Conference Championship Recap: I went 0-2 on these picks, and could not have been more wrong on the Vikings/Eagles game. With only one game left in the NFL season, my record stands at 53-40-2.
In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, I’m going to give my three favorite prop bets as well as my pick against the spread for the game. Thanks to everyone who followed along this season!
Prop Bet #1: Philadelphia +.5 for the 1st Quarter
Here’s an incredible stat: The Patriots with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have never scored a point in the first quarter of a Super Bowl. New England always seems to start the game off cautiously without taking any big risks until later in the game. This feels like the perfect opportunity to cash in on the Eagles, who will likely come out firing on offense as they did against the Vikings.
Prop Bet #2: James White OVER 3.5 Receptions
Although Brady won the MVP, James White’s performance in Super Bowl 51 was heroic. He had a career game on the biggest stage, with 14 receptions for 110 yards and 3 total touchdowns against the Falcons. That kind of success in a big game matters, and I fully expect Bellichick to rely on White out of the backfield once again.
Prop Bet #3: Tom Brady OVER 27 Completions
Unless the Patriots completely dominate the game and win in a blowout, this bet is almost a guarantee to pay out. Philadelphia’s pass rush is too disruptive for Brady to drop back and take deep shots all night, which should force the Patriots to commit to a dink-and-dunk offense. This is what New England does best, and I’d be shocked if Brady finishes the game with less than 30 completions.
Philadelphia +4.5 at New England
The more I thought about this game and how it could play out, I started to realize that this Eagles team is very similar to the Jaguars. Both teams have a dominant defense with playmakers at every level, a strong running game, inexperience at QB, and an excellent coaching staff. We all know how the AFC Championship Game turned out: Jacksonville looked like the better team for three quarters until New England came storming back for the win.
I honestly believe that this Super Bowl could end up being the same type of contest as the AFCCG. As I mentioned in my first prop bet, I think the Eagles are going to come out aggressive on offense and attack the Patriots’ secondary. The game-plan will likely feature a heavy dose of run-pass options and quick throws to get Nick Foles into a groove early on. I expect Philadelphia to grab an early lead before the Patriots’ offense gets to work in the second quarter.
Philadelphia may lead at some point, but in the 4th quarter when the game is close, it’s hard to count out the Patriots. The experience of Brady and Belichick is so valuable in the Super Bowl, especially when you’re going against Doug Pederson and Nick Foles. New England has mastered the art of situational football, and they’ll be prepared for whatever comes their way in this game.
I’m taking the Eagles to cover the 4.5 point spread, but the Patriots end up winning this one on a late field goal, 27-24.
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