NFC Divisional Playoff Betting Preview: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints

NFC Divisional Playoff
Philadelphia Eagles (10-7) vs. New Orleans Saints (13-3)
Sunday, January 13th - 4:40pm ET - Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Betting Line: New Orleans -7.5, Total 50.5

Watch out, folks. He's doing it again. Nick Foles has now led the Eagles to four straight wins, including a monumental victory in the NFL Wild Card round at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears and their No. 1 overall defense. I don't know what it is, but this team rallies around Nick Foles every time he steps onto the football field and find a way to win. They play with heart and temerity.

Philadelphia's offensive line was a game changer. They afforded Foles a level of protection that many, including myself, thought would be nearly impossible against this Chicago defense. Through 60 minutes of playoff football, the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line gave up just one sack to Khalil Mack and company. Mack registered six tackles and just one tackle for a loss.

Nick Foles had a subpar showing in the first half. He completed 10 of his 16 passes for 143 yards and two interceptions. Throughout the first 30 minutes, he had stretches of effectiveness, but the momentum came crashing down with each INT.

In the second half, Nick Foles passed for just 5.1 yards per attempted, compared to his 8.9 before the break. His two touchdown passes to Golden Tate and Dallas Goedert were literal game-changers, however.

Philadelphia played well defensively; they held Chicago to just 15 points. That's not to say they played a perfect game. Philly was burned down the middle and deep right for a few big yardage plays. Chicago receiver Allen Robinson had his best game of the season with 143 yards and a touchdown. Mitchell Trubisky passed for 303 yards and a touchdown before it was all said and done.

That can't happen again if they hope to beat Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

The Eagles suffered their worst loss of the season when they faced the Saints. The Eagles left The Big Easy with a 48-7 loss under their belt. It wasn't pretty.

Dree Brees carved up the Philadelphia secondary for 363 yards and four touchdowns while completing 22 of his 30 passes in the game.

Brees' favorite target in the game was Tre-Quan Smith. The rookie had the best game of his career against Philadelphia. He caught 10 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown in the win. It should be noted that Smith has caught just six passes in the five weeks since that game.

Michael Thomas caught the four passes thrown his way for 92 yards and a TD.Mark Ingram II and Alvin Kamara combined for 174 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

The Saints are not the Bears. Their potent offense allows them to make up for their lapses on defense. We're talking about a team that scored fewer than 21 points just three times this season. They have what it takes to outgun Philly. We saw it just six weeks ago. Philly had nothing for New Orleans. They couldn't score nor stop them from scoring.

The Saints are 7.5 point favorites over Philly. Oddsmakers are giving the Eagles some respect considering the beating they received at the hands of New Orleans a few weeks ago. New Orleans is well rested and will have home field advantage. Drew Brees is also having an MVP-caliber year.

Carson Wentz started for Philadelphia in their trip to New Orleans. Is Nick Foles and this re-energized team enough to make up the difference? We haven't seen enough evidence to suggest that New Orleans has fallen off since that contest.

As an Eagles fan, I'd love for them to pull away with the win here (obviously). As a sports bettor who likes to keep his money, I can't bring myself to bet on them. I won't be betting the game as I can't, in good faith, bet against my team in the playoffs, but if I were, I'd give up those 7.5 points in a heartbeat and take the Saints. Philly's secondary is notorious for getting torched. Drew Brees will be a nightmare for that secondary. If the defense can put enough pressure on Brees consistently, it'll be a close game, but I wouldn't bet on it.

As much as it pains me to say, New Orleans -7.5 is the pick.