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2018 NFC Championship Game Expert Analysis

The Vikings have been chasing another Super Bowl win since 1976 when they last found themselves in the big game. They face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, who will try to prove that despite a world of challenges they earned a chance for a ticket of their own.

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Philadelphia Eagles vs Minnesota Vikings Predictions

When: January 21, 2018, 6:40 PM ET
Where: Lincoln Financial Field
Spread: Vikings -3.5
Total: 38
Moneyline: Vikings -170 vs Eagles +150

How The Minnesota Vikings Can Win The Game

It was one of those things that you only see once in thousands of times. That the Minnesota Vikings find themselves in the NFC Championship game doesn’t reflect how they got here.

The late-game desperation play with no time left on the clock that ended in a 61-yard touchdown between Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs is one step closer to the first ever Super Bowl appearance by a team where the big game takes place.

However, the Vikings have to push past the emotional win and focus on the task ahead of defeating the Eagles for the NFC Championship title.

On offense, Case Keenum played well in general, finishing the game against New Orleans with a 62 percent pass completion, picking up 318 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

But, they struggled on the ground, gaining only 95 yards on 29 carries.

The job at hand will be to get their running backs going to help take pressure off Case Keenum and keep him in the pocket.

If they can pull that off, they have a better shot at getting the offense going.

This is easier said than done; the Eagles boast the top-rated rushing defense and Keenum might be forced to pass the ball quickly which could lead to all sorts of offensive mistakes.

The Vikings must keep the Eagles’ front seven occupied with running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon and shoot for short passes to its tight ends.

It’s the short-passing game that will be critical to both teams because whichever one is more successful at converting on third down and red zone opportunities, will likely win the game.

Vikings Betting Trends

  • Minnesota is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games
  • Minnesota is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 6 games

How The Philadelphia Eagles Can Win The Game

Even the oddsmakers were proved wrong by the Eagles who despite being the only top-seeded underdogs and against the odds went on to win their game against the Atlanta Falcons.

That they did it without Carson Wentz screams loudly that perhaps they can still make it to Super Bowl LLI and win it all.

The Eagles silenced the naysayers by doing their jobs, the defense stifled the Falcons offense and kept one of the best offenses in the league to just 10 points.

Matt Ryan was only able to complete 22 of 36 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown.

The Falcons also were unable to gain anything on the ground and only ended up with 86 yards on 20 carries.

The Eagles need another strong defensive performance to give Nick Foles a better shot at driving a successful offensive attack.

Foles showed that he’s up to the challenge, completing 23 of 30 attempts for 246 yards, but will have to zero in on another good performance.

The Eagles running game wasn’t as successful and has to improve. Though finishing with 96 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries, they committed a few key errors and struggled overall.

They need to stay focused on not giving Minnesota any opportunities to score easily, such as when Jay Ajayi’s fumbling of the ball which led to a Vikings score.

In the end, it’s going to come down to a well-executed game plan that favors Foles’ strengths.

Foles was able to connect with eight different receivers including his running backs and tight ends.

It’s a tough task given Minnesota’s great linebackers and overall defense.

One that kept future Hall Of Fame Quarterback Drew Brees out of the end zone through the first two quarters of the game against New Orleans.

This point cannot be understated.



But, if Foles can manage to run extended plays that move the chains little by little, he’ll control the flow of the game and open a way towards a win.

Eagles Betting Trends

  • Philadelphia is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games
  • Philadelphia is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Philadelphia is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games

If the Eagles defense holds tight and the offense can stick to the game plan, Philadelphia might walk out with a win.

Game Prediction and Pick

The Vikings are favored to win this game by 3.5 points. However, I expect a close game that will be won by the team that executes their game plan better. It’s going to be a win for the Vikings. I’m taking them at -3.5.

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