NFC Wild Card: Philadelphia Eagles Vs Chicago Bears
Nick Foles and the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will look to get the big road upset against Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears when the two Super Bowl hopefuls square off in their NFC Wild Card clash on Sunday.
If you’re an NFL betting enthusiast that wants to know whether Foles and the Birds can get the road upset or whether Mack and the Bears are the better pick, then let’s get to our expert betting prediction right now.
The Eagles hit the postseason on a nice roll, having won three straight with Nick Foles under center and five of their final six games overall. The Birds blanked Washington 24-0 in their regular season finale last weekend and saw their ticket to the postseason punched when Minnesota lost to…Chicago shortly after their win over the Redskins. Nick Foles passed for 221 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while hooking up with wide receiver Nelson Agholor on both TD tosses.
“This guy does have a big arm, and he does like to throw the deep ball,” Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said of Foles on Thursday. “If there’s a chance he can throw a deep ball, and he sees it, he will throw it. That’s his mentality. That’s Doug’s mentality. So, they will do it. A big part of this game will be how we defend the deep ball.”
The Eagles are putting up 22.9 points per game (18th) and giving up 21.8 points per contest defensively (12th).
The Bears hit the playoffs even hotter than Philly by winning four straight and nine of their final 10 regular season contests overall. Chicago put a halt to Minnesota’s playoff hopes by dominating their NFC North division rivals in their 24-10 Week 17 road win. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky passed for a modest 163 yards while running back Jordan Howard rushed for 109 yards and two scores. Chicago’s defense limited Kirk cousins to a paltry 132 passing yards while holding the Vikings to just 63 rushing yards.
“Everything’s on the line; it’s do-or-die,” Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks said of the quickly approaching playoffs. “If you’re not there to play, then you’ll be packing your black bag early, and it’s never fun.”
The Bears are averaging 26.3 points per game to rank ninth in scoring while limiting the opposition to just 17.7 points per game to rank first in points allowed.
Expert Pick and Prediction
The Philadelphia Eagles might be playing their best football of the season right now under Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, but the Chicago Bears are the better team on both sides of the ball and that’s why they’ll beat the Birds to advance to the divisional round.
Philadelphia has been wildly inconsistent all season long and I’m expecting the Eagles to struggle mightily against Chicago’s lockdown defense, much like everyone else has this season. Still, I think the 6.5-point spread for this matchup is just a bit too high, which is why I’m going to advise you to back Philly to narrowly cover the chalk.
Chicago has gone 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall, 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win and a bankroll-boosting 16-4-1 ATS in their last 21 home games.
However, the Eagles are a perfect 4-0 ATS in their last four games in the month of January, 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 6-2 ATS in their last eight road playoff games. Chicago is playing at home and the Bears are the better statistical team on both sides of the ball. However, Philadelphia is playing well enough and they have enough experience to cover the spread.
Predicted Score: Philadelphia Eagles 20 | Chicago Bears 24
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