PHILADELPHIA over NEW ENGLAND by 1
The GOATs have it. The 2017 Bill Belichick and Tom Brady Tour concludes the first Sunday of February at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis when New England’s topranked offense (394.2 yards per game) takes on the league’s top-ranked scoring defense (allowed 15.8 PPG) – the eighth time such a Super Bowl matchup of this sort has occurred. Thus the question begs: with eight different teams having won the Super Bowl the last 9 years, can Brady lead his team to an unprecedented 6th NFL championship? Let’s take a look inside the numbers and see where the edges in this game exist. The good news for the Patriots is this will mark New England’s record-setting tenth Super Bowl appearance. Last year New England became the first team in NFL history to win five Super Bowls with the same combination owner (Robert Kraft), head coach (Bill Belichick) and quarterback (Tom Brady). Super Bowl LII will mark Belichick’s 39th postseason game, topping Tom Landry (Dallas Cowboys) and Don Shula (Miami Dolphins). Brady’s four Super Bowl MVP awards ranks him ahead of Joe Montana for the most in Super Bowl history. Furthermore, Brady’s five Super Bowl wins ties him with Charles Haley, set with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. FYI: legendary Green Bay Packers QB Bart Starr won five NFL championships (three NFL championship titles and two Super Bowls). Edge: NEW ENGLAND No, we’re not referring to our President. In this case, it’s all about the stop-units. Considering that teams with the better defense have won a whopping 42 of the previous 51 Super Bowls, it’s not surprising to learn that the seven previous teams owning the No. 1 scoring defense are 6-1 SU and ATS (straight up, against the spread) in head-to-head games against No. 1 offenses. Edge: PHILADELPHIA The edge here is clearly in favor of the Patriots, with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady holding all the cards. Together, the dynamic duo owns more postseason wins than anyone in NFL history – and it ties to a huge experience edge in this matchup: Brady owns 36 career postseason starts compared to Philly QB Nick Foles’ THREE. Brady’s 11 game-winning drives in the 4th quarter during the postseason is also 5 more than runner-up John Elway. Yes, he is that good. It should be noted, however, that Foles’ 122.1 QB Rating this postseason – on 49 of 63 pass completions for 598 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs – ranks ahead of Brady’s 105.0 QB Rating – 61 of 91 for 627 yards with 5 TDs and 0 INTs. Foles’ 75% completion percentage in consecutive playoff games trails only the great Joe Montana, plus the Eagle QB owns the 2nd best TD-INT ratio for a single season – behind Tom Brady. Under head coach Doug Pederson, the Eagles have ranked first in the NFL in Time of Possession each of the last two years (32:16 in 2016 and 32:41 in 2017). Edge: NEW ENGLAND The Eagles and Patriots faced 6 common opponents this season, namely the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and Oakland Raiders. Philadelphia was 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS while outgaining five opponents for a net of +331 yards in the stats. New England went 4-2 SUATS, managing to outgain three foes for a net of +11 yards. The Eagles took on five playoff squads, going 4-1 SUATS, while New England was 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS against fellow playoff teams. Edge: PHILADELPHIA As we alluded to earlier, we’ve all heard that “defense wins championships” and while that statement may be true, it will be up to Philadelphia’s defense to disrupt New England’s high-scoring attack. That’s because the team with the most total yards in the Super Bowl is 39-12 SU. And the team with the most rushing yards is 38-12 SU (the Patriots and the Falcons each rushed for 104 yards in Super Bowl LI). Edge: EVEN When it comes to handicapping the Super Bowl, this much we know for sure: winning the NFL MVP award has been the kiss of death for quarterbacks in Super Bowl games. Our all-knowing database confirms the fact that MVP winning quarterbacks have struggled in the big game since the inception of the Super Bowl in 1967. New England’s stirring comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI last season was the latest in another tale of MVP QB woes. Collectively these NFL MVP Super Bowl quarterbacks are 6-14 SU and 5-13-2 ATS in all games, including 0-7 SUATS since 2002. Arguably, the most infamous loser was Baltimore Colts NFL MVP QB Earl Morrall, whose team lost 16-7 as an 18-point favorite to Joe Namath and the New York Jets in SB III. Last year’s record breaking comeback win by the Patriots over Atlanta’s MVP award-winning QB Matt Ryan was just the icing on the cake. With Tom Brady expected to be announced as the NFL MVP for the 2017 season, we’ll pay close attention to the Patriots’ fate in Super Bowl LII. Edge: PHILADELPHIA (should Brady win the MVP Award)
There have been 7 repeat champions in Super Bowl history, the last being the New England Patriots when they defeated Philadelphia, 2421, as 7-point favorites in SB XXXIX.
20 of the last 24 winning quarterbacks have owned a QB Rating of 92.6 or better entering the contest (New England).
Super Bowl favorites of 5 or less points in ‘double rest’ affairs – a week of rest before their first playoff game and week of rest prior to the big game – are 2-9 SUATS (New England).
Teams entering the Super Bowl off an ATS loss in the championship game are 2-7 SU and 2-6-1 ATS since 1980 (New England).
The NFC has controlled the last 33 Super Bowls, going 20-13 SU and 19-12-2 ATS. However, the AFC is 13-7 SU the last twenty games (the NFC was 13-0 SU from 1985 through 1997).
Teams who manage to score less than 20 points in the Super Bowl are 1-23 SU and 3-20-1 ATS since 1980. Teams that score 27 or more points in the Super Bowl are 27-3 SU and 24-5-1 ATS since 1980.
The SU winner of the Super Bowl game is 43-6-2 ATS. Pick the winner of the game you’ll likely have a winning ticket. Edge: NEW ENGLAND The oddsmakers have done their best job posting Over/Under totals on Super Bowl games. That’s confirmed by the fact that there have been 27 ‘Overs’ and 23 ‘Unders’ in the history of the big game – with no total available in the inaugural game. Four of the last five Super Bowls have played ‘Over’ the total. Edge: NONE Remember, Philadelphia was the only team in the league this season to put up 400 yards on the vaunted Minnesota defense, and the fact is that teams in Super Bowl games coming off a SU underdog win in a championship game are 11-7 SU and 13-4-1 ATS since 1980 against foes not coming off an underdog win. With underdogs barking loudly during the playoffs this season, winning at an 8-1-1 ATS clip, the Patriot kingdom looks to be in trouble. Like Philly’s own Rocky Balboa, we give the Eagles a puncher’s chance to dethrone the defending champs. Yo, Adrian!