Philadelphia Eagles (8-5 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-9 SU, 7-6 ATS)
NFL Week 15
Date and Time: Sunday, December 15, 2013, 1:00 pm EST
Where: Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minn.
TV: FOX/DirecTV 706
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PHI. -4.5/MIN. +4.5
Over/Under Total: 51.5
The Philadelphia Eagles have won five straight games and
are surging at just the right time under rookie head coach Chip Kelly, with
a date against the hobbled Minnesota Vikings on the road in the Metrodome
this Sunday as the next step towards the NFC East title.
The Eagles took a one-game last week with a blowout win over the Detroit Lions in the snowstorm in Philly, 34-20. LeSean McCoy set a new franchise record with 217 yards rushing against the Lions defense that was overmatched by Kellys scheme as much as the elements. With a Cowboys loss on Monday Night Football the Eagles gained an extra game cushion before the showdown versus the Cowboys in the finale, so beating the injured and struggling Vikings on the road is important to the cause this week.
Minnesota not only lost in a wacky, wide-open end of the game sequence last week at Baltimore, 29-26, but they also lost heart-n-soul Adrian Peterson early in the game to a foot strain that is likely to keep him out of this weeks game. Peterson vowed to be ready to play, but test results late on Monday had team doctors putting A.P. in a walking boot until further notice.
With the latest updates on Peterson public knowledge, a game that opened with the Eagles as 2-point road favorites as since jumped two points to Philly minus -4.5, -5 and even a few minus -6s at some of the offshore sportsbooks on the Web.
The over/under total opened at 50 and has moved up a point to 51 at most sportsbooks, with a few adding the hook to make the number 51.5 and take the push out of play.
With only a few weeks left in the season the Eagles offense seems to be peaking, with quarterback Nick Foles putting up playstation numbers (20 TD- 1 INT, 120 QB passer rating 1st in NFL) running Kelly scheme. In fact, McCoy, Desean Jackson, and even Riley Cooper are experiencing renascence on offense, the offense that puts up 409 yards a game (3rd) including a league-best 159 yards on the ground each week. The Vikings defense is one of the leagues worst in pass defense (allow 283 ypg 30th), but you can bet that if they have to commit more resources to stop the Eagles running game well, lets just say the Eagles offense looks like they should have success inside on the Metrodome carpet o Sunday.
Without Peterson the Vikings will hand the ball to Toby Gerhart, who is a very solid runner that doesnt get much time behind the freak of nature Peterson. With Matt Cassel behind center the past few weeks, the Vikings offense has finally been distributing the ball around to its weapons (i.e. Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson), and scoring hasnt been the problem (24.7 ppg 14th). I can only guess how many snaps the Eagles defense will be forced to play in this game, especially if their offense continues its roll, which one of the reasons they still give up huge yards in the air (285 ypg 31st) and overall.
These two havent met on the gridiron since 2010, a 24-14 win for the Vikings in Philly in a game that snapped the Eagles five-game win streak over the Vikings (dating back to 2001). All told, the Eagles still own the Vikings, with a 8-2 SU and 8-2 ATS record going back to 1989.
Not only does the over look like a good wager because both defenses in this game stink, but the trends go along in the overs favor too. The over is 6-1 in the Eagles last seven road games, and its 6-1 in Vikings home games this year.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This is going to be a track meet. When I picture this game I see huge runs by McCoy for large chunks of yards, and then points for the Vikings coming back because the Eagles defense has to play 45 minutes and 70 snaps. This game goes over, by halftime maybe. Take the over of 51.