Free Super Bowl 2018 Expert Picks – Eagles vs Patriots Against The Spread
Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Predictions
It’s rare we see both top seeds from each conference advance to the big game, but that will be the case as the Philadelphia Eagles take on the defending champion, New England Patriots. In this article, we’ll go over the point spread side of the big game. We will also have another pick available breaking down the total tomorrow so don’t miss check back for a play on the total.
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The Road To Super Bowl 2018
The Patriots won the AFC East (again) in the regular season, cruising to a 13-3 record after a 2-2 start. New England decimated the Titans in the Divisional Round and rallied late against Jacksonville to win the AFC Title game by a score of 24-20. Philadelphia matched the Patriots in season-long record at 13-3, easily taking the NFC East crown. They barely got by Atlanta in the Divisional Round but had no issues cleaning Minnesota’s clock in the NFL Conference Finals, by a score of 38-7.
The most notable difference between the Philly team we see now and have for much of the year is lack of Carson Wentz. Wentz was a possible MVP candidate before tearing his ACL and LCL in a win against the Los Angeles Rams in early December. Backup, Nick Foles, has played well in Wentz’s stead.
Running back, Jay Ajayi, and linebacker, Dannell Ellerbe, popped up the injury report for the Eagles this week, but both are practicing and expected to play. Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski is the guy that everyone is talking about. After suffering a concussion against Jacksonville – Gronk is not a lock to suit up. He has stated that he will play and is practicing and will likely play, but he has yet to pass the concussion protocol as of Thursday. (Update: He has cleared the concussion protocol.)
Betting Action – Early Moves Favor Eagles
The Patriots opened at -6 but have now dropped to -4 and -4.5 at most offshore sportsbooks and in Las Vegas. Heavy action from the Eagles has pushed the number down from the opener. If big bets keep coming in on the Eagles – there is a chance this one closes at Patriots -3.5.
Philadelphia Eagles 4.5 (-105) at New England Patriots -4.5 (-115)
I did bet the moneyline at +180 on the Eagles earlier last week when the spread was closer to 5.5 points. Normally I have a good feel for the side in the Super Bowl, but this one is a bit tougher. I think there is value in the moneyline I got, as the market has moved a bit and +180 or better isn’t available now, but I am still unsure on the points or if to wait until closer to kickoff to bet.
You would think that some New England money will come in and push the Eagles back up a bit, but that may not happen. There is some value to getting +4.5 as opposed to +4, whereas, 5.0 to 5.5 doesn’t move the needle much. As far as a game breakdown, I feel the Philadelphia is being undervalued. Even without Wentz – this team is clearly the class of the NFL. The Patriots road to the Super Bowl has not been too taxing and if Jacksonville didn’t make unnecessary adjustments in last week’s game at halftime – they may have lost that game.
Philadelphia’s offensively ability is not to be questioned in my mind. We’ve seen New England’s defense play well as of late, but against two vanilla offenses, at least in the postseason. However, we can’t excuse all of their inconsistent play throughout the year. This defense gave up 27 points to the Dolphins in December in a loss and has bled points against the upper half of offenses. I’m not willing to say their better play in the second half is due to improvements or adjustments rather than an easier schedule, especially not in this tough of a matchup.
The path for the Eagles has been more stringent. They’re also one of the few teams in the league to blow out their competition this season consistently both in scoring and key defense turnovers and stops. Their defense matches up well with New England’s ideal game plan of short to intermediate passes underneath and in the middle of the field. That’s where they are strongest.
All in all, there is still plenty of value at +4.5 on the Eagles, a number which is available at many online sportsbooks right now. Whether they win outright, that’s another question, but I do feel like they have a better opportunity than most are giving them to take down the New England.