The New England Patriots (15-3) and Philadelphia Eagles (15-3) were both the top seeds in their respective conferences heading into the playoffs, so it is not too much of a surprise to see them squaring off in Super Bowl 52 on February 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
But the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots are fortunate that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will not be on the field, making them 5-point favorites.
With Wentz under center, bettors would likely be looking at close to a pick’em game. Instead, they get to agonize over deciding whether or not backup Nick Foles is really worth that many points, or if Philadelphia’s defense can somehow limit New England’s Tom Brady and an offense that looks as good as ever, especially when it counts.
Brady and the Patriots have been extremely clutch in each of their first two playoff games so far, facing early deficits and then rallying to win. They have also finished strong, scoring at least 14 points after halftime against both the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round and Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.
The question is, will they start faster versus the Eagles to help avoid what happened last year when they needed a furious second-half comeback to defeat the Atlanta Falcons?
New England‘s team total in the first half is over/under 13.5 points, with the over favored at -140 (bet $140 to win $100). The Patriots scored 21 points in the first half against the Titans but just 10 when they played the Jaguars. New England’s team total overall is 27, and Brady has topped that only twice in the last seven games.
Philadelphia had opposite results in its two playoff games, starting slow in trailing 10-9 at halftime en route to a 15-10 win over the Falcons before jumping out to a 24-7 lead prior to the intermission versus the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.
The team total in the first half for the Eagles is listed at 10.5, with the over also favored slightly at -125. Philadelphia’s team total overall is 21, and Foles has led the offense to more than that number only once in his last four starts – the NFC title game.