NFL: Super Bowl LII – New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles: Can Brady’s Bunch Claim Another Ring at the Big Dance?

Last September, thirty-two teams began the NFL season all with hopes and aspirations of participating in the biggest game in the sport this coming Sunday in Minnesota. Thirty clubs have all fallen by the wayside, to leave just two – New England and Philadelphia, in what promises to be a highly-intriguing contest.

In terms of Super Bowl experience, the two teams are poles apart. New England with legendary quarterback, Tom Brady calling the shots behind centre have been involved in seven previous Super Bowls since 2001, with five wins and two defeats.

Philadelphia, by contrast have yet to claim the biggest prize of in American Football. The Eagles have taken part in two previous Super Bowls, a 27-10 defeat to the Oakland Raiders back in 1980, while New England saw off Philadelphia back in 2004, with a 24-21 win.

Both teams ended the Regular Season as the number one seeds in their respective conferences; however, Philadelphia have made the journey to Minnesota without their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz. Nick Foles took over the reins in Week 15, and has led the Eagles to another Super Bowl – for which he deserves great credit.

New England have also endured a difficult path to Super Bowl 52 from the postseason onwards, mainly, by overhauling a ten-point deficit against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game on home soil. Brady once again showed his incredible worth and longevity to the Patriots, as the veteran dragged his team from their bootlaces to return to yet another final fling.

In this preview, we will look at several betting markets for the big game to try and point our readers in the right direction for some winning selections for Super Bowl LII.

Match Odds

This contest should not be billed as a ‘David and Goliath’ affair, but it is fair to suggest that the Eagles face a difficult task as underdogs to top the Patriots on Sunday evening. The current Match Odds for the game has New England as the bookmakers’ favourites to claim yet another title. MarathonBet offer the best industry price at the time of writing of 27/50 on the Patriots to build on their win from last year.

Stan James is the place to back the Eagles currently as they offer 7/4 on a Philadelphia victory. As regular readers of these NFL previews will know, I have gone against the Eagles in their two previous play-off appearances so far this season – both to my financial losses – but I’m not about to change here.

The experience and quality possessed by Tom Brady, Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick and their well-oiled playing staff will make this a hugely difficult task for the Eagles – especially in such a high-profile game. Philadelphia have some exceptional players – especially on defence – but the Patriots somehow, always find a way to win, and I don’t expect that to change come Sunday. The prohibitive odds are off-putting though, so we will look for better value in other markets.

Points Spread

Tom Brady

The general consensus of handicap for Super Bowl 52 is for the New England Patriots to give a 4.5-point head start. For those who are not up to speed with Handicap Betting, it basically means that the Patriots must win by five points or more for your bet to win in this particular market.

The bonus for giving a head start in backing the Patriots in this type of bet is that the betting price is much more appealing in comparison to the Match Odds. MarathonBet are once again offering the best odds in this particular market with New England –4.5 at 49/50. Conversely, the Eagles have a 4.5-point head start on Sunday, and MarathonBet offer 24/25 for Philadelphia to cover the spread.

Statistically, the Eagles have the NFL’s fourth best defense, and that unit will hold the key to Philadelphia’s hopes of winning its first Super Bowl this weekend. Philly quarterback, Nick Foles has, so far, proven to be a very able deputy for Carson Wentz in the postseason, but Foles will likely require his defense to win the turnover battle to offer more opportunities for points to keep the game close.

I am very undecided in the particular betting market in truth, it really could go either way. I don’t foresee a Patriots blowout victory, but I cannot ultimately see anything other than a New England win. If I was pushed to make a decision however, my inclination would be to take the Eagles with the 4.5 advantage, but it certainly would not be anything to part my cash upon.

Total Points

This betting market is similar to the Point Spread, but for punters who wish to gamble on how many points will be scored in the game on Sunday night.

Most bookmakers have set their handicap for this game at 48 points, with the opportunity to back either over or under that amount. If in the unlikely event that exactly 48 points is scored in the Super Bowl, then your stake would be refunded.

Unibet are offering 8/9 for over 47.5 points which is effectively the best price on offer for the Over side of this market, while Ladbrokes and Coral are offering 10/11 for Under 48.5 points.
My personal opinion is that the bookmakers have set a pretty fair marker here to take advantage of. I believe that there will be more than the 47.5 points scored in this game. Both teams averaged 28.6 points per game over the Regular Season, and an expected repeat of those performances on Sunday would provide a winning selection.

First Touchdown Scorer

This is my personal favourite! With excellent odds available and lots of individual options, this type of bet can be very rewarding if selecting the correct option. New England’s star tight end, Rob Gronkowski leads the betting to score first in Super Bowl 52 at odds of 15/2 with 10Bet.

My view on this bet and other leading players at the head of the market is that despite Gronk’s obvious talents, the teams involved tend to look towards the ‘element of surprise’ for early forays towards the oppositions’ endzone.

With that in mind, my selections for this game will be split. I tend to halve my betting stakes for the game to offer an opportunity at either end of the pitch. The players who take my eye are New England wide receiver, Chris Hogan at 16/1 with Bet 365 and BetBright. For Philadelphia, tight end, Zach Ertz appeals at 12/1 with William Hill (WH T&C).

Winning Margin

Bookmakers offer several types of margins for this market, so it should be down to the individual to select which bracket suits their opinions best.

Most bookies tend to bracket up margins in groups of six points, for example, 1-6. 7-12, 13-18 etc. Marathon Bet lead the way once again for this market by offering New England 1-6 at 18/5, and Philadelphia 1-6 at 26/5. The same bookmaker offers the Patriots to win by 7-12 points at 26/5, while an Eagles win by the same margin can be had at 43/5.

In line with my earlier opinion that the Patriots will claim victory, but not by a large margin on Sunday, the offer from Betfair for New England to win by 1-10 points at 9/5 looks to be the best bet of the lot.

This should be yet another entertaining Super Bowl, as I fully expect the Eagles to provide strong opposition, but Tom Brady could well be running out of fingers to place his Super Bowl rings upon, with yet another victory parade for the Patriots.

Best Bets:

  • New England to win by 1-10 points at 9/5 with Betfair
  • Over 47.5 points to be scored in Super Bowl 52 @ 8/9 with Unibet
  • Chris Hogan (16/1) BetBright and Zach Ertz (12/1) William Hill to score First Touchdown (split stakes)
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