I’ve waited to post this because I wanted to get the best of this number. Having said that my pick is obviously the Saints. The Saints opened as 9 point favorites and that line has come down to 7.5 at even money. There is both public money on the defending champion Eagles and some professional money on the Eagles early, to get back in on the Saints and create a nice middle. Now that the line is only 7.5 I feel so much more comfortable taking the Saints. I think they win here by double digits.
The Saints have ben on fire and people are probably waiting for them to slow down. I don’t see it happening here. The Eagles defense has struggled this year. They are ranked 17th in defensive efficiency (14th passing, 24th rushing) and have faced the 19th hardest schedule of offenses. They face the Saints offense ranked 4th in overall efficiency (4th passing, 8th rushing) and they will be without top corner Ronald Darby. I don’t think the Eagles defense has any shot at stopping the Saints offense. The Saints offensive line is ranked 2nd in both rushing and passing and the Eagles D Line is ranked 9th and 15th. The only way to stop this offense is to pressure Drew Brees up the middle. That has been the blueprint to stopping the Saints offense for years. It is still not easy. The Bengals have maybe the best defensive tackle in the league in Geno Atkins but the Saints still kept the Bengals to only 2 QB hits and 0 sacks. The Eagles defense is not going to be able to contain the Saints. Especially at home.
On the other side of the ball we have the Eagles 18th ranked offense (19th passing, 19th rushing) against the Saints 27th ranked defense (28th passing, 3rd rushing). The Eagles offense has struggled all year because of their inability to run the ball consistently. Last year they had a great running game with a number of different running backs. Not only has their running game been struggling but they face off against the Saints smothering run defense. I see the Eagles having trouble moving the ball early and the Saints getting a 21-0 lead or better going into halftime. They should be able to keep the Eagles at bay after getting a huge lead. This is an east bet in the big easy.