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NFC Championship Eagles vs. Cardinals NFL Predictions

NFC Championship Game – Which veteran QB will step up?

BetUS NFL betting odds: PHILADELPHIA -4, Total 47
NOTABLE STAT: Arizona has three players with over 1000 yards receiving

KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Arizona has gone over the total in ten of its last 11 home games

In the BetUS NFL football betting odds, the Eagles are listed as a four-point favorite, with a posted total of 47 points.  

Here are some NFL football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* PHIL has won and covered six of its last seven games
* PHIL has played four of its last six games UNDER the total
* PHIL has covered 12 of its last 16 road games
* PHIL has played six of its last seven road games UNDER the total
* ARIZ has won and covered four of its last six games
* ARIZ has played four of its last five games OVER the total
* ARIZ has covered seven of its last ten home games
* ARIZ has won 10 of its last 12 home games SU
* ARIZ has played ten of its last 11 home games OVER the total

Also…

* PHIL has covered seven of the last nine meetings
* PHIL has won five of the last seven meetings SU
* Seven of the last nine meetings have gone OVER the total
* ARIZ has won five of the last seven meetings SU as the home team
* Six of the last eight meetings in Arizona have gone OVER the total

You can’t argue that both of these teams have been impressive during the post-season. Arizona has defeated the upstart Atlanta Falcons at home and the second-seeded Carolina Panthers on the road. Philadelphia has snatched road wins at both Minneapolis and the Meadowlands en route to its fifth NFC title game under coach Andy Reed. As a franchise, the Cards are a little new to this, as this will be their first championship game of any kind in 60 seasons. Yeah, the Eagles have something of an experience advantage.

Yet some of the Arizona people are not exactly babes in the woods. Kurt Warner, unlike Donovan McNabb, has won a Super Bowl. Ken Whisenhunt, the Arizona coach, and his assistant Russ Grimm (former Redskins Super Bowler) got their jobs in the first place because they were on Bill Cowher’s Pittsburgh staff that won the Super Bowl over Seattle.

There are plenty of fundamentals that can point you toward the Eagles. They’ve given up only 33 touchdowns, compared to 57 for Arizona. The Cards have struggled in the run game (just 3.5 yards a carry). Philadelphia gives up nine points less per game, and has beaten more playoff-level teams. The Eagles have allowed just 65 points in their last six games, while Arizona has been beaten by 21 points or more four times. Oh, and the Eagles destroyed the Cardinals 48-20 in their previous meeting.

It’s that regular season hookup that offers a key for us, though. In that game, Philadelphia had the huge yardage edge (437 to 260). Warner threw three interceptions, while McNabb tossed four TD passes.

This was part of my analysis leading up to that game:

“Arizona has a four-game lead in the NFC West with only five games to go. Philadelphia carries a lot more desperation with this effort, needing to win to have any hope at all. And the Cards are traveling cross-country with only four days in between games. None of this works for them.”

NFC Championship

Well, obviously it’s a different situation now, isn’t it? Arizona didn’t exactly have an “edge” to their game then, with a nearly insurmountable lead in the NFC West. Off a game with the defending Super Bowl champion Giants, they were traveling to the east coast in a short week with no preparation, against a desperate team.

Well, those competitive juices are flowing at the moment. Arizona is at home, out of the “eastern time zone” that has been mentioned so much, and the Cards seem to be running the ball a bit now, advancing it 145 yards on the ground against Carolina last week. McNabb may have the exciting rookie DeSean Jackson at his disposal, but he’s not in the same league as either Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin (available for this game), both of whom are legitimate Pro Bowlers. Steve Breaston completes the trio of thousand-yard receivers.

We know that Jake Delhomme threw the game away for Carolina last week, and that McNabb isn’t poised to do so. At the same time, we also acknowledge that the Cards aren’t too bad in the turnover department (forcing 33 of them). McNabb could use more support from Westbrook, who actually has just 222 rushing yards in the last five games. Philadelphia is a very good road team against the numbers (12-4 ATS last 16), but while ‘Zona has been a washout on the road, it is 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS at home.

From the perception created out of the previous meeting between these teams, we can find at least a couple of points worth of value in this line. We’re going to respect a meaningful trend in Arizona’s play at home (10 of last 11 over the total), but we will also grab points with the Cardinals, the four-point underdog in the BetUS NFL betting odds.

Our PLAYS: ARIZONA +4 *** and OVER 47 ***

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