Super Bowl LII tips: Best bets for Eagles v Patriots in Minnesota
We make our picks for the big game in Minnesota, including who will win, score the first touchdown and be named Super Bowl MVP.
Philadelphia Eagles (+4.5) –
It’s tempting to back the Patriots on Sunday night, given how dominant they have been in the last 16 years under coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.
In their five Super Bowl wins under Belichick, however, New England have only won by a margin of more than four points once.
That was last year’s six-point victory over the Atlanta Falcons – a game in which they trailed 28-3 at one point and really should have been out of in the third quarter.
The Patriots have never blown away an opponent in the Super Bowl, and the Eagles – who had the league’s third-best offense and fourth-best defence in the regular season – are not the kind of team that will be easily beaten.
They were impressive in their 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the last round, and have only conceded 17 points in total over two playoff games so far.
The Patriots put up big scores against most teams, but they haven’t faced a defence as good as Philadelphia’s all season.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has been solid, if unspectacular, in the playoffs so far, and should be able to move the ball enough to keep this game close at the very least.
LeGarrette Blount to score first –
The Patriots always opt to kick off when they win the coin toss, so it’s likely that the Eagles will have the first possession on Sunday night.
For that reason, it’s worth backing a Philadelphia player to score the first touchdown of the game, and Blount is the best bet.
The former Patriot is a goal-line specialist who will get the ball whenever the Eagles get inside five yards, and he’s scored his team’s first offensive touchdown in both of their playoff games this season.
Jay Ajayi to win Super Bowl MVP –
Tom Brady has won Super Bowl MVP in two of the last four years, but there’s no value in backing the Patriots quarterback at .
Instead, opt for Jay Ajayi, who is the player most likely to win the award should the Eagles win on Sunday night.
The London-born 24-year-old is the Eagles’ lead running back, and is capable of the kind of explosive performance that can win this award, with three 200-yard rushing games in his career to date.
He should have plenty of room to run against New England’s defence, which allowed the third-most rushing yards of any team in the regular season.
In what could be a low-scoring game, Fletcher Cox – the Eagles’ best defensive player – is also a decent bet at .