This year’s Superbowl is a Rematch of Superbowl 39
New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles
New England has won five Superbowls since 2000 in the Belichek and Brady era, and has played seven, losing all games on an against the spread basis and winning all five by less than six points
For this game Patriots -4.5 (point total 48) is the spread the largest championship spread since Superbowl 43. Since 2000, Super Bowl underdogs of more than 3 points are 9-2-1 Against the spread
The absolute key to this game, given how much of clutch big game quarterback Tom Brady is, is whether the Eagles excellent front seven on Defense can stymie the Patriots quarterback.
Tom Brady has reached a level where simply pressuring him is not enough. You must get pressure with only a four-man rush. Your other seven defenders are vital in coverage; blitzing even one of them can leave too many one-on-one matchups and too much downfield space to exploit. Plus, Brady identifies pressure concepts so well before the snap that he’ll often throw before your blitzer can arrive. With seven bodies in coverage, you have a chance to at least make Brady hold the ball. It’s no coincidence that his only two Super Bowl losses have come against the two best four-man rushes he’s faced: the 2007 Giants and ’11 Giants. Philly is very good in that front four, a strength of their team
The Patriots don’t have a great ground game, but it’s steady enough to keep them balanced and on-schedule. What has defined this offense in 2017, however, is the same thing that defined Philly’s under Carson Wentz (and, in the NFC championship game, under Nick Foles): Its quarterback’s rare ability to extend plays from within the pocket and make difficult throws late in the down.
The Eagles must operate under the assumption that their defensive line, which has been the NFL’s best all season, can disrupt Brady on its own. If it doesn’t, Philly’s chances shrink significantly, as Schwartz will have to reach into the bag of blitzes
Wide receiver Brandin Cooks is one of the game’s speediest deep threats, plus his throttle-down ability is second only to Antonio Brown. This makes Cooks lethal on deep curl routes and comebackers. (He destroyed Jaguars Pro Bowl corner A.J. Bouye with these in the AFC championship.)
The Patriots will align Cooks opposite whichever corner they feel he best matches up to, and you can bet Cooks will execute one or two of the double-moves that Darby and Mills struggled against in December. This is the key match up where the Patriots look to have an advantage
Philadelphia will be run heavy and attempt to control the clock and keep it close for as long as possible. Feel they have amore than reasonable chance of doing thist
My thoughts on value are (all prices with Skybet)
Eagles +4.5 at 10/11
Brandin Cooks first touchdown scorer at 9-1
First scoring play: Eagles field goal at 15/4