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Wild Card Eagles vs. Vikings NFL Predictions

NFC Wild Card Free Pick

The Eagles got a lot of help in the last week of the regular season. More than anything else, however, they helped themselves, with a 44-6 win over Dallas that propelled them into this position after all may have seemed lost the week before against Washington. Meanwhile, the Vikings got a one-point win over the Giants, in a game they didn’t necessarily need, since Chicago lost its “must win” game against Houston.  

BetUS NFL betting odds: PHILADELPHIA -3, Total 41.5

NOTABLE STAT: Donovan McNabb has had 9 TD’s, one interception in last five games

KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Eagles are 10-4 ATS in last 14 road games

In the BetUS NFL football betting odds, the Eagles are listed as a three-point favorite, with a posted total of 41.5 points.

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

* PHIL has won and covered four of its last five games
* PHIL has covered 10 of its last 14 road games
* PHIL has played four of its last five road games UNDER the total
* MINN has covered six of its last 19 games
* MINN has won five of its last six games SU
* MINN has covered three of its last ten home games
* MINN has won six of its last seven home games SU

Also…

* PHIL has covered nine of the last ten meetings
* PHIL has won seven of the last eight meetings SU

It is no secret as to what the Vikings will seek to do here. Adrian Peterson ran for 1760 yards on the season, and turned things on down the stretch, with with 100 yards or more in four of his last five games. What’s also been important is that Tarvaris Jackson seems to have matured a little, as he threw eight TD passes with only one interception in the last four games after taking back the QB job when Gus Frerotte got injured. Minnesota doesn’t have the most threatening wide receivers in the game, however, and may present opportunities for Philadelphia to load the box and slow down the run.

Speaking of slowing down the run, that’s what the Vikings do best on the defensive side, allowing just 3.3 yards a carry. Pat Williams, the Pro Bowl defensive tackle, is going to push very hard to participate in this game after sitting out a couple of games with a shoulder injury. Whether he’ll be 100% is merely speculation, but Jared Allen is 100%, and he leads a Minnesota pass rush that has registered 45 sacks. Make no mistake.about it – these Vikes will not go quietly.

Perhaps there was a method to Andy Reid’s madness when he benched Donovan McNabb in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. McNabb (60.4%, 23 TD’s, 11 INT’s) has come on strong, throwing nine touchdown passes with just one interception in the last five games of the season. His main weapon is still Bryan Westbrook, who had 1338 combined rushing/receiving yards. DeSean Jackson may be immature, but he has provided the team with a long-range threat at receiver (912 yards), something that was needed.

The Eagles do a lot of things that will be important in this game. They have Westbrook coming out of the backfield to catch passes, which makes him a threat even against the Vikings’ staunch run defense. Philadelphia does a very good job against the run itself, allowing only 3.5 yards a carry (3.1 in the last seven games). They permit just 32% conversions on third down. They have sacked opposing quarterbacks 48 times. They’ve held QB’s to just 54% completions. They’re more solid all the way around.

Reid knows a lot about Minnesota coach Brad Childress, who was his assistant in Philadelphia for seven years. Under Reid, the Eagles have often been a better team on the road than at home, and indeed they have covered 10 of their last 14 as the visitor. McNabb gives them a critical experience edge at quarterback. If he doesn’t self-destruct, this is a game where the Eagles can advance, over a Minnesota club whose offense is not dynamic at all beyond Peterson.

We’re going to lay the points with the Eagles, the three-point favorite in the NFL pro football playoff betting odds.

Our PLAY: PHILADELPHIA -3 **

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