NFL Free Pick: PHI/MIN

The NFC North Champion Minnesota Vikings host the sixth-seeded Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday in the final Wild Card matchup of the weekend. See below to see which team who chose for our NFL playoff free pick.

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for the NFL Playoffs.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Eagles -3 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 42 total points.

Key Trend: The Eagles are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games and 10-4 against the number in their last 14 games on the road. Philly is 9-1 against the spread in its last 10 games when playing Minnesota, while the Vikings are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games at home.

Key Stat: The Eagles have averaged 26 points per game while allowing just 18.1 PPG. Philly has the edge in this matchup in passing yards per game (244.2 to 182.2) and pass defense yards allowed (182.1 to 215.6).

Game Outlook: This game is going to come down to experience. Donovan McNabb has it, Tarvaris Jackson and Adrian Peterson don’t. The Eagles have been one of the more inconsistent teams in the NFL this season, but the Vikings haven’t been much better in that department. They struggled against the Giants’ scrubs last week and Peterson can’t keep putting the ball on the turf. Brad Childress will likely take the game out of Jackson’s hands and rest it squarely on Peterson’s shoulders, so look for Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Johnson to load up against the run and force Jackson to make plays in the passing game. This won’t happen as Jackson will likely succumb to the Eagles’ blitz pressure and the home crowd will eventually be taken out of the game. Another thing to keep an eye on is how the Eagles neutralize dynamic pass-rusher Jared Allen. Philly loves to run draw plays and screens, which can be very effective against a speed rusher like Allen. Watch for Andy Reid to suck Allen up the field and then shoot the play in the void left by the defensive end. The Eagles are the more experienced team and a lot of time, that’s more important than how a team did in the regular season. This is going to be a close contest, but the Eagles defense will eventually shut down Peterson and Jackson won’t do enough to mount a victory. For the rest of our NFL Free Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the NFL Playoff Wild Card matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings is

Philadelphia Eagles

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Philadelphia Eagles 24

Minnesota Vikings 20

We also predict that this game will GO OVER THE TOTAL (42 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 1/4/09 10:00AM ET

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