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Super Bowl: Patriots vs Eagles Money Line and Prediction

Philadelphia Eagles(15-3) @ New England Patriots(15-3)

  • Where: U.S. Bank Stadium. Minneapolis, MN (Neutral Site)
  • When: February 4, 2018 6:30 pm EST
  • Spread: Philadelphia (+4.5) vs New England (-4.5)
  • Moneyline: Philadelphia (+155) vs New England (-175)
  • Over / Under: Over 48 (-110) vs Under 48 (-110)

Nothing could highlight the madness of modern sports like 2 stories out of New England on the weekend before Super Bowl LII.

In one, a popular retro-fetish was satisfied as CBS Sports simulated the Patriots-Eagles match-up with good old Tecmo Bowl. What a gas! (Philadelphia won by the way, 16-10.) In the other, a grown man insulted a small child for no reason other than championship-game anxiety.

Tom Brady and the Pats continue to have it all their way on the gridiron. Everything else is a hot mess, culminating in Brady lashing out at a Boston radio host for calling his Kindergarten-age daughter a “pissant.”

But controversy hasn’t hurt New England’s inexorable run to yet another big dance. Brady has been injured, Belichick is rumored to be leaving for New York, and Robert Kraft may be losing his hair for good very soon. Yet the Patriots came back in the 4th quarter of the AFC Championship Game, beating Jacksonville 24-20 in a classic.

If the Eagles are going to win, they can’t rely on any distractions hurting the Bostonians. At least on game day, the Patriots are still the most focused and well-coached pigskin team in the world.

That’s not lost on Vegas odds-makers. Belichick’s boys are favored in the money line and pro handicappers aren’t flocking to tout Philly. Is there value in a bet on the underdog in America’s biggest sporting event?

Blowouts are for the Birds

Are bettors dismissing the Birds thanks to Minnesota’s collapse in the NFC title game? Or is Philadelphia just so good that they made the Vikings look bad? Perhaps pundits are obsessed with QB talent as usual, thinking that there is no way Doug Pederson’s club should have won a championship contest by 31 points with its backup quarterback.

Certainly, Philly could have an even more electrifying offense with injured phenom Carson Wentz taking snaps. But Nick Foles is no ordinary backup – and the Eagles are no ordinary team.

Foles was brilliant from the pocket against the feared Minnesota defense, going 26 of 33 for 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns. Not only did the signal-caller not turn the ball over once, he hit 5 different receivers with 3 or more completions.

Meanwhile, the Philly defense was terrific. Case Keenum was hit 8 times and was forced into 3 timely turnovers. A boring, by-the-numbers blow-out it was not. The Vikings played hard and played well at times, but the Birds simply rose to another level.

But good, scrappy defense isn’t enough to take down the Patriots. The Jaguars could not stop Brady at all when it counted. 30 or 31 NFL defenses would fall in the same situation, but is Philadelphia the one special team that can stop Tom Terrific in the 4th quarter?

Chances are, they won’t do it with a dominant pass rush – the unit had less than 40 sacks during the season. But averaging giving up 8.5 points against the Falcons and Vikings speaks volumes.

Patriot games

For all his tactical mastery, Belichick’s best move of the season came early-on when The Hoodie chose to compensate for Brady’s old legs by running power hand-offs from the I-formation.

The enhanced ground game – and the ability of offensive linemen to push forward and wear down opposing pass rushers – has made all the difference.

That same running game dried up somewhat against Jacksonville, however, gaining less than 50 yards on 19 attempts. It was Brady’s ability to out-play playoff newbie Blake Bortles that turned the tide, along with a stiffened Pats defense in the 2nd half.

New England can go back to a wide-open, pass-first attack with success almost any time it wants to. But which route will Belichick and Brady choose? Certainly, the aging Patriots’ HOFer doesn’t want to take close to double-digit hits from Eagle defenders like Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. On the other hand, Philadelphia’s run defense has been stout.

A run-heavy attack from the defending Super Bowl champs could play into the underdog’s hands, allowing Foles a few chances to grab a lead early. Wide-open tactics, meanwhile, could create a roulette-wheel scenario in which the clash could be high-scoring and go either way.

Philly might not be twice as good as any ‘D the Patriots have faced this year. But given New England’s reliance on a healthy ground game (to score 30+ against an excellent defense, they’ll likely need one) means that the disciplined Birds may simply match-up better than the Jags did.

MSB’s Super Bowl LII Money Line Pick

Click here to wager on the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis and get a $250 sign-up bonus from Bovada Sportsbook.

There is no easy money at U.S. Bank Stadium. But ask the teller – er, the soothsayer – and the Eagles are the better ML wager at (+155).

Belichick knows that Foles is just as nicked-up as Brady, having suffered a minor rib injury in the playoffs. The Patriots are likely to blitz early-on and try to knock Foles out of the game. If Zach Ertz can block as well as he can catch and the Philly QB hits open WRs, then the Birds will challenge for the upset and make it a highly-unpredictable game.

In any 50-50 call, the ‘dog will hunt. Take Philadelphia on the money line for the best wager in the Twin Cities on Sunday.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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