New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are no strangers to the spotlight, and the 2017 edition of the storied franchise set their sights on Minneapolis with a sixth Super Bowl title within reach. This is the seventh time the Pats have made the big game in the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era, and the club will go head-to-head with the Philadelphia Eagles in a Super Bowl 39 rematch where books opened the Pats as 6-point favorites with a total of 47.5.
The biggest storyline in the game is the matchup under center, as the Eagles will be without star quarterback Carson Wentz. Nick Foles will be looking to channel his inner Eli Manning and knock off Brady and company, but it won’t be easy. In Brady’s last 10 playoff games, he’s thrown for 20 touchdowns and is 9-1 SU. The Michigan product threw for four touchdowns and 328 passing yards against the Seahawks in Super Bowl 49 and torched Atlanta in the form of two touchdowns and 466 yards in last year’s epic comeback triumph.
Betting-wise, expect the favored Patriots to receive plenty of action at sportsbooks. New England is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games and has covered the spread in its last 13 when favored by 7 points or less. Another trend that will appeal to Pats bettors is Belichick’s penchant for getting the job done with extended time. Since taking over as New England’s head coach in 2000, the Patriots are 28-8 SU when given an extra week to prepare for an opponent.
Plenty of people won’t be happy to see the Patriots in another Super Bowl, but there’s no denying their dominance over the years. If the boys from Foxborough get the job done in Minnesota, a second dynasty is in the cards.
Few teams in Super Bowl history have embraced the underdog role quite like this iteration of the Philadelphia Eagles. Ever since the team lost MVP front-runner Carson Wentz due to injury, the Eagles have been tabbed as pups three times in five games – matching their season total through the previous 13 outings. Of course, the Eagles have proven the doubters wrong by winning both of their playoff games despite being the first No. 1 seed to ever be spotted points.
History suggests little reason to doubt the Eagles entering the Super Bowl with underdogs going a stellar 13-4 ATS in the past 17 Super Bowls.
Backup quarterback Nick Foles has proven to be a steady replacement for Wentz, as the sixth-year man has thrown for seven touchdowns to two interceptions since being thrust into the lineup. Foles is tops in completion percentage, yards per attempt and quarterback rating during the postseason while doing a great job at evenly distributing the ball among his receiving group. He does have the luxury of throwing to Zach Ertz, who was – by far – the top tight end in the NFC this season. When Ertz has been heavily involved in the game plan, the Eagles have flourished, as the team is 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS when the tight end has five or more receptions this season.
Defensively, the Eagles have one of the best units in football. Philly ranked in the top five in the NFL in yards allowed, points allowed, interceptions and passes defended. In addition, the defensive line – featuring the dominant Fletcher Cox – allowed the least amount of time in the pocket to opposing quarterbacks. This pressure has not always resulted in sacks – the Eagles have just four during the postseason – but constantly keeps opposing offenses scrambling.