NFC Wild Card Game Previews

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The NFC’s Wild Card round takes place on Monday morning (Australian time) with New Orleans hosting Minnesota and Seattle travelling to Philadelphia.

The New Orleans/Minnesota game is a rematch of the famous ‘Minneapolis Miracle’ game from two years ago, while the intrigue around the second game is the 11-5 Seahawks having to go on the road to play the 9-7 Eagles.

Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at New Orleans Saints (13-3), Monday 5 am AEDT

Saints
-AFC South champions, #3 seed.
-Ranked #9 in total offense.
-Ranked #11 in total defense.
-Saints have won five of the last seven against the Vikings.
-Home favourites of over a TD or more in the Wild Card round are 11-2 straight up since 2005.

Vikings
-Wild Card, #6 seed.
-Ranked #16 in total offense.
-Ranked #14 in total defense.
-Kirk Cousins is 0-9 in prime time Monday Night Football games and his only playoff start.
-Last time they met in the playoffs, the Vikings won the famous last second ‘Minneapolis Miracle’ game two years ago.

Keys to the game

The Saints just need to keep on keeping on, with Drew Brees running the show, Michael Thomas making the catches and a solid, but opportunistic defense harassing opponents. An early lead in a raucous Superdome could put a quick end to the Vikings’ hopes.

Minnesota really needs a healthy Dalvin Cook to take some pressure off Kirk Cousins, who has struggled in big games and could really come unstuck if he has to do all the work through the air. Everything needs to go right (and the Saints do plenty wrong) for the Vikings to win this one.

Match Betting
$1.23 New Orleans
$4.20 Minnesota

Handicap
$1.90 New Orleans -7.5
$1.90 Minnesota +7.5

Total Match Points
$1.90 Over 49.5
$1.90 Under 49.5

All markets here.

 

Seattle Seahawks (11-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-7), Monday 8:30am AEDT

Eagles
-NFC East champions, #4 seed.
-Ranked #14 in total offense.
-Ranked #10 in total defense.
-This is Carson Wentz’ first playoff start – remember it was Nick Foles who led the Eagles to the Super Bowl two years ago.
-Eagles have lost the last five home games they’ve played against Seattle, including a 17-9 loss in Week 12.

Seahawks
-Wild Card, #5 seed.
-Ranked #8 in total offense.
-Ranked #26 in total defense.
-Are 7-1 on the road this season.
-Russell Wilson is 8-5 as a playoff starter.
-Seattle has won seven of the last eight against Philadelphia.

Keys to the game

A very even matchup between two teams that have been riddled with injuries. The Eagles are pulling players off the practice squad, while the Seahawks have looked even further afield, re-signing former star Marshawn Lynch.

Seattle continues to rely on the magic of Russell Wilson and he could be a handful for a struggling Eagles’ secondary. It will be interesting to see how many carries Lynch gets this week.

Carson Wentz has been spectacular down the stretch for Philly, even with his best receivers gone, while Boston Scott had a breakout game last week against the Giants. Eagles have the ‘nobody believes in us’ mantra but Pete Carroll is a master psychologist too.

Match Betting
$1.86 Philadelphia
$1.95 Seattle

Handicap
$1.90 Philadelphia -1
$1.90 Seattle +1

Total Match Points
$1.86 Under 45.5
$1.94 Over 45.5

All markets here.

What do you think?