Nick Foles' Magical Powers Will Be Put to the Ultimate Test
Football basically defines the term specialist sport, with one particular role being unheralded until it isn't.
Many made enough of an impression to earn a starter's job and assume a higher visability.
Actually, the term refers to more reliance on the relievers, and that's a fitting description of Foles.
Dude's been money as the Philadelphia Eagles' starting slinger, which has been a frequent occurrence due to Carson Wentz's injury issues.
Foles and the Eagles have a daunting task on Wild Card Weekend, facing a Monsters of the Midway crew that was revitalized this year thanks to a generous contribution from the Oakland Raiders.
Why bet on Philadelphia ...
The Eagles have shown signs of finally putting everything together. Once Foles stepped into the starting role again, Philadelphia flourished.
First came the unreal 30-23 win over the Rams. Then, in Week 16, dudes beat the AFC's 3-seed, the Houston Texans, 32-30. Week 17 might've been their most complete performance this season. Knowing they had to beat rival Washington to have any shot at the postseason, the Eagles dominated with a 24-0 road win.
Why bet on Chicago ...
Speaking of peaking at the right time, that's been the Bears since late October.
Dudes are 7-1 SU and ATS at home. They closed the regular season at 12-4 SU and ATS and covered the spread in 9 of their last 10 games. Chicago allowed the fewest points per game during the regular season and ranked first in interceptions and third in sacks.
Specific to playing at home, the Bears rank first overall in net yards per play at home and 6 of their 7 wins at Soldier Field were by 7 points or more.
Instant analysis ...
Let's start with the intangible: Experience.
Virtually every Chicago coach and player will be making their playoff debut, while the Eagles have obviously been there and done that in spades. They just seem to find a way.
Still, the Bears are on a roll both straight up and against the spread. Chicago’s won 9-of-10. They’ve also gone 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games. That’s a much better record against the spread than what Philadelphia’s done.
This could be the key stat, though: The Bears’ last four games have had a minuscule average combined score of 29.75. Combine that with the Eagles’ ability to keep opponents out of the end zone on red-zone.
A slugfest appears likely.
Total pick: Under 41½
Result: Philadelphia 16 Chicago 15 ... under covers
Sportbet Columnist: Josh Bailey
Aspiring to become the Mark Twain of sportswriting, Josh has been labelled as the up-&-coming sportswriter of the year by absolutely nobody and the new heavy hitter in sports handicapping by his mother.