The two best teams in the NFC square off Sunday afternoon for the second time this season in the NFC Championship Game.
The New Orleans Saints earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC because of the head-to-head tiebreaker they earned over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9.
Home-field advantage is significant for the Saints, as they’re 6-0 in home playoff games during the Drew Brees era and the home team has won the last five NFC Championship Games.
Although the Rams come into Sunday’s game at a disadvantage, they still have the potential to shock the Saints at home and pave their own path to Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
NFC Championship Game Information
Start Time: 3:05 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go or Fox Sports app
In addition to Fox, the game can be viewed on FuboTV.
It’s not shocking to see the Saints listed as the favorite for the NFC Championship Game because of their home-field advantage and Week 9 win over the Rams.
According to OddsShark, the Saints are a three-point favorite and the over/under line is set at 56.5 points.
In their seven home victories this season, the Saints have an average margin of victory of 14.4 points, but that number is a bit skewed by the 41-point win it earned over Philadelphia in Week 11.
Two of the seven wins were by three points, as Cleveland in Week 2 and Pittsburgh in Week 16 pushed the Saints until the end in the Superdome.
However, history suggests the Saints will be involved in a tight affair since four of their six home playoff victories in the Brees era were by seven points or less.
In their last NFC Championship Game appearance, the Saints needed overtime to beat Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in 2010.
The Rams were 6-2 on the road in the regular season, with their most significant victories coming against Seattle and Denver, but they lost their two contests to playoff teams Chicago and New Orleans.
Sean McVay’s team is in possession of four double-digit road wins, but those came against Arizona, Detroit, San Francisco and Oakland, so you can’t base Sunday’s outcome off that sample size.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
What you can use to predict Sunday’s final score is the total points scored on the road by the Rams, as they averaged 28.75 points per game on their travels, including a 35-point output in the Superdome.
New Orleans averaged 29.2 points per game in their nine home games, but they eclipsed 40 points on four occasions.
If both teams hit those averages Sunday, the over will hit by one point, which is a promising sign for those sold on another shootout in New Orleans.
It’s going to be hard to convince anyone to select the under, but the one argument that can be made in favor of it is New Orleans’ second-rankedrushing defense stopping the Rams running backs.
It’ll be more difficult for the Saints to stop Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson with Sheldon Rankins out injured, but they were able to hold the Eagles to 49 rushing yards in the divisional round in a game in which Rankins left in the first half.
If you believe the Saints can stop Gurley and Anderson, you might be able to convince yourself that the under is the best bet.
However, the most ideal wagers for Sunday are the Saints and the over based off New Orleans’ postseason history at home and the propensity of both offenses to put points on the scoreboard.