NO. 6 VIKINGS (10-6) at NO. 3 SAINTS (13-3)
Line: NO by 8.
Cote’s pick: NO, 31-20. (1:05 p.m., Fox).
Drew Brees has N’Awlins humming with 34-plus points in six of past seven games. Hesitation here is that record-setting Michael Thomas, his top target, has hand injury (he will play but likely not at 100 percent), while Vikes have RB Dalvin Cook healthy after two weeks’ rest. Kirk Cousins has struggled without Cook adding balance, but Cook confronts strong run defense here, while Minny corners will be no match for Thomas. Vikes on 1-6 skid as road dogs, and in a big game, Cousins is to Brees what Spam is to filet mignon.
NO. 5 SEAHAWKS (11-5) at NO. 4 EAGLES (9-7)
Line: SEA by 1½.
Cote’s pick: PHI 23-20. (4:40 p.m., NBC).
These are the two most banged-up rosters in playoffs, exemplified by their RB stars last week: Seattle’s Travis Homer and Philly’s out-of-nowhere Boston Scott. These also are only wild-card weekend foes who met during season. Seattle won at Philly 17-9 in Week 12. Why? Five Eagles turnovers. And still it was one-score game. Give me Birds in upset this time, even with TE Zach Ertz iffy. Venue tilts the pick. See Philly’s defense, especially against run, rising up at home to end Russell Wilson’s season.
Byes: No. 1 seed 49ers (13-3), second favorite to win Super Bowl, host lower-seeded surviving team Jan. 11 at 4:35. No. 2 Packers (13-3) host higher-seeded surviving team Jan. 12 at 6:40.