0-2 Saturday, so I'm due.
MINNESOTA +8 at New Orleans
Joe Public has all but handed this game to the Saints, and it’s not hard to see why: New Orleans has scored nearly 38 ppg since that inexplicable home loss to Atlanta on Nov. 10 and was 6-2 at home this season. The scores in those home games are telling, though - take out blowouts of a young Arizona squad and the late-fading Colts and you have squeakers against Houston, Dallas and Carolina and a one-score win over Tampa Bay when the Saints were inexplicably only laying 3. They have won their last 3 opening-round playoff games under Drew Brees but by a total of 14 points. With Dalvin Cook healthy, I don’t see Minnesota letting this one get out of hand, despite Kirk Cousins’ prime-time struggles.
SEATTLE -1½ at Philadelphia
Whoever wins this game won’t be playing past next weekend, but this one should be entertaining regardless. Eagles’ -3 turnover differential is by far the worst of any of the playoff teams, and three of their last four wins came against the Giants and Redskins, who finished a combined 7-25. The Seahawks, meanwhile, seemed to be doing it with smoke and mirrors all season, somehow managing to go 11-5 while scoring a half-point per game more than they gave up and with every game seemingly decided by a last-second field goal or goal-line stand. They are the better team here, though, and should prevail.
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