Super Bowl 52 Prediction
Will the Philadelphia Eagles pull off yet another upset this postseason when they take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52?
Who Oddsmakers Like: New England. According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Patriots are now 4.5-point favorites to beat the Eagles after opening as a 6-point Super Bowl favorite. As for the total, the number hit the board at 47.5 or 48 but is now up to 48.5 at most online and Vegas sports books.
Who the Public Likes: Philadelphia. As of this writing, 53% of the betting tickets that have been wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Eagles to cover the point spread as an underdog. Public bettors also like the over, as 58% of the betting tickets wagered online is on the over.
Who the Trends Like: Philadelphia and the over. In the last six meetings between these two teams, the underdog has covered the spread five times. In the last five meetings between these two teams, the over is 4-1.
Who We Like: This postseason, Nick Foles has a higher completion percentage (77.8) and more yards per pass attempt (9.5) than Tom Brady (67 and 6.9). That's remarkable and goes to show you how efficient Foles was in the Eagles' victories over the Falcons and Vikings, respectively.
That said, let's go back to that win over Atlanta. Foles should have been intercepted on his first throw of the game, a wobble duck into the cold Philly air that fell harmlessly to the ground as Falcons cornerback Brian Poole was flagged for pass interference. Foles was also bailed out on a garbage throw right before halftime on a pass that hit off Atlanta safety Keanu Neal, recoated off his knee and went into the waiting arms of receiver Torrey Smith. Smith ran the ball into Atlanta territory and after one Foles completion, the Eagles were able to kick a huge field goal right before heading into the locker room.
Granted, Foles was efficient on most of his throws that day. But the game plan was incredibly safe, asking him to put the ball in the air for only a few yards off mostly RPOs and screens to his running backs. If it weren't for Falcons OC Steve Sarkisian blowing the final series of plays for Atlanta, we're not even talking about Philadelphia being in the Super Bowl.
If you think I'm being disrespectful, I'm not. I would have picked the Eagles to win this game had Carson Wentz been in their quarterback. They're the better team. But with Foles under center, I just don't trust that he's going to elevate his play in the second half tonight. I know for a fact that Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia will figure Doug Pederson's offense out in about two quarters. Can Foles counter? I have my doubts.
This is how I see this game playing out: The Patriots will get off to a slow start. In all seven of their Super Bowls under Belichick, they have not scored a single point in the first quarter. But by halftime, even if they're trailing, they will have diagnosed how to attack that Philly defense. Then it's Brady time.
If Foles struggles early, I could see this turning into a rout. If he has some success early, the Eagles will hang throughout. But if he merely plays the role of game manager, then I like the Patriots to win by 7-plus.
SUPER BOWL LII PREDICTIONS: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -4.5