The New England Patriots, chasing a sixth Super Bowl championship, will take on the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night and it is difficult to pick a winner.
Most pundits ruled the Eagles out of contention after quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending injury in the closing stages of the regular campaign but backup Nick Foles has been excellent in his absence.
Meanwhile, Bill Belichick’s side had to dig deep against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their most recent encounter. The AFC South champions had beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers and went into Gillette Stadium with no fear.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, Tom Brady was clutch on the game-winning drive and New England, valued at 1/2 to win this weekend, will be quietly confident of coming out on top.
New England Patriots
At the time of writing, 888sport are offering a SPECIAL on New England to win by less than seven points at 4/1 – punters can access this offer here. Rob Gronkowski should be good to go and the Patriots tight-end could be the difference maker on Sunday evening.
You can get 7/5 for Gronkowski to score in a New England win but perhaps the best bet of all is for over 4.5 receptions at 8/11. He is Brady’s go-to guy and he should be very influential.
Brady was named regular season MVP for the third time on Saturday night, making him the oldest Most Valuable Player winner in NFL history.
A Super Bowl win would be the icing on the cake after a superb 2017 season and it would take a brave man to back against New England with Brady in fine form. The Patriots quarterback is priced at 6/5 to throw three or more touchdown passes in Sunday’s showpiece event.
On defence, former Steeler James Harrison could be set to make a BIG impact. It would be ironic if Harrison helps New England to win the Super Bowl just months after he was cut by Pittsburgh.
11/4 is a decent price for Harrison to record a sack and plenty of punters will be keeping a close eye on his status ahead of the weekend. This will be his fourth Super Bowl appearance and he could be set for a third victory on the big stage.
Can Foles do it? New England’s defence has struggled to contain opposing quarterbacks this season and the Eagles could shock the world if they perform well.
Philadelphia were simply sublime against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game and a similar effort would see Doug Pederson’s men go close. The Eagles represent solid value at 11/10 in the +3.5 handicap market; it could be a tight encounter.
If Philly win, Foles may be primed to win the Super Bowl MVP award. Currently available at 14/5 in 888sport’s American Football odds, the Eagles quarterback is worth considering.
He masterminded Philadelphia’s success against that stubborn Vikings defence and the 17/20 for over 1.5 touchdown passes is a good price.
But the best bet involving Foles may be the over 244.5 passing yards. If Philly are chasing the game, the Eagles quarterback should pass that figure and 10/11 is exceptional value.
On the defensive side of the ball, Philadelphia have a ball-hawking secondary. You can back Brady to throw over 0.5 interceptions at 6/5 - another solid option considering he turned the ball over six times in a five-game period earlier this season.
For me, New England deserve to go into this one as red hot favourites. Foles has exceeded all expectations so far but the Super Bowl is on another level. Brady has been in this position before and he knows how to lead his team to victory on the biggest stage of all.
The greatest quarterback in National Football League history will not crumble on Sunday evening; this is Tom Brady’s world and we are all just living in it. New England to win by 7-12 points at 17/4 is my top tip ahead of Super Bowl LII.
TIP: New England Patriots to win by 7-12 points @ 17/4
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*