It may come as no surprise to see the top seeds from each conference battling it out for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl 52 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on February 4.
What is surprising is how the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles advanced to the big game as home underdogs twice, and the fact that backup Nick Foles will try to lead them to another upset versus the AFC champion New England Patriots, who are listed as 5-point favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com and going for back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
Philadelphia has been a great story so far, and the players have no fear of a New England team that has already won five Super Bowls thanks to future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. The Eagles have gone 4-1 straight up and against the spread in their last five games as underdogs, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, including wins over the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings this postseason.
The Eagles are also an impressive 13-4 SU and ATS in their previous 17 matchups with AFC teams, something that should not be underestimated here.
On the flip side, the Patriots have gone 17-5 SU and 16-6 ATS in their past 22 games against NFC foes dating back to 2013, including two Super Bowl wins during that stretch. Brady’s only two losses in the Super Bowl have come to the New York Giants, another NFC East team that found a way to slow the game down and limit New England’s offense.
Philadelphia’s defense has the talent to do the same thing by putting constant pressure on Brady and forcing him to release the ball earlier than he wants.
These teams met 13 years ago in Super Bowl 39, with the Patriots winning 24-21 but failing to cover the spread as 7-point favorites. The game was tied 14-14 heading into the fourth quarter, and a late touchdown pass from Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb to wide receiver Greg Lewis beat the number with less than two minutes remaining.
Despite filling in for injured starter Carson Wentz, Foles is capable of similar heroics to help Philadelphia cover this time around and possibly pull off the victory.