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Saints are Undefeated in Home Playoff Games With Payton

Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints walks off the field after defeating the Carolina Panthers during the first half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 30, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Less than a year after helping the Philadelphia Eagles deliver their first Super Bowl in franchise history, Nick Foles and the underdog Eagles lived up to their title yet again in a 16-15 win over the Chicago Bears on Wild Card Weekend. The Eagles face a tough test against a well-rested New Orleans Saints team in the divisional round, where sportsbooks opened Philly as an 8-point road underdog with a total of 50.5.

  • The Eagles are 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five games vs the Saints.
  • The total has gone UNDER in three of the Eagles’ last four games vs the Saints (avg. combined score: 50.5).
  • The Saints are 14-2 SU in their last 16 games at home.

Eagles vs Saints Game Center

Eagles will be looking for revenge after Week 11 blowout

After Foles connected with Golden Tate for a clutch fourth-down touchdown in the final minute of the fourth quarter to put the Eagles up by one, Philadelphia needed a bit of luck to advance. That happened in the form of a missed 43-yard field goal by Bears kicker Cody Parkey to end Chicago’s season in heartbreaking fashion. Foles’ numbers weren’t eye-popping (25-for-40, 266 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions) but he was rock-solid when the Eagles needed him the most.

The Eagles and Saints already met once this season with New Orleans dominating Philly 48-7 in a blowout victory in Week 11. Drew Brees threw four touchdown passes and Mark Ingram rushed for two scores in the triumph, as the Saints’ 546 total yards were the most they gained in the campaign. Carson Wentz was under center for that contest, however, and the Eagles have been a much different team since Foles replaced him as the starter in Week 15.

Philadelphia turned around its season after that loss to the Saints by winning five of its final six regular-season games. The Eagles continue to get the job done as underdogs, going 5-2 SU and ATS in their past seven when getting the underdog label. They’ve been far from a safe bet when facing the Saints, as New Orleans is 4-1 SU and ATS in the previous five matchups between the NFC clubs.

Saints have never lost a home playoff game behind Payton

The Eagles clearly have the toughest draw on the board in the divisional round, and their opening +8 number shows oddsmakers aren’t expecting this one to be particularly close. That’s because New Orleans is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, evidenced by the Saints winning 14 of their last 16 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans is 5-0 at home in the playoffs since Sean Payton took over as head coach in 2006.

When it comes to the total, betting trends are pointing to an UNDER in this one. In the past four meetings between the Saints and Eagles, the UNDER is 3-1 with an average combined score of 50.5 points. The Saints have also gone below the closing total in five of their past seven in Louisiana with an average combined score of 42.1 points.

My pick: take the Eagles on the spread

Look, the Saints are the Super Bowl LIII favorites for a reason. They’re the best team in football right now and I don’t think it’s particularly close. They have all the makings of a championship team and I fully expect them to win this game.

I do think it’s going to be closer than sportsbooks think, however, as the Eagles continue to achieve seemingly improbable feats behind Foles. I think the Eagles’ run stops here, but I expect them to keep it close and cover the spread in the process.