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Unanswered points by Eagles after Vikings take 7-0 lead in NFC Championship Game

Putting it on the Line

Posted by Eric Fisher On January 11

I thought the betting lines were too high last week – and I was correct. My mistake was in not selecting all four of the road underdogs. Instead, I selected the Jaguars (-9), who managed a seven-point win over the Bills. That prevented me from beginning the postseason with a 4-0 record.

The lines seem much more in line, if you’ll pardon the expression, this weekend. There aren’t any easy games.

After calling out the lines as being too high last week, you might be surprised that my “best bet” this week is the Patriots (-13½) over the visiting Titans. The Patriots haven’t quite been the Patriots during the final month of the regular season, but they still do what the Patriots do, which is win by double digits. During the second half of the season, six of the Patriots’ seven victories were by double digits, with the exception being a three-point win over the Steelers. The smallest margin in those six games, which include home and away victories, was 18 points. The Titans have a good defense, but they don’t score many points. The Titans tend to keep games close, but I’ll take the Patriots’ blowout trend at home over the Titans’ keeping-it-close trend.

My “other top pick” is the Steelers (-7) over the Jaguars. Yes, I know the Jaguars posted a 30-9 victory over the Steelers in early October. I’m also aware that the Steelers’ pattern this season has been to eke out narrow victories. But a revenge game in Pittsburgh, where the high temperature is expected to be 16 degrees on Sunday and the low around zero, convinced me to select the Steelers.

I like the Eagles (+3) as home underdogs, but not enough to make them one of my best bets. The 5-point line for the Vikings over the Saints is a good line. The Vikings don’t give up many points at home. In fact, the 19 points scored by the Saints in the season opener, which was won by the Vikings, is the most points the Vikings allowed at home this season. I picked the Saints to cover in a low-scoring game.

(Home team in CAPS)                                           

(Winning team against the line in bold)

EAGLES +3 vs. Falcons

PATRIOTS -13½ vs. Titans

STEELERS -7 vs. Jaguars

Saints +5 at VIKINGS

Best bet: PATRIOTS -13½ vs. Titans

Other top pick: STEELERS -7 vs. Jaguars

Last week: 3-1 (132-114-11 overall)

Best bet: 1-0 (8-10 overall)

Other top picks: 1-0 (31-31-4 overall)

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