Vikings to Storm Philadelphia & Emerge With Home-Field Super Bowl

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Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:34 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 3:34 PM UTC

The Vikings snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last week with a miraculous win over the Saints. Minnesota now faces the NFC’s top-seeded Eagles on Sunday and have been installed as road favorites by the NFL oddsmakers. Can the Vikings do it again? 

Vikings (14-3 SU, 11-5 ATS) at Eagles (14-3 SU, 11-6 ATS)Free NFL Pick: Vikings -3Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The stellar season that the Minnesota Vikings have had is due in part to the pleasantly surprising efforts of quarterback Case Keenum. The undrafted fifth-year man out of the University of Houston (where he was prolific) has been a journeyman throughout his NFL career but has clearly found a home in Minnesota, where he finished the regular season with 3,547 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 15 regular-season games (14 starts). But even his NFC Player of the Month award in November was no match for his 61-yard miracle pass to Stefon Diggs that sealed the victory with no time left on the clock against the Saints last Sunday in the Divisional Round.

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What an ending!!! #Vikings #NFCChampionship #NFL #Playoffs pic.twitter.com/rR1rxZ8A2a

— David Bernardi (@DavidBernardi7) January 15, 2018
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Whether that momentum carries into this game is a question that can’t be answered, but there are several trends working in Minnesota’s favor and working against Philadelphia for Sunday's NFC title game at Lincoln Financial Field. Here are just a few.

  • Philadelphia is 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win.
  • Philadelphia is 1-4 ATS in their last five playoff games.
  • Philadelphia is 1-5 ATS in their last six games as a home underdog of 3.5-10.0.
  • Minnesota is 5-0 ATS in their last five games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Minnesota is 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a road favorite.
  • Minnesota is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.

In this game we have two serviceable quarterbacks with Keenum on the upper echelon of that scale, while Philadelphia's Nick Foles is at the bottom. We have two terrific run-stopping defenses with Philadelphia ending the regular season as the No. 1 unit, while Minnesota was No. 2 in that category. Both teams boast a Top 10 rushing game but both will be sorely tested against these superior rushing defenses. In addition, these teams mirror each other once again in terms of their passing games with Minnesota averaging 235 yards per game while Philadelphia averages 234.

The one discernible difference is in passing defense. The Vikings excel, allowing just 192 yards per game (ranked 2nd in the league), while the Eagles surrender an average of 227 yards per contest (17th). This is the key to the equation because Keenum is not only better than Foles but will have an easier pass defense to combat. Conversely, Foles will be pressured from Minnesota’s edge and interior rushers and is not nearly as adept as Keenum to handle the heat. I see Philadelphia falling behind and Foles being tasked with playing catch up through the air. That will lead to turnovers and what will ultimately be a double-digit victory for the Vikings -- meaning a home game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Super Bowl LII.

The NFL odds reflect Minnesota as anywhere from a 3- to 3 ½-point favorite as of this writing. Click on over to 5Dimes where you can get the road chalk at -3 in your NFL picks.

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