NFC Championship Game Betting Preview of the late Sunday game where the Vikings visit the Eagles.
NFC Championship Game Betting – Eagles Hope Home Field Works vs. Vikings
The Philadelphia Eagles have started to do the job of improvising with a different quarterback than the one they had planned to make a championship run with. So they go into the NFC Championship game with Nick Foles at the controls instead of Carson Wentz. As the team with the best record in the NFC, they have the home field advantage, which is going to help them. But they still have a nasty Minnesota Vikings defense to deal with, and so they will try to negotiate the best they can, in this game that begins at 6:40 PM ET in Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. As a VietBet customer, you’ll have the opportunity for more value in the NFL playoff betting lines with reduced juice, and then, with Live Betting Ultra, you have real-time wagering enabled throughout the game.
Vikings vs Eagles – NFC Championship Game Betting Line:
In the NFL playoff betting lines that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Eagles are actually the underdogs at home:
Minnesota Vikings -3 (-105)
Philadelphia Eagles +3 (-115)
Over 39 points -110
Under 39 points -110
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No one is going to say that things have run as smoothly with Foles as they did with Wentz. While the second-year quarterback out of North Dakota State looked like he was on his way to a possible MVP award, Foles has had some difficulty getting a grip on the Philadelphia offense. But remember that he is a veteran, and that apparently has the confidence of the coaching staff. Last week, he was very solid in the victory against the Atlanta Falcons, completing 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards. And in terms of getting rid of the ball as a way of neutralizing the pass rush, he did exactly as they asked, as his average release time was 2.27 seconds after the snap. No one last weekend did it any faster than that.
And let’s not forget that it’s not as if Foles have never done anything in the NFL; in 2013 he cut through the league like a knife through butter, throwing 27 touchdown passes with only two interceptions, and was named to the Pro Bowl, where he was the MVP. So one can assume that with more time in practice with the first-team offense, he will feel more and more at home. And offensive coordinator Frank Reich will design a game plan to fit what he can do.
The Eagles have a few things going for them here. One of them is perhaps a little of the psychological advantage, coming with a chip on their shoulder for being an underdog for the second straight week at home. This is a #1 seed, and this is the first time this has ever happened. So they feel disrespected. Perhaps people are ignoring the fact that Doug Pederson has gone 14-3 straight-up at home during his two-year tenure as head coach of the Eagles, and no other coach has a better home record during that time.
Philadelphia definitely has to be able to run the football; not only is it a better way to advance it in cold weather, but they also have the personnel to get it done, with the likes of Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount. Furthermore, because Foles is more effective when he can work play-action, running the ball is a must. Admittedly it will be difficult against a Minnesota defense that has allowed only 83 rushing yards per game. But maybe they only have to do it enough to make the Vikings respect it.
Defensively, Philadelphia has pretty strong numbers across the board. VietBet patrons might already know that no team in the league has allowed fewer yards on the ground per game than they have, and the opposition has succeeded only 32% of the time on third down. These numbers are not all that far off from what Minnesota has been able to do. And the argument can be made that the Eagles will bring a better pass rush in this game. Jim Schwartz loves to dial up pressure, and you’ll figure out a way to do it somehow, putting a lot of burden on Case Keenum, who was known as a journeyman, at least up until this season, when he took over the Minnesota offense after Sam Bradford’s injury.
The Eagles are not afraid to take chances on fourth down, and they are 65% successful there, which is probably a product of all the study they do in the area of analytics. Schwartz, known as an “old school” guy, is open to all of that data, to his credit, and if you can believe this, Philadelphia has not allowed a single point after the two-minute warning of any game this year. That’s an interesting message to send to Minnesota, which scored on that very improbable 61-yard Keenum-to-Stefon Diggs pass play against the Saints last week.
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By Charles Jay