N.F.L. Playoffs: Eagles Are A Rare Top Seeded Underdog

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes the ball against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on December 31, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles will kick off their postseason against the sixth-seeded Atlanta Falcons as rare home underdogs for Saturday's NFC Divisional Round matchup. The Eagles have not been home dogs in the playoffs since 2000, when they upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-3, while the Falcons are listed as road chalk in the postseason for the first time.

NFL point spread: The Falcons opened as 2.5-point favorites; the total was 44 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 21.6-20.8 Eagles (NFL picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news.


Why the Falcons can cover the spread

Atlanta showed last week that experience matters now more than ever, as the defending NFC champions doubled up the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 on the road. The Falcons get to face a Philadelphia team without MVP candidate Carson Wentz, and they have the reigning MVP on their side in Matt Ryan, who threw for 218 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions versus the Rams.

Ryan outplayed Los Angeles' Jared Goff and will be the best signal-caller on the field again opposite counterpart Nick Foles.


Why the Eagles can cover the spread

The Eagles know they are underdogs in this game and will undoubtedly use that as motivation here. Not only that, but they have won seven of the past eight home meetings with Atlanta straight up, going 6-1-1 against the spread in those games.

They have also gone 5-1 SU in their last six divisional playoff games, and Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson will make sure that Foles is more than ready for the challenge ahead. The Eagles still have a strong running game and defense, which can get them a win.


Smart pick

No top-seeded team has ever been a dog in the divisional round, but no top-seeded team had lost its top player going into the postseason either.

While this will not be an easy task for Philadelphia, Atlanta is not playing in Los Angeles, where the weather and crowd were not factors working in the home team's favor. The Eagles have been home dogs in the playoffs twice dating back to 1995 and won both times. Bet on them to do it a third time in this spot as the Falcons show their weaknesses that led them to only a wild card.


NFL betting trends

The total has gone under in nine of the Falcons' last 12 games against the Eagles.

The Falcons are 1-7 SU and 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games on the road against the Eagles.

The Eagles are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games at home.


All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.

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N.F.L. Playoffs: Eagles Are A Rare Top Seeded Underdog


N.F.L. Playoffs: Eagles Are A Rare Top Seeded Underdog

N.F.L. Playoffs: Eagles Are A Rare Top Seeded Underdog


N.F.L. Playoffs: Eagles Are A Rare Top Seeded Underdog