NFC Championship Odds – Vikings vs Eagles
Vikings Hope to “D-Up” vs. Eagles’ Foles
We have never seen a situation in the NFL where a team actually got to host the Super Bowl in their own stadium. But that’s exactly where we will be if the Minnesota Vikings succeed in Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. This is a very unique conference title contest, in that it matches up what are, in effect, backup quarterbacks and two of the league’s best defensive units. The game will kickoff at 6:40 PM ET at Lincoln Financial Field in the City of Brotherly Love, and if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can get reduced juice before the game starts, thus giving you better value in the NFL odds, and if you want to challenge those odds in dynamic fashion, after the kickoff, you can access what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
NFC Championship Odds:
In the NFL post-season odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Minnesota is laying points on the road:
Minnesota Vikings -3 (-105)
Philadelphia Eagles +3 (-115)
Over 39 points -110
Under 39 points -110
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Minnesota finished the regular season with a record of 13-3 straight-up and 12-4 against the football pointspread. And then, as they were staring defeat in the face against the New Orleans Saints last week, Case Keenum threw a pass that was caught by wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and when a New Orleans defender missed putting him down, he ran all the way to the end zone. That is what you call a storybook ending. But it’s not over yet. What has happened with these Vikings is indeed an amazing saga; if you remember last year, they lost Teddy Bridgewater for the season during training camp, and had to turn to Sam Bradford, who was acquired, ironically enough, in a trade with the Eagles, which they made to free up room to make Carson Wentz the starter. Wentz led the Eagles to the best record in the NFC, but he got injured and was replaced by Nick Foles. Bradford got injured during the season opener, and Keenum had to step in.
Keenum had been known as a journeyman, and rightfully so. But he’s had an outstanding season by anyone’s measure. His “Total QBR,” which is a quarterback rating devised by the people at ESPN Stats, is third-best in the NFL, one slot above Tom Brady. And in the metric of Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA), he is #1 in the league. So the Vikings have gotten along pretty well with him at the controls. Bradford and Bridgewater are also healthy enough to play, with Bradford the likely backup on Sunday.
The Vikings were last in the league in rushing last season, and Adrian Peterson was injured. Peterson was eventually let go, and the Vikings drafted Dalwin Cook out of Florida State. Cook got off to a fast start, until he suffered a season-ending injury. But that didn’t matter; this team improvised with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon, and finished seventh in the league in rushing. So the Vikings don’t want to hear anybody cry about their injuries.
They’ve got a great wide receiver combo, with Diggs and Adam Thielen, who was named to the Pro Bowl, and defensively, they will put pressure on the Eagles’ wide receivers before the snap, which might make it extremely problematic for Foles to be successful when he releases the ball quickly. The Minnesota defense limited the opposition to just 5.5 yards per attempt, and only three of the last 13 quarterbacks they have faced that even reached 200 yards through the air. If Philadelphia can’t make major strides on first or second down, they are going to be in a hole, because the Vikings have surrendered a first down on only 25.2% of all third-down situations, which is the best ever recorded by the NFL.
And even though Philadelphia was a sizzling 66.7% in scoring touchdowns in the red zone, they haven’t really kept up that percentage under Foles, who has succeeded only twice in the last three games. The Vikings definitely tighten up when they’re inside their own 20, allowing touchdowns only 41% of all possessions. So there is a very real possibility that Philadelphia will have to settle for field goals rather than punch the ball over the goal line, and this was the case last week against Atlanta, where they scored only one TD.
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By Charles Jay