Conference Championship NFL Picks: Vikings at Eagles

NFC Conference Championship picks

The Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles clash on Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line!

Our past two playoff picks went 2-0 and for the Conference Championship round, we focused on the Over/Under from Minnesota and Philly.

By Pick Sixty Sports

Not sure if you noticed but the Minnesota Vikings are on some kind of run. Coming into this Conference Championship matchup vs. the Eagles, Minny has won 12 of its past 13 games. They are 9-1-3 ATS in that stretch and the one loss at Carolina (Week 14) was the final leg of a three-game road swing.

If we take that loss out of the mix, Minnesota has outscored its opponents 25.7 to 14.1 in this stretch. In seven true road games this year, the Vikings have allowed big points to the Steelers, Skins, Lions and Panthers, but for my money three of those four teams had a better overall offense that Philly. It sets this total up as the lowest to date in the 2017 NFL Playoffs.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Conference Championship Odds: Vikings -3 and O/U 39.5

Current Super Bowl Odds: Vikings +175 and Eagles +650

Philadelphia has been home for three-straight, allowing 10, 6 and 10 points in that span. They have given up 13 points per game (PPG) in nine home dates this season, going 3-6 O/U. Only three teams have scored more than 10 points in Philly all season. Two of them came at the tail end of what had been lopsided matchups throughout.

Philly leads the league with a 1.0 first quarter points allowed average. They rank second in first-half points allowed (4.8) and second in third quarter points allowed (2.2). Jim Schwartz’s defense does not allow for fast starts and they don’t make for easy adjustments.

This total opened low and has made three half-point jumps to its current high of 39.5. There is a strong chance this number gets to 40 by kickoff. Two injuries we are keeping an eye on Vikes WR Adam Thielen (back) as well as safety Andrew Sendejo (concussion). In the meantime, I have noticed this alarming rise in lower totaled games compared to recent years.

  • From 2014 to 2017, the number of games with a total listed at 40 or less has gone 11-11-19-43
  • The overall record from those games is 56% UNDER and in 2017, 53% UNDER. Teasing these games “Under” in a 10-pointer is 11-72-1 O/U (87%).
  • On grass, the teaser percentage falls to 85% effectiveness but flat bets improve to 60% overall at 20-30-2 O/U.
  • This season they are 11-16 O/U (59% UNDER) but playoff games in Round 2-3 since 2001 swing back the other way to 11-8 O/U.

Another interesting note is that when the betting line was between the 3’s, home teams in the playoff sample are 1-5 SU and 1-5-1 ATS. The home side was outscored 24.8 to 16 in those six games. Betting against these home faves in the first-half, you went 5-1 ATS and the Minnesota first-half line is -2.5 points.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS: TOTALLY COVERED

Case Keenum’s career record in outdoor road games is 6-7 SU and 4-9-1 O/U. Sure, in 2017 he went 3-2 SU and 2-3 O/U but he still only averaged 206 passing yards and a 1.6 to 0.8 TD:INT ratio. His career average as an outdoor starter is 186 PYPG and a 1.1 to 0.6 TD:INT ratio.

Road faves in one of the profiles I’m tracking are 58% ATS overall (116 game sample size), but in the playoffs that slips to 1-4 ATS. Overall totals are 43-69-4 O/U (61% UNDER) and those five playoff games went 0-5 O/U. Another angle that pertains to this matchup has gone 28-41-3 O/U since 2012. Every one of those season lends support to the 59% UNDER record.

Despite traveling 22.3 yards per point (YPPT) in last week’s win over Atlanta, the Eagles still fall into a category for playoff teams who average less than 15.0 YPPT on offense. Home dogs in this profile are usually getting around +3.5 points and coming up short more than 60% of the time. Totals, however, have stayed under at a 72% rate including a 1-12 O/U record for totals less than 45.

SP PLAY OF THE WEEK: CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Vikings are laying points in Philly this week for the same reason Atlanta was in Round 2. One difference is that the Falcons were led by Matt Ryan and the Vikes have Keenum. I am not going to take away from what Keenum accomplished all season but he was not lined up against this tough a defense week in and week out.

Playoff teams like Minny that made such strides as they have over the course of a year do not have a great record laying points on the road. In Over/Under betting they are 5-11 O/U and totals between 37 and 45 have a record of 1 over and 7 unders. The Vikings pass protection has improved dramatically over the past few seasons and I’m expecting a great gameplan here out of all the coaches/coordinators on both sides. There is no need to rush this play. The weather report looks good and the public money are driving up the price. Wait for a 40 and if you have to, buy a half-point.

Super Picks Play of the Week: Take the Vikings and Eagles UNDER 40 points

Follow @PickSixtySports for more on the NFL Conference Championship weekend!