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Eagles vs Saints NFL Free Pick

December 11, 2020
Saints at Eagles Free Pick

New Orleans Saints (10-2, 7-5 ATS) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1, 4-8 ATS) FREE PICK

The New Orleans Saints head to Philadelphia as one of only two NFL teams to have already clinched a playoff spot heading into Week 14. They will continue to ride the performance of backup quarterback Taysom Hill, who like Teddy Bridgewater a year ago, has yet to lose in his role as the replacement for future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.

With the Saints a seven-point road favorite at online sportsbooks, bettors would be wise to do one simple thing before considering a wager on this game – check Sunday’s weather in Philadelphia.

Saints on a Roll

The Saints haven’t lost a game since a Week 3 loss to Green Bay. Nine straight wins later and New Orleans is the No. 1 seed in the NFC currently. They have won their last three games with Hill as the starting quarterback.

Hill, who has played a number of positions for the Saints over the course of his career, has done an admirable job of managing the offense and leading New Orleans to two wins over Atlanta and a 31-3 win over Denver on the road.

Brees is actually eligible to return this week, but Saints head coach Sean Payton will most likely play it safe and start Hill for the fourth straight week. The Saints offense has averaged over 25 points per game with Hill running the show. What has been more impressive is the New Orleans defense.

New Orleans defense has played lights out over the past five weeks. The Saints have allowed just 44 points over the past five games. They are now fourth in the NFL in scoring defense giving up just 20.1 points per game.

The Saints rank first in total defense allowing opponents just 288.8 yards of offense per game. They rank No.2 against the run (76.1 ypg) and No. 4 against the pass (212.8). That spells bad news for the Philadelphia offense.

Hurts Takes Over

Last week, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson benched starting quarterback Carson Wentz in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts. The second-round draft pick responded with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ward, but the Eagles still lost to Green Bay 30-16.

Hurts will start against New Orleans in Week 14 taking over for Wentz, who is suffering the worst season of his young career. With Wentz at quarterback, Philadelphia has one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL (202.6 ypg). Plus, the Eagles only score 20.9 points per game.

What Eagles fans are hoping is that Hurts’ athletic ability will prevent him from being sacked over four times per game. Wentz is the most-sacked quarterback in the league. He has been sacked 50 times in 12 games this season.

The Saints Trey Hendrickson and Cameron Jordan rank among the NFL’s sack leaders. Hendrickson is third with 10.5 and Jordan checks in at No. 19 with 6.5. New Orleans has recorded 17 sacks in its last five games. Eight of those came in the first meeting with Atlanta. The bottom line is that the Saints have one of the NFL’s elite defenses and will be playing against a rookie quarterback.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It’s a great television show, but unfortunately it does not describe the forecast in Philadelphia this Sunday. While there is little chance for precipitation, there is a big chance that the winds flowing through Lincoln Financial Field will be in the 10 to 15 miles per hour range. That will create some problems.

In the last 31 games in Philadelphia with winds in the double digits, the Under has cashed 19 times. The Under is 19-11-1 with double digit wind speeds in Philly. While the wind will create some problems for both teams, consider that the Saints are on a run of five straight games in which the Total has gone Under. If that isn’t enough for you, the Under has hit in the last six straight Eagles games.

Sunday’s game features a rookie quarterback that finished last week’s game with a total QB rating of 34.3. He’ll be going up against a defense that is one of the best in the NFL. The Saints haven’t allowed more than 16 points in any of their past five games and Philadelphia hasn’t scored more than 17 in over a month.

 

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