X

NFC Championship Game 2018: Updated Odds, Prop Bets for Vikings vs. Eagles

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2018

This Stefon Diggs catch propelled the Vikings into the NFC title game.
This Stefon Diggs catch propelled the Vikings into the NFC title game.Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The Minnesota Vikings were getting ready for another heartbreaking defeat. After building a 17-0 halftime lead, the Vikings were unable to keep New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in check in their NFC divisional playoff game.

Their seemingly secure lead disappeared, and when PK Wil Lutz booted a 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds remaining to give a 24-23 edge to New Orleans, it was all over but the crying.

Vikings fans were crushed, and they gave no thought to their team pulling off a miracle finish. Miracles were for other teams.

That's when it happened. Quarterback Case Keenum put up a pass near the right sideline, and wideout Stefon Diggs went up for it. As he jumped, it appeared he had a good chance to catch it, and if he could get out of bounds before the last second ticked off the clock, placekicker Kai Forbath might be able to attempt the game-winning field goal.

But when Diggs came down, he did not feel the hard hit he was expecting. There was no soft hit, either, as Saints defensive back Marcus Williams simply whiffed.

Diggs was a bit off balance as he came down, and he put a hand on the ground to support himself, and then he took off down the sidelines for the game-winning score that gave the Vikings a 29-24 win and put them into the NFC Championship Game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer must get his team focused on the task at hand and not reflect on what happened against the Saints. If Minnesota is focused in this game, the Vikings appear to have an advantage even though they are playing on the road.

They have the No. 1 defense in the league, featuring pass rusher Everson Griffen—who led the team with 13.0 sacks during the regular season. They have physical linebackers in Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, along with one of the smartest and most effective safeties in the game in Harrison Smith.

The Vikings also have a more cohesive and effective offensive team than the Eagles at this point. Keenum is a gutsy leader who throws short- and medium-range passes well and does a good job of sliding in the pocket to avoid the pass rush.

The running game is in solid hands with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon, while Diggs and Adam Thielen have become one of the league's best receiving duos. Add in tight end Kyle Rudolph, and the Vikings attack has options.

Nick Foles is charged with leading the Philadelphia offense.
Nick Foles is charged with leading the Philadelphia offense.Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Eagles certainly looked like the most complete and dangerous NFC team throughout the majority of the season, but when they lost Carson Wentz to an ACL injury in Week 8, their offensive cohesiveness disappeared.

Backup quarterback Nick Foles struggled badly in Week 16 and 17 against the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, but he looked better in the divisional playoff win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Foles completed 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards without an interception. If he can perform at or above that level against the Vikings, the Eagles have a chance to survive and advance.

The Vikings are three-point road favorites at Lincoln Financial Field, and the total is 38.5, according to OddsShark.

As the postseason reaches its most crucial weeks, prop bets are starting to get plentiful.

While there will be far more available for the Super Bowl, there are several that bettors can consider, and they are listed at OddsShark.

One of those has to do with the number of touchdowns in the game. Bettors who believe more than four touchdowns will be scored can risk $145 to win $100. Those who believe that there will be fewer than four TDs can risk $100 to earn a profit of $105.

Bettors can also make a wager on the highest scoring quarter in the game. Those betting on the first quarter will be rewarded with a plus-600 payoff, meaning a $100 bet will give the bettor back his original $100 wager along with a profit of $600. A second-quarter selection is offered at plus-165, the third quarter at plus-475 and the fourth is at plus-195.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.