Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Date and Time: Saturday, January 13, 2018, 4:35 p.m. ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Opening NFL Odds: Falcons -3, O/U 43.5
Eagles vs. Falcons TV Coverage: NBC
In fairness to the Eagles, they haven't lost many beats without Wentz. Sure, the North Dakota State man was an MVP candidate when he was injured, but Philadelphia still won 13 games this season, including both games of any consequence that Foles started.
It's easy to point at that 6-0 loss to Dallas in Week 17 and suggest that the Eagles are in a lot of trouble. Foles certainly didn't have his best day at the office, but the No. 1 seed was already wrapped up, and a lot of the regulars weren't on the field for very long, if at all.
Still, Foles is a competent backup. He's not the man who threw for 27 touchdowns against just two picks in Chip Kelly's offense back in 2013, but his raw numbers through basically three full games haven't been bad. Foles has thrown for 537 yards and has a 5/2 TD/INT ratio. If he's merely average and doesn't screw things up too badly on Saturday, the Eagles are going to be live underdogs.
The Falcons, though, are the first No. 6 seed in NFL history to be favored in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. All of the top online sportsbooks opened them as 3-point favorites, essentially insinuating that they're a full touchdown better than Philadelphia in its current form.
It's hard to argue with what the defending NFC champs did last week in Los Angeles. The Falcons were rather large dogs in that game, but they were definitively the better of the two sides. It hasn't quite all come together yet for the Falcons, but it's worth remembering that Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Julio Jones make up a dangerous foursome of players in this offense.
The Falcons weren't very good this year at finishing much of anything. They ranked No. 23 in the NFL in second half points per game and scored just 14 offensive touchdowns in the second halves of games this season.
Atlanta also couldn't finish this year on a micro scale either. The Falcons scored 33 offensive touchdowns and attempted 39 field goals. Fortunately, Matt Bryant had an excellent year, going 34-for-39 while making all 35 of his extra points, and there were several games where he bailed his squad out.
The same was true in Wild Card weekend.
The Falcons scored 26 points, but they could have put away the Rams much earlier than they did. They ran three 10+ play drives that ended in field goals over the course of the game, including posting a 26-3 advantage in snaps in the third quarter alone. In that third quarter, Atlanta outscored L.A. 6-0.
Falcons vs. Eagles Free Picks
The Eagles have a lot going against them in this one, but let's not forget that this is far more than a one-man team. Jay Ajayi has turned this running game into a powerful machine, and the rest of the weapons around Foles are still pretty darn good. This defense is strong at the point of attack, and Ryan hasn't exactly been in 2016 form for much of this season.
Of course, it could all come together for the Falcons, and we could easily see them blowing the doors off of the Eagles. That said, Philadelphia feels like the much better play to us. If Atlanta is settling for too many field goals in this game instead of touchdowns, the Eagles are going to make them pay.
NFL ATS Pick: Eagles +3 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Eagles 24, Falcons 16