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SUPER BOWL SWEEP …. SWEET!

SUPER BOWL SWEEP …. SWEET!

The Animal absolutely CRUSHED the side, total and propositions in Super Bowl 52 yesterday. 

The 5* major on the OVER 48.5 was sweet, but I really enjoyed that Missed Extra Point prop that paid +260. Nothing like being up >+2.5 units in the first quarter 🙂

That brings the 2017-18 NFL & College Football season to a successful close. 

I hope everyone had a fun & profitable season.

Thank you all again for your support,

Pez

 

Super Bowl Analysis: 

5* ‘OVER’ 48 1/2

3* Teaser Philadelphia +10 1/2 and ‘OVER’ 42 1/2

I’ll start with the total because this is my favorite of the two ‘game’ selections. With 2:13 left in the third quarter of last year’s Super Bowl New England had three points. They finished with 34 including a 19-point third quarter.  With the Brady and Belichick braintrust, New England has been held scoreless in the first quarter in ALL EIGHT Super Bowls.  I certainly do not expect that to happen in this game, but I would have said the same thing last year or in probably the last five Patriot appearances.  Two things could keep this game ‘UNDER’. Obviously turnovers on the wrong side of the field as always and New England’s stubbornness in trying to establish the running game.  But because the Eagles were #1 in the league against the run I find it hard to fathom New England will attack the Eagle’s defensive strength very long. Tom Brady led the league in passing yards and only the Rams as a team threw fewer interceptions (seven versus eight).  Basically I think it’s fair to say NOBODY can stop Mr. Brady.  He has mastered the short-passing game and his intelligence level standing behind center and using the audible by reading defenses at the line of scrimmage is unmatched in today’s game.  Do not underestimate the incredible challenge the Eagles have in front of them going from facing Case Keenum at home to Tom Brady on a neutral site.  I can’t really explain the Philly/Minnesota verdict.  There is no doubt the Eagles played exceptionally well and rode the momentum of some good fortune in the Atlanta upset to really shock the Vikings, who while obviously getting outplayed, also appeared to be in hangover mode from the New Orleans miracle.  But that is also to take nothing away from the phenominal performance by Nick Foles against a very-talented Minnesota defense.  26-of-33 with a 3-0 ratio speaks for itself and while he could there is that notion he could implode in the Super Bowl, I expect him to play well. Bottom line: In 3 playoff games with the Eagles (all at home including 2013) Foles is 72-of-96 with a 5-0 ratio.  In his last road game in mid-December at the Giants he had a 4-0 ratio completing 24-of-38.  The other factor is this New England defense, as a unit, is mediocre at best and can be exploited, especially in the secondary. The Patriots were #29 in yards allowed which is pitiful considering the way Brady can use the clock up with his short-passing attack.  The scoring defense (#5) was terrific at 18.3 points per game but you have to factor in how pathetic the four other teams in their division were comprising half of the regular-season schedule. It was a cakewalk to say the least for the champs as was the playoff road to get here.  Hosting Tennessee and Jacksonville and avoiding the KC speed and the killer B’s of the Steelers was taylor-made for New England fans and I thought the conference as a whole was not as strong in 2017 as the NFC. So have the Patriots been tested?   It’s difficult to say but what we can say is the defense certainly doesn’t have star power like it used to.  Don’t’a Hightower, Chris Long, Rob Nickovich, and Logan Ryan all started the 2017 Super Bowl on defense for the Patriots.  None are there now and those first three really contributed in the front seven.  The secondary is the same but to me they were exploited by the Falcons in the Super Bowl and the Eagles have terrific size and talent for targets, especially Ertz and Jeffrey plus I consider Torrey Smith to be fairly physical for his size. I’d love to see the Eagles operate out of a two-tight end formation with Ertz and Celek/Burton on the field together and Foles loves throwing to the position. I also think the Eagles would be smart to give the Patriots a dose of their own medicine and throw the ball to Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, or Jay Ajayi out of the backfield.  I think Coach Peterson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich are smart enough to exploit the New England defensive deficiencies and really mix up the play-calling. Certainly given the playoff path this year, the Eagles had to be expecting the Pats to return to the Super Bowl and they have had ample time to gameplan. How well did Nick Foles play versus the Vikings? He became only the sixth NFL quarterback to throw for 300 yards with a 3-0 ratio or better in a conference championship game. Defensively though the Birds have their hands full. Facing Minnesota their only concern out of the backfield was Jerick McKinnon. All the Atlanta receivers had fewer catches in 2017 than 2016 under the new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. To give you an idea, Atlanta running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman had 85 catches in 2016. This year just 63 or almost a 25 percent drop-off.  So the Eagles didn’t have to worry so much about the short-passing attack or crossing patterns. That will be different with Amendola and Hogan who had 95 catches. But the big story is how Brady uses his running backs in the passing game. James White, Rex Burkhead, and Dion Lewis combined for 116 catches.  Plus don’t forget the #1 receiver in the 2017 Super Bowl was James White with 14.  In 2015 the #1 receiver was running back Shane Vereen with 11. You have to date back to the 2012 Super Bowl to find the last time the Patriots didn’t spotlight the running back position for receptions.  But they had two tight ends as targets in Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez plus still had Wes Welker for short catches.  Danny Whitehead did have four receptions though in that game.  Bottom line: We have seen time and time again New England mount terrific second-half comebacks after almost virtually noting first-half production offensively and still score near 30-points or more.  Will it happen again? Nobody knows for sure but I would think after last year versus Atlanta and the recent fourth-quarter comeback versus Jacksonville the Patriots will be aggressive in the first half in this game and maybe not be so determined or almost bullish on establishing the running game, which in my opinions slows down the offense. Both of these teams excel on third down. This year Minnesota’s defense was the best on third down in the NFL since 1991 but allowed first downs in 10 of 14 chances to the Eagles. Philly was 17-of-28 on third down in their two playoff games. The Patriots were 15-of-30 on third down in their two home playoff victories.  Keep in mind the Patriots were 6-2 ‘UNDER’ on the road this year and they only averaged 27.9 a game.  But Philly is 8-1 ‘OVER’ away after playing an ‘OVER’ the past three seasons. The Eagles are also an outstanding 8-0 ‘OVER’ on the road versus poor-defensive teams that allow 5.65 yards or more per play. The Birds stand 14-4 ‘OVER’ away versus opposing quarterbacks that complete 61 percent or better the past three seasons.  Finally I personal projected this total to be 52.  I thought it would open at 51 and go up because of this game being the Super Bowl where the total tends to inflate closer to kickoff.  The Eagles’ have the better defense but they are going against the most-prolific big-game hunter of this generation in Tom Brady.  Brady has 11 post-season game-winning fourth-quarter or game-winning drives. The #2 QB has just five in the category. Seven of the last nine Super Bowls have seen 48 or more points scored.  The Philly defense allows almost twice as many points away as they do at home.  Plus the Eagles only had to play three offenses this year that were #14 or higher on the road out of eight away games. Both of these secondaries are vulnerable to the pass in my opinion.  Go ‘OVER’.

 

I thought the following was very interesting.  I have waffled back and forth on the ‘side’ in this game because for the life of me, I can’t understand why this line is so cheap.  Obviously the line-maker has completely ignored the experience factor and maybe because it sure does seem like New England has ‘lived on the edge’ in their last two Super Bowl wins over the Falcons and Seahawks plus versus the Jaguars in the most-recent AFC title games. I projected the Patriots to be anywhere from -6 to a juice-inflated -7 in this game. But New England backers caught a significant break or bargain if you will because of the lopsided score and dominance displayed by the Eagles in their blowout win over Minnesota.  Plus the Super Bowl tends to be one game when the public actually favors the underdog and bets on the money-line as well as the spread-line. People are sick and tired of New England and the majority of the non-diehard football fans will be pulling for the Eagles.  The underdog is officially 13-6-2 ATS in the last 21 Super Bowls although I can’t really remember too many pushes.  Nick Foles is just the third Super Bowl QB with three or fewer regular-season starts. The others were Jeff Hostetler in 1990 and Doug Williams in 1987 and they were 2-0 leading the Giants and the Redskins to Super Bowl wins, coincidentally also from the NFC East.  Foles did not miss a pass in the second-half versus Minnesota completing 11-for-11 for 159 yards and two touchdowns. The five New England Super Bowl victories have come by margins of 3,3,3,5, and 6 points. The underdog in this year’s NFL playoffs is an incredible 8-1-1 ATS. Teams with the superior ranked defense have won 42 of the 51 Super Bowls and this year that would be Philadelphia (#4 versus #29).  There were six common opponents each of these teams faced in the 2017 season.  Philly was 5-1 versus that group while New England was 4-2. Super Bowl favorites of five-points or less with a week off before their first playoff game and a week off after the conference championship game and the Super Bowl are 2-9 straight-up and ATS in the title game.  That goes against New England.  Plus teams entering the Super Bowl off a spread loss in their conference championship game are 2-7 straight-up going 2-6-1 ATS.  That would also go-against the Patriots. The NFC is 20-13 straight-up in the last 33 Super Bowls going 19-12-2 ATS.  The straight-up winner in the Super Bowl is 43-6-2 ATS. The Eagles were the only team in the league to put up over 400 yards of offense against Minnesota, the #1 defense in the league in the regular-season. All this sounds great but consider this fact: New England is 15-0 straight-up in the post-season when they are meeting an opponent for the first time this season. Typically the money-line for a 4 ½-point favorite should be about -210. But because so much money is coming in on Philly most Vegas and offshore books have the Pats at -180 and the Eagles around +160.  This is a very difficult call for me because I generally believe New England should be favored by more. However I thought Minnesota was the team that was going to win Super Bowl 52 on their home field for the first time in league history and the fact the Eagles completely dominated them was one of the most surprising things I’ve seen in years.  I think Foles is mature enough to handle this pressure and the Eagles are a stubborn blue-collar type of team that’s going to be very difficult to get pushed around. You all know how much I love Brady and Belichick and I personally just hate betting against them. But in my opinion this is the worst New England defense I have seen in their Super Bowl era and with both coordinators on the way out I think this could easily be another nail-biter.  I can’t find a true weakness on the Eagles either and if Foles can continue playing the type of football we’ve seen from him there’s just no reason Philly can’t stay competitive at least throughout. A 3*-regular on the Eagles but I like the TOTAL and PROPS so much better than this ‘side’ selection.  My plan right now is taking 75% of my ‘side’ selection action on a teaser with Philly +10 ½ and ‘OVER’ 42 and 25% on the Eagles +4 ½. 

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