Ten Interesting Super Bowl 52 Facts
Betting the big game? Here are 10 interesting facts centered on Super Bowl 52 between the Eagles and the Patriots.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Patriots are 4.5-point favorites to beat the Eagles in tonight's game. New England opened as a 6-point favorite but the line dropped to 4.5. The total, meanwhile, sits at 48.5 points after hitting the board at 47.5. As of this writing, the majority of public bettors are taking Philadelphia at the betting window.
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Fact #1: Patriots held scoreless in First Quarter of Super Bowl
The Patriots have appeared in seven Super Bowls under Bill Belichick and not once have they scored in the first quarter of any of those seven games. That's remarkable, although hardly random. Belichick knows that while you can't win the Super Bowl in the first quarter, you can put yourself in a deep hole by being overly aggressive. That's why his team is usual conservative in the first 15 minutes of the game, instead waiting to ramp it up once they have an idea of their opponents' game plan.
Fact 2: Underdogs have thrived in recent Super Bowls
Underdogs have won six of the last 10 Super Bowls and have covered the spread in nine of the last 10 NFL title games. The last favorite to cover the spread was New England a year ago but as everyone remembers, the Patriots had to erase a 28-3 second-half deficit in order to pull off the feat.
Fact #3: Underdogs have been killing it this NFL Playoffs
Nine underdogs have already covered the point spread this postseason, which is the most in a single postseason in the Super Bowl era. No matter which team covers in this year's Super Bowl, this will be the best ATS percentage by underdogs in a single NFL postseason in that span.
Fact #4: Underdogs have even been winning outright at a high clip
There have been five outright upsets by underdogs this NFL playoff season. That's one shy of the most in the Super Bowl era. If the Eagles beat the Patriots outright on Sunday, then this season will match the 2008, 2000, 1982 and 1980 NFL playoffs for most outright upsets by an underdog in league history.
Fact #5: For all intents and purposes, Tom Brady is always favored
This will mark the 50th straight start that Brady is favored in, which is five shy of the longest streak by a starting quarterback as a favorite since 1966. Kurt Warner was favored 55 straight times between 1999-2003. Meanwhile, Steve Young was favored in 44 straight starts from 1994 through 1996 and Joe Montana was favored 37 times between 1989 and 1993.
Fact #6: NFL MVPs have not fared well in the Super Bowl lately
The last eight players to win the NFL regular-season MVP and then play in the Super Bowl all lost. The last player to be named MVP during the regular season and win the Super Bowl was Kurt Warner, who led the Rams to victory over the Titans in the 2000 Super Bowl. Matt Ryan (2016), Cam Newton (2015), Peyton Manning (2013), Peyton Manning (2009), Tom Brady (2007), Shaun Alexander (2005), Rich Gannon (2002) and Kurt Warner (2001) were the eight that fell short. (Thus, if you believe Brady will win the MVP award this season then you might want to fade the Patriots on Sunday!)
Fact #7: The Eagles are in Rare Company
The Eagles are the third team in the Super Bowl era to have a starter win at least 11 regular season games and not start during the postseason. The other two were Phil Simms of the Giants in 1990, as he was replaced by Jeff Hostetler, who won Super Bowl XXV. The other was Derek Carr a year ago, who was replaced by Connor Cook, who led the Raiders to a loss in the wild card round. Nick Foles replaced the injured Carson Wentz and is 2-0 this postseason.
Fact #8: When the Patriots play in the Super Bowl, leads change often
There have been seven fourth-quarter/overtime lead changes in the Patriots' seven Super Bowls since 2001. For reference, there have been 10 such lead changes in the 44 other Super Bowls. The game-winning score has occurred in overtime or the final minute of regulation in five of New England's seven Super Bowls since 2001.
Fact #9: Patriots are the Comeback Kings
Since 2014, the Patriots are a perfect 4-0 in the postseason when they trail at any point in the game by 10 points. The rest of the NFL is 4-29 in those situations.
Fact #10: Patriots are also kings of the final minute before half
New England has outscored teams 45-17 in the final minute of a half in the Super Bowl since 2001. That's remarkable.