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ABOUT THE COLTS (11-5, 10-6 ATS): Indianapolis' offense went sideways when Luck lost his favorite target, Reggie Wayne, to a season-ending knee injury in Week 7. After a stretch of uneven performances, Luck has established a chemistry with young wideouts T.Y. Hilton, Griff Whalen and Da'Rick Rogers, throwing for eight touchdowns and one interception over the final four weeks. Hilton has emerged as a go-to receiver in his second season, hauling in 24 passes during the three-game win streak to finish with 82 on the season. Donald Brown has helped ease the sting of the trade for running back Trent Richardson by averaging 5.3 yards per carry and scoring six rushing TDs - two against the Chiefs. Robert Mathis, who had a league-high 19.5 sacks, heads a defense that yielded two TDs in the final three games
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5, 53.5)
The New Orleans Saints have dominated opponents at home this season, but the road has been a different story for Drew Brees and company. The sixth-seeded Saints take aim at the first road playoff win in franchise history Saturday night when they visit the third-seeded Philadelphia Eagles, who enter this matchup as one of the hottest teams in the postseason. There likely will be no shortage of points, as the Eagles (second) and Saints (fourth) are among the league leaders in total offense while featuring some of the NFL's top skill-position players - Brees and Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, and the Eagles' duo of quarterback Nick Foles and running back LeSean McCoy, just to name a few.
New Orleans had lost three of four before routing Tampa Bay 42-17 last week - a win that improved the Saints to 8-0 at home compared to their 3-5 record on the road. The Eagles, meanwhile, had lost 10 straight home games before winning their final four contests at Lincoln Financial Field, but first-year coach Chip Kelly knows that while the Saints present a much tougher challenge, the focus remains the same. "You can't be like, ‘Oh my God, now we are in the playoffs and we've got to do this,'" said Kelly. "I think that's really not our mindset. It's, we have got a really, really good Saints team coming in here and we have to prepare the heck out of our guys and play a big game on Saturday night."
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE: The Eagles have held steady as 2.5-point faves. The total opened at 54.5 and has moved down to 53.5.
WEATHER: It should be clear with temperatures in the mid 20s.
Matchup: New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles
Spread: Eagles minus-2.5
Public consensus pick: 56 percent picked Saints
Public perception: Both of these teams with high-flying offenses often receive a lot of public support, so it's no surprise that the public is relatively split here. The Saints, with Drew Brees and more recent playoff success, get the nod from the public, though just like the Chiefs-Colts game it hasn't been enough to budge this line through the middle of the week.
Wiseguys' view: While some sharps are sure to be on the Saints as well, many will be willing to fade them on the road. It has become abundantly clear that the Saints are a juggernaut at home but a different team on the road. They were just 3-5 SU and 1-7 ATS this season away from New Orleans.
Tuley's Take: I just can't trust the Saints to reverse their road trend. At the same time, I don't trust either team's defense. So even though I don't often bet overs in playoff games (and this total of 53.5 sure seems high), I feel that's the best bet in this game. The weather is expected to be cold, especially with the late starting time, but we saw in the Lions-Eagles game and other inclement-weather games late in the season that scoring is more dictated by the teams than the elements.
Wunderdog says: "The Eagles closed out the season 7-1, and were finally the team everyone thought they would be a year ago. But, Nick Foles was actually a lot better on the road than at home this season (mirroring his team's fate). Foles put up a 138.4 passer rating on the road, which fell to just 94.1 at home. New Orleans' home/road dichotomy is well noted. In home games, Brees owns a ridiculous 126.3 passer rating. But send him out under the elements, and his passer rating falls 41.5 points to 84.8 (the league average this season was 84.1).
"The New Orleans defense gets a lot of credit, and rightfully so, as they are vastly improved. But what goes unnoticed is the improvement by the Eagles defense. Outside the no-show debacle in Minnesota, Philadelphia has not allowed any other team to score more than 22 points against them since Week 4. The Saints have feasted on porous defenses going 15-5 ATS the past three seasons versus teams that give up 350-plus yards per game. Still, Philadelphia is just 3-12 ATS at home the past two seasons, and New Orleans is 1-7 ATS on the road this season. In the end, this is too tough a game to call. Pass."