Vikings at Eagles NFC Championship Lines & Betting Prediction

Vikings at Eagles NFC Championship Lines & Betting Prediction

Written by on January 17, 2018

If back in the summer, you or someone you knew predicted that Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles and Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings were going to face off for the NFC Championship, well, you are either a genius or lying as both were journeyman backups entering this season. The top-seeded Eagles were historic underdogs in the divisional round and are again Sunday at home vs. the No. 2 Vikings. Let’s take a look at the latest NFL betting odds for this matchup.

Vikings at Eagles NFC Championship Lines & Betting Prediction

When: Sunday, 6:40 PM ET Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philly TV: Fox Radio: 1270 AM (Minnesota) / SportsRadio 94WIP (Philadelphia) Stream Option: Fox Sports Go Opening NFL Lines: Vikings +3.5 (38)

Weather Forecast

  • Partly Cloudy: 7°C/45°F
  • Humidity: 73%
  • Precipitation: 5%
  • Wind: 6 mph SSE
  • Cloud Cover: 53%
  • Type of Stadium: Open

Last Meeting

In Week 7 last season, the Eagles beat the visiting Minnesota Vikings 21-10, but the quarterbacks that day were Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz – their injuries this season (Bradford in Week 1 and Wentz in Week 14) opened the door for Keenum and Foles. Both Bradford and Wentz struggled in last year’s game. The teams traded giveaways on five consecutive series in the first quarter and totaled eight turnovers. Both Philadelphia and Jacksonville completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds this season. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. Three of the remaining four clubs – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville – missed the postseason in 2016. This is the first time since 2008 in which three of the four teams in the championship games missed the playoffs in the previous season. The all-time series is tied 13-13. The Eagles and Vikings meet in the postseason for the fourth time. Philadelphia has won the previous three meetings, including the last matchup in the 2008 Wild Card round (January 4, 2009) which the Eagles won 26-14.

Why Bet on Minnesota?

I won’t even try to explain how the Vikings beat the Saints 29-24 last week – if you haven’t seen the first walkoff non-overtime postseason touchdown in NFL history, then you must have been in a cave. he Vikings had a 2.6% win probability at the snap of the ball with 10 seconds to play but Keenum hit Stefon Diggs on a 61-yard TD catch-and run as time expired. Keenum completed just one pass thrown 20+ yards downfield in the 4th quarter during the regular season. He completed three in the 4th quarter vs. the Saints, including the game-winning score. Keenum, who set career-highs in attempts (481), completions (325), completion percentage (67.6), yards (3,547), touchdowns (22) and passer rating (98.3) in the regular season, passed for 318 yards in his first career postseason start. Keenum, who was making his NFL postseason debut, has never thrown a game-winning touchdown pass inside the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter in a regular-season game. The only other players to do so in their playoff debut were Terry Bradshaw (the Immaculate Reception in 1972), Steve Bartkowski (1978), Brett Favre (Jan. 1994), and Alex Smith (Jan. 2012). Over the last 50 seasons only one of the more than 11,000 regular-season games ended with a game-winning touchdown pass of 60 yards or longer. Two years ago, Aaron Rodgers threw a Hail Mary pass to Richard Rodgers, producing a 61-yard touchdown on the final play to give the Packers a 27–23 win at Detroit.

How Has the Defense Been This Season?

The Vikings defense led the NFL in yards per game allowed (275.9) for the first time since 1993 and also led the league by allowing 15.8 points per game in the regular season. The Vikings defense limited opponents to 83.6 rushing yards per game (second in the NFL) and 3.6 yards per rush (fifth in the NFL). Minnesota stifled opponents to 192.4 passing yards per game, second in the NFL, making them the only defense in the NFL to rank in the top three in both rushing yards and passing yards allowed per game. Minnesota will play in the team’s 10th NFL/NFC Championship Game. The Vikings are 4-5 in the club’s previous nine appearances. This marks the franchise’s first NFC Championship Game since 2009 (January 24, 2010 at New Orleans). The Vikings are aiming to become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in the team’s home stadium.

Why Bet on Philadelphia?

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated Atlanta 15-10 last week as 3-point home underdogs, the first No. 1 seed ever an underdog in its first playoff game. Philadelphia’s defense stopped Atlanta on fourth-and-goal from the Eagles’ two-yard line with 58 seconds remaining, only the third postseason game in the past 50 years in which the winning team prevented a go-ahead TD in the game’s final two minutes with a fourth-and-goal stop. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s unit ranked first against the run (79.2 yards per game) and fourth in points per game (18.4) during the regular season and put forth its best performance of the season against the Falcons. Foles completed 23 of 30 passes (76.7 percent) against the Falcons and recorded a 100.1 passer rating. Foles became the first NFL quarterback over the last 20 years to start and win a postseason game after having made three or fewer starts during the preceding regular season.  The last such quarterback to earn a postseason win was Randall Cunningham with the Vikings against the Giants in the 1997 playoffs. Which team is a safe bet to win the NFC Championship?

How Well Has Foles Done in the Postseason?

Foles has registered a 100+ passer rating in both career postseason starts (105 in Wild Card playoff against New Orleans on January 4, 2014) and joined Donovan McNabb (three) as the only Eagles to have multiple postseason games with a 100+ passer rating. He has a 102.7 career passer rating in the postseason. Foles, though, was shaky to close the regular season and for much of the Atlanta game. The Eagles have scored 34 points total in the past nine quarters under Foles. Now they face the NFL’s No. 1 defense. Philadelphia has advanced to its 11th NFL/NFC Championship Game and the Eagles are 5-5 in the team’s previous 10 appearances. This is the franchise’s first NFC Championship Game since 2008 (January 18, 2009 at Arizona) and the first in Philadelphia since 2004 (January 23, 2005 vs. Atlanta) when the Eagles advanced to Super Bowl XXXIX. The last time the Eagles went to the Super Bowl — following the 2004 season — they played the Falcons and Vikings in the NFC playoffs to set up a championship matchup with the New England Patriots. Could happen that way again.

Expert Prediction

I recommended the Eagles last week to win as underdogs and I think they will again – although obviously don’t pass on those free 3.5 points.
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