While the Dallas Cowboys loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday was a highlight of the opening round of the Divisional games, a defeat for the New England Patriots on Sunday would be a perfect end to the weekend.
Having opened as 5-point favorites earlier in the week, the Patriots are still at least 4-point favorites with most bookmakers as of Sunday morning, while the over/under is currently showing at 47-points.
SC Prediction - Regardless of how much I may want the contest to end differently, it is hard to see New England not moving on to the the AFC Championships once their game against the Chargers is concluded on Sunday. They may not be the version of the Patriots we have been used to seeing over the past few seasons, but that deal they made with the devil all those years ago is still likely to be strong enough to see them through. With the referees expected to chip in with a few questionable calls that favor New England, and a long road trip for Los Angeles, the Chargers will struggle against a team they have not beaten since 2008, losing their last four in a row to the Patriots.
Pick: Patriots straight up and with a spread of -4-points. Take the under at 47-points.
JH Prediction - Ahh the hated Patriots vs. Philip Rivers and company. This is one of those heart vs. head picks for me. I can’t stand the Patriots, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, yet can’t tolerate Rivers’ crying either. While I would love to see the Patriots get knocked off, I just don’t see it happening in Foxborough. The Chargers may keep it close, but I’ve seen this movie with the Patriots too much to pick against them.
Pick: I’ll take the Patriots straight up, and to cover the 4. As for the Over/Under, take the UNDER.
The New Orleans Saints were installed as the biggest favorites of the Divisional Round with an opening spread of -9-points and there has been only slight support in the betting for the Philadelphia Eagles since as spread settles at 8-points with kickoff approaching. An early totals position has also seen very little change from 51.5-points, with only a handful of bookmakers offering as high as 52-points at the time of writing.
SC Prediction - The Saints destroyed Philadelphia by a score of 48 to 7 when they met in Week 11 and it is hard to envision the outcome being much different for the rematch, even if the Eagles have upgraded at quarterback since then. New Orleans have never lost at home in the playoffs while Sean Payton has been their head coach and that looks unlikely to change against a team they have not lost to at home since 2007.
Pick: Saints straight up and with a spread of -8-points. With a totals position that could go either way at 52-points, I’m siding with the under expecting a big game for the New Orleans defense.
JH Prediction - Nick Foles is already beloved in Philadelphia, but if he pulls off this win Sunday afternoon he will be considered a deity in the city of brotherly love. Will it happen? It is hard to imagine against the Saints in the dome, but no one expected Foles to even get the Eagles to the playoffs, or win a playoff game, either. Yet here we are. I like the Eagles to keep it close, but the Foles magic might just run out in the big easy.
Pick: I’ll take the Saints straight up, but something tells me this isn’t going to be a blowout. I like 8 points, and while I would love the hook, I’ll take the Eagles getting the points. As for the Over/Under, take the UNDER.
Please add your selections in the comments section below and we will tally an overall winner at the end of postseason.