT LEVEL TRENDS: IS NINE DiVINE?

It appears only recent history can slow the red-hot New Orleans Saints. Since the start of last season, teams that have won eight consecutive games are 1-6 straight up and 1-6 against the spread in their following contest.

FORECAST

New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome is typically around 70 degrees.

The Saints’ Wil Lutz hasn’t missed an extra point since early October or a field goal since Week 2. Given how often New Orleans is in scoring position, this is quite the feat. Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott is 14-for-18 on field goals and a perfect 20-for-20 on extra points this season.

MY LEAN

It’s the first time since December 2015 that the Eagles are road dogs of 7 or more points. Philadelphia is 3-7 straight up and 6-4 against the spread in its past 10 games under those conditions.

Many pundits believed the Cincinnati contest to be New Orleans’ “trap game” as the Saints might get caught peeking ahead to the defending Super Bowl champs. What if the script was flipped and the Cowboys contest was the Eagles’ trap?

The Saints offensive efficiency is off the charts and Drew Brees is a surgeon, carving up defenses out there. With Philly’s secondary on the mend, I don’t see how the Eagles keep this close.

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